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The Top Five Universities for Studying Political Science in the United States Reasons to Pursue a Political Science Degree


There are a number of reasons why choosing to study political science is a good idea. For starters, political science examines the core principles behind how Western government is structured, and, as such, is useful in many fields. Learning about political science helps in understanding how the United States government works, and this, in turn, leads to having a better grasp on how the United States exists within the context of the entire world.

Benefits of obtaining a political science degree

Within political science, there are a number of specialties. These include United States politics, international politics, comparative politics, and political theory. Therefore, political science majors have several intellectual avenues that they can explore within the field depending on their personal interests.

Studying political science helps students understand daily issues. Even if someone ends up in a field totally unrelated to political science, they can still benefit from understanding how government and the courts drive the issues that effect everyone. Political science also teaches methods of analysis that are useful in other fields including psychology, statistics, economics and many others.

Earning a political science degree can be an enjoyable and intellectually stimulating experience at pretty much any university. The field examines, very broadly, how power is acquired and yielded, and this is a good topic for anyone to consider. In short, it’s a terrific all-purpose degree that’s offered at virtually all universities. Having said that, some universities in the United States have better programs than others.

The Top Five

U.S. News & World Report article ranked the top political science programs in the country. The results are:

1) Harvard: as one one expect from the nation’s first University, Harvard has a highly prestigious program.

2) Princeton: this Ivy League school is known for its excellence in the social sciences in general and in political science in particular.

3) Stanford: this school is known as the “Harvard of the West,” and, unsurprisingly, its Political Science department has graduated a number of individuals who went on to illustrious careers in public policy, academics and government.

4) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor: the flagship university within the Michigan system is near the industrial center of Detroit and has long been an excellent place to learn about how government and industry coexist.

5) Yale University and University of California, Berkeley (tie): These two programs combine tradition with cutting-edge scholarship.

David Firester is the founder of TRAC Intelligence, a threat analysis firm.

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