Best Ivy League Schools for Political Science

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A wooden gavel and a golden scale on a table with books as their background.

Best Ivy League Schools for Political Science

For students who are interested in pursuing careers and anything from public policy to politics, to business, medicine, and more, an undergraduate degree in political science may be a fantastic option to consider. It’s important to know the best ivy league school for political science.

The study of political science includes learning about the many systems that help control and govern the modern world.

Without a doubt, for the most committed and passionate high school students they aren’t interested in pursuing a degree in political science, attending an Ivy League school is likely a high priority. But what is the best Ivy League school for political science?

If you are curious about the answer to that question, as well as a lot of other factors that go into choosing political science as your major, then you have come to the right place.

A wooden gavel on top of an open book with a scale and stacked books in the background.

At AdmissionSight, we make it our priority to help high school students all over the world achieve their college admissions dreams. One very important aspect that goes into making those dreams a reality is knowledge and experience.

That is why we have taken the time and done the research to offer a definitive ranking of the best political science programs in the historic and prestigious Ivy League.

Why attend an Ivy League school for political science?

With an Ivy League education, students are able to enjoy the benefits of many professional and personal doors opening directly after graduating. After all, the community and network that is built from attending an Ivy League program is best and proud.

But what are the true benefits of attending an Ivy League school and earning a political science degree? Before we go into ranking the eight schools within the Ivy League in regards to their political science program, let’s quickly break down why so many students dream of attending one of the Ivy League schools every year in the first place.

You earn an incredible network

This applies to students who graduate with any degree from an Ivy League program, but it may be most important for degrees such as political science degrees, that are more flexible and can lead to many different professional pathways.

The Ivy League has graduates that date back to the 17th century. The schools’ histories are filled with names of some of the most impactful and influential men and women of their days.

That fact remains true today, as countless world leaders within the worlds of politics, business, science, art and more can trace their beginnings back to their Ivy League education.

Two businessmen doing a handshake.

Thanks to that tight knit community, alumni connections can often lead to young men and women’s first postgraduate job. Not only are students equipped with some of the best education available in the world, they are now part of an elite and dedicated group of men and women who love to help one another achieve.

Whether a student knows exactly what they want to do with their Ivy League education or is still curious about the options available to them, being a member of that alumni network will certainly help them.

Access to world-class resources and faculty

While students gain an incredible network from attending and graduating from a world class Ivy League program, it is always about the education they receive first and foremost.

For students seeking to make the very most out of their college education there are simply few better options in the world than an Ivy League education.

In all, the Ivy League schools have some of the largest endowments in the world of education. What that means is that the schools are able to pay for world class resources and faculty to offer the students that attempt.

Thanks to the combination of top resources and decorated teachers, students can be confident that they are being given every opportunity to make the most out of their time in school.

This can be especially exciting for students who are interested in a political science degree, as they will often be able to learn and work with some of the leading voices in the field of study today.

Jump start in your career path

This is the case for students who both know exactly what they want to do professionally after graduating and for students who are still in the process of figuring their next step out. To put it simply, an Ivy League education is going to look fantastic on any job application that you fill out.

Whether a student is looking to apply to law school, start working within local, state or federal politics, wants to try their hand at business consulting, or wants to take a stab at the world of business, your resume will likely always end up at the top of the list thanks to your Ivy League education.

If you’re not convinced, just think about some of these impressive job statistics in relation two attending an Ivy League school:

  • Of the 114 justices that have served on the United States Supreme Court, more than half attended an Ivy League school. Moreover, online current justices attended law school at either Yale University or Harvard University.
  • In a recent poll done by CNN ranking the top 100 startups in the world, 34 of the CEOs of those schools attended Harvard University.
  • The University of Pennsylvania is known to be the top feeder school for highly powerful financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup.

What is the best Ivy League school for political science?

Now that we have grappled with some of the most convincing reasons why students should attend an Ivy League school, let’s get into the meat of this discussion.

If you are a high school student interested in attending an Ivy League school and graduating with a degree in political science, what schools should you target primarily?

Here are the Ivy League school rankings for political science programs from top to bottom.

No. 1 Harvard University

Considering Harvard University has arguably the most historic and most famous law school in the entire world, it perhaps should not come as any surprise that the school also has one of the top political science programs for undergraduates in the country.

Any student who is interested and attending a school for political science should strongly consider applying to Harvard.

The study of political science at Harvard occurs within this school’s world renowned Department of Government. Here, the school encourages its students to take part in diverse approaches in both faculty and curriculum to explore their interests in politics and government.

Front view of a red and white building.

Moreover, students get to take advantage of the largest university library in the world to gain access to a virtually limitless array of information to help them along their path.

Based on information offered by the school, there were approximately 256 political science and government students who graduated from Harvard in the most recent year where data is available.

Graduates from the program also earn on average $5,308 more than the typical income of political science graduates from other universities.

No. 2 Columbia University

Columbia University posts an incredibly rare fact when it comes to its political science program, as it was the first program of its kind within the United States. Founded in the year 1880, the department’s faculty includes global leaders and prize winners from every subfield within the political science world.

Graduates of the Columbia University political science program include leaders in the public and private sectors across the world.

Based on information from the school, there were approximately 293 students who graduated with a degree in political science in the most recent year where data is available.

Students who graduate from this program from Columbia earn about $4,608 more than the average college graduate with the same degree.

No. 3 Yale University

Yale University is without a doubt one of the most historic and prestigious schools within the Ivy League, and that fact strongly applies to its political science program as well.

Political science has always been considered historical strength for the school, and they maintain that reputation to this day. The department itself is home to about 45 faculty members, whose expertise and teaching styles span across many different subfields of political science as well as the different regions and countries of the world.

A Yale University building with trees in front of it.

In fact, the undergraduate major of political science is among the most popular at the school and the graduate program produces PhD students that are able to take major roles of leadership within the discipline.

Moreover, the faculty within the political science program are involved in many different areas of study at the school such as the program and ethics, politics, economics and more.

Graduates from Yale who study political science earn $2,608 more than the average income for students upon graduating.

No. 4 Dartmouth College

Dartmouth is sometimes overlooked when it comes to how it is compared to the most elite schools within the Ivy League, but when it comes to political science, Dartmouth is – clearly – one of the best.

The school’s Department of Government seeks to embody the ancient Greek approach to the study of politics in the sense that the school believes the study of politics also deals with the study of humanity itself.

Many of the school’s faculty are prominent researchers who use their work at Dartmouth to try to address and solve enduring problems including the sources and resolution of civil conflict, the defense of civil and human rights, the persistence of mistaken beliefs in public opinion and so much more.

Moreover, the program is committed to offering its students valuable and crucial experience inside and outside the classroom. The school operates off-campus programs in Washington, D.C. and London.

Graduates from the Dartmouth Department of Government earn an astounding $13,408 more than the typical graduate of the same degree shortly after graduation.

No. 5 University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is – of course – located in the most historically political city in the United States aside from Washington D.C., Philadelphia. For that reason, it should not come as much of a surprise that UPenn offers a world-class political science department.

As a matter of the fact, the school itself proudly boasts that the Political Science Department is experiencing a renaissance at this moment.

An old, red and white university building with a pedestrian lane in front of it.

Over the past 10 years, the program. Has seen its faculty grow by 50 percent, and that increase in quality has also brought along an improvement in quality. Students get to take advantage of the fantastic courses, internships, research opportunities and career advancement opportunities.

Overall, students who graduate from this program earn $4,608 more than students who graduate from other schools with similar degrees.

No. 6 University of Princeton

Princeton is without a doubt one of the most competitive and prestigious schools in the entire world, and the Department of Politics is one of the most popular programs within the school.

The department brings together nearly 60 faculty members, 150 undergraduate students and 140 graduate students. Despite its popularity, Princeton is committed to keeping the class sizes small so that student-faculty relationships can flourish for students from freshman year, to senior year and beyond.

The school also takes an active role in fostering strong bonds between current students and alumni members to help students explore and discover the right professional paths for themselves upon graduation.

No. 7 Cornell University

Cornell is a fantastic school in all respects, and that fact applies to its Department of Government as well.

The department at Cornell offers students a vast array of opportunities to not only engage with political and political science in the classroom and in one-on-one meetings with their faculty, but also a chance to use what they learn in the classroom in the real world by participating in internships, workshops, volunteer work and more.

Along with the undergraduate program, Cornell University also offers two different higher degree levels in political science and government, the most popular of which is the master’s degree.

No. 8 Brown University

Though Brown University may not be the highest-rated Ivy League school for political science, it is still an incredibly well-regarded and advanced program that any student interested in studying political science should be thrilled to attend.

In fact, Brown – just like the rest of the Ivy League political science programs. – are ranked within the top 20 for ranking years after year.

At Brown, students studying political science will get the benefit of the school’s fantastic faculty as well as the school’s wonderful approach to education and student engagement overall.

How high schoolers can set themselves for success if they want to pursue a PoliSci degree

For high schoolers who are interested in attending a top university, they must start preparing early on during high school. The same can be said for students who already have a good idea of what degree they may want to pursue when they get to college.

For students who are interested in pursuing a political science degree, there are a number of things that they can do to make themselves as attractive as possible for admissions officers at top universities. The Ivy League political science admission major requirements include:

  • Take as many advanced history and politics courses as possible such as AP U.S. History, AP Comparative Government and Politics and AP U.S. Government and Politics.
  • Get involved in your school or local government and earn a role of leadership if ay all possible.
  • Utilize out of classroom time effectively by getting involved in extracurriculars such as Model U.N., debate team, mock trial, your school newspaper or volunteering for a local political campaign.

Need more help getting into Harvard to study political science?

As you can see, Harvard sits atop the mountain when it comes to the best political science school in the Ivy League, but there is also no doubt that every school within the ivy League offers a fabulous education within the political science and government departments.

For students who are interested in one day becoming a lawyer, a businessperson, a consultant, an academic, and even a doctor or anything in between, political science can be a fantastic undergraduate focus. It is a highly useful and flexible major for undergraduate students to pursue.

If you are a high school student that is interested in attending any Ivy League school to study political science, then you are going to want to prepare as early as possible!

Here at AdmissionSight, we know precisely what it takes for high school students to get into the top schools in the United States.

It’s why we boast a 75 percent success rate when it comes to the students that we work with getting into Ivy League schools or other top 10 programs.

If you are curious about what you can do to improve your chances of getting into the school of your dreams when it comes to your high school years and the application process itself, then contact us at AdmissionSight today to schedule your free consultation!




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