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STUDENT LIFE / JUN. 04, 2015
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Top 10 US Universities for Politics 2015

Students seeking a political science degree are opening themselves up to a world of unique opportunities, including government careers, jobs with financial organizations, campaign management, international affairs, public policy positions and so much more! To give yourself the best shot at the top jobs for political science degree graduates, you should start your search with the top-rated political schools in the US. These schools consistently rank as the top universities in both US and international rankings and studies.

See also: Top 10 Famous Universities for Medicine in the US

1. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University offers its political students a chance to earn a degree from one of the top political science programs in the United States. You will explore American politics, political theory, comparative politics and international relations in depth. Both undergraduate and graduate programs are available, including a combined degree program with the Harvard School of Law. Visit the Harvard University Department of Government for more details. Tuition fees for Harvard University obtained from the Harvard University Website show college tuition for 2015-2016 without financial aid is $45,278 and $60,659 with room, board and other fees combined.

2. Columbia University, New York, New York

The Department of Political Science at Columbia University was the first of its kind in the United States, founded in 1880. Columbia University offers undergraduate, graduate and PhD programs in political science. Fields of study include American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political theory as well as several subfield specializations. Columbia University Alumni with a political science degree often teach in colleges and U.S. universities and hold designated positions in state and local government. Tuition fees for Columbia University obtained from the Columbia University Website show college tuition estimates for 2015-2016 at $65,988 with a total estimate first-year budget of $99,892.

3. Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

Although Princeton University is one of the largest political science programs in the United States, it manages to keep its undergraduate classes small, permitting more one-on-one interaction between students and faculty. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees are available through the Princeton Department of Politics. The latest estimates for tuition given on the Princeton University website are for the 2014-2015 academic year. These estimates include $41,820 for tuition with additional fees for room charge of $7,570 and a board rate of $6,050.

4. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The University of Michigan boasts a faculty whose accomplishments in research and teaching have been recognized nationally and internationally. The first political science course was taught in 1860 by Thomas McIntyre Cooley.  You can pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan Dept. of Political Science. Estimates for the 2015-2016 fall/winter semester obtained from the University of Michigan website show the total budget—including tuition & fees, housing costs, books & supplies and personal & miscellaneous expenses—for in-state residents varies from $26,984 to $39,654 while out-of-state total budget costs vary from $55,404 to $60,140.


5. University of California – Berkley

The UC Berkeley Political Science Department, established in 1875, has several disciplines and subfields including, American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory and philosophy and many more. UC Berkeley faculty members teach and conduct research in these fields. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are available to political science students at UC Berkeley. According to the UC Berkeley website, the undergraduate tuition and fees total costs estimates vary from $23,506 to $33,092.

6. Stanford University, Stanford, California

Several disciplines related to domestic and international politics are available to political science students at Stanford University. Focused studies include American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political methodology and political theory. Both undergraduate and graduate programs are available. Notable alumni include Michael McFaul, a Stanford political scientist and former U.S. ambassador to Russia and Condoleezza Rice, a former U.S. Secretary of State. For more information about enrollment, visit the Stanford Political Science Department. Tuition and fees estimates for the 2015-2016 academic year according to the Stanford University Website are $45,729.

7. Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut


Yale University, an Ivy League school, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science. Its PhD program graduates go on to become professors at some of the top political schools in the country. Undergraduates have the opportunity to assist faculty in research to gain hands-on experience. To learn more about all the opportunities available to political students, visit the Yale University Department of Political Science. The Yale University website lists the cost of attendance estimate for the 2015-2016 academic year as $65,725 including tuition, room, board and personal expenses.

8. New York University, New York, New York

A political science degree from NYU will prepare you for vocations in American or international politics, political theory or as a foundation for a law degree among other political career possibilities. The NYU Department of Politics also offers the NYU Study Abroad program where you can spend a semester abroad in many different locations worldwide. From NYU, you can receive an undergraduate, Master’s or PhD political science degree. The New York University website gives a breakdown for estimated expenses for the 2015-2016 academic year based upon which graduate or undergraduate school you are attending. For example, the estimated academic expenses for the New York University College of Arts and Science is $73,696.

9. University of California – San Diego

The UC San Diego Department of Political Science is home to some of the top political scholars of our day. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available. Even though the school was only founded in 1974, the department has risen to prominence being recognized nationally as a top political school. It was rated by US News and World Report as the #8 political graduate program in the United States. The University of San Diego California website lists 2014-2015 tuition expenses as $21,165 for 12-18 units per semester with $1,460 added for each unit over 18. Auditing is $160 per credit hour. Tuition estimates are not yet listed for the 2015-2016 academic year, but an increase is expected. These estimates do not include expenses for room and board.

10. MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

The MIT Political Science Program is more than 50 years old and is a top political science research institute in the United States. Several labs give students real-life political research experience in developing innovative ideas and programs. Both undergraduate and graduate programs are available.  Graduates go on to pursue teaching and research positions at some of the leading political science departments both nationally and internationally. The MIT website lists tuition estimates for the 2015-2016 academic year as $15,460 for the summer semester and $23.200 for the fall/spring semester. Various other miscellaneous fees and charges may also apply.

See also: Top 10 Highest Paid Jobs in America

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the job outlook for political scientists is estimated to grow 21 percent through the year 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual pay in 2012 was $102,000. If you have a flair for politics, you could be on your way with a degree from one of these top US universities for politics!

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