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Ranking Undergraduate International Relations Programs

chryseischryseis Posts: 23Registered User New Member
edited March 2012 in Other College Majors
Hi. There was a similar thread just called Ranking International Relations Programs, but the person who started it ranked the schools by their GRADUATE programs... not undergraduate. They said that undergraduate programs are harder to rank because the overall education/prestige of the school gets in the way. (And that most everyone would say Harvard is a better school than Tufts in an undergraduate setting, just because of the foundation you get at Harvard, and the avenues that are open to you after you graduate.)
Post edited by chryseis on
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Replies to: Ranking Undergraduate International Relations Programs

  • chryseischryseis Posts: 23Registered User New Member
    Hi. I finally found on what I believe to be the fifth page of the similar thread an answer to my question. Here, I'll quote it: "O.K. this board is full of some (SOME) good answers and a whole lot of uninformed speculation. For undergraduate-

    1. Georgetown (Best in North America)
    2. University of St. Andrews (Best in Europe and the rest of english speaking world)
    3. Tufts, Yale (International Studies), JHU, Columbia and on and on (This is for U.S. schools, there are much better ones like Science Po in Paris)

    It does not really matter undergraduate. As long as there is a good departement and faculty, but more importantly that the school overall is good (Yale, Tufts etc.)you will be fine. At the Undergraduate level it is very hard to determine the ranking of these schools beyond Georgetown, Tufts, Yale, JHU, Columbia.

    You guys are all only looking at schools in the U.S., and don't understand that when it comes to graduate IR that the field is divided into VERY specific fields, Security Studies, Government, etc.

    Monterey is the best graduate in the U.S. for Non-Proliferation Studies. And in reality, Georgetown SFS graduate has only two degrees possible, Security Studies (their's is not that good) and Foriegn Service (really good).

    But schools like American University Cairo are also amazing IR graduate programs.

    Stellenbosch in South Africa is the best school (this is undisputed) for Security Studies, followed closely by St. Andrews in Scotland.

    Kings College in London is also great for a general IR graduate program.

    What really surprises people is that LSE, Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard (save Kennedy which is more domestic politics) have TERRIBLE IR programs for graduate level work, that people don;t dare go near."
  • Leviathan08Leviathan08 Posts: 180Registered User Junior Member
    I was going to start this thread. This info was helpful thanx
  • chryseischryseis Posts: 23Registered User New Member
    Hi. I finally found on what I believe to be the twenty-fifth page of the similar thread another answer to my question. Here, I'll quote it: "Foreign Policy Magazine Top 20 IR Schools


    These rankings were published in the March/April 2007 Issue of Foreign Policy Magazine.
    I think these maybe the most valid/credible rankings so far.

    Top 20 Undergraduate Programs

    1. Harvard University 48%
    2. Princeton University 46%
    3. Stanford University 30%
    4. Georgetown University 28%
    5. Columbia University 28%
    6. Yale University 23%
    7. University of Chicago 21%
    8. University of California-Berkeley 12%
    9. Dartmouth College 11%
    10. George Washington University 10%
    11. American University 10%
    12. University of Michigan 9%
    13. Tufts University 8%
    14. Swarthmore College 8%
    14. University of California-San Diego 8%
    16. Cornell University 6%
    17. Brown University 6%
    18. Williams College 5%
    19. Duke University 5%
    19. Johns Hopkins University 5%"
  • briguybriguy Posts: 556Registered User Member
    does Swarthmore even have an international relations program? All i know is that it has a political science program.
  • chryseischryseis Posts: 23Registered User New Member
    Hi. I found something that may answer your question on the first page of the similar thread. Here, I'll quote it: "They all have some form of degree in International Relations/Affairs. Sometimes its called IR, IA, Global Policy, International Public Policy, etc. Thats because some programs are more specific than others."
  • maylemayle Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    I'm not quite sure how valid/credible Foreign Policy's rankings are, considering that there is no international studies/affairs/relations major or anything remotely close at UC Berkeley. Does FP talk about their methodology?
  • Welsh0913Welsh0913 Posts: 241Registered User Junior Member
    They just ask professors to list what schools they thought were best for IR.

    I think the undergraduate rankings were poor, especially since a lot of the professors they surveyed were graduate school professors who really have no idea what undergraduate IR programs are good besides Harvard, Princeton, etc..

    I think its pretty telling that as you pointed out, many of those programs do not even offer an IR major.
  • debbsdebbs Posts: 18Registered User New Member
    we had a very difficult time deciding on college/universities because my son wants to study global peace within IR, he is interested in working with the UN, or a relief organization ... He was just early accepted to William and Mary but I don't see it in many rankings ... we were told that it is a "public ivy" .... was that just a bunch of PR rhetoric to have us apply or is it a wise decision to accept? thanks for any help ... we have two weeks to decide.
  • YunaCamelYunaCamel Posts: 120Registered User Junior Member
    Middlebury is awesome in IR too!
    NYU and UCSD are also pretty good.
  • hellogoodbye5015hellogoodbye5015 Posts: 130Registered User Junior Member
    Wellesley is also great.
  • potatoes345potatoes345 Posts: 265Registered User Junior Member
    It depends on what you want to do with your IR degree. If you're principally interested in doing something like business or consulting, all that really matters is the prestige of the school.

    If you want to go on to do graduate study in the field, then the Foreign Policy ranking (originally part of a survey of professors done by William and Mary) are your best bet. The rankings represent the opinion of professors, and thus by extension they represent the basic rankings in the field as seen by the people on grad school admissions committees.

    If on the other hand, you want to move straight out of college and enter the policy sector, then the scene changes a bit to location, location, location. Georgetown is the best at placing its graduates in the State Department, NSC, CIA, etc. A lot of that has to do with proximity to internships, and faculty with connections in the field. So GW and American are also great schools if you want to move right into policy.
  • potatoes345potatoes345 Posts: 265Registered User Junior Member
    It depends on what you want to do with your IR degree. If you're principally interested in doing something like business or consulting, all that really matters is the prestige of the school.

    If you want to go on to do graduate study in the field, then the Foreign Policy ranking (originally part of a survey of professors done by William and Mary) are your best bet. The rankings represent the opinion of professors, and thus by extension they represent the basic rankings in the field as seen by the people on grad school admissions committees.

    If on the other hand, you want to move straight out of college and enter the policy sector, then the scene changes a bit to location, location, location. Georgetown is the best at placing its graduates in the State Department, NSC, CIA, etc. A lot of that has to do with proximity to internships, and faculty with connections in the field. So GW and American are also great schools if you want to move right into policy.
  • dcircledcircle Posts: 1,845Registered User Senior Member
    check out the watson institute at brown -- three former presidents, nikita khruschev's son, and the founder of the chinese democratic party all teach undergrads

    www.watsoninstitute.org
  • dcircledcircle Posts: 1,845Registered User Senior Member
    check out the watson institute at brown -- three former presidents, nikita khruschev's son, and the founder of the chinese democratic party all teach undergrads

    The Watson Institute for International Studies
  • JIS1JIS1 Posts: 142Registered User Junior Member
    UCSD Among Top Universities for International Studies

    Top 10 International Relations Schools for Academic Careers:

    1. Harvard University
    2. Columbia University
    3. Stanford University
    4. Princeton University
    5. University of Chicago
    6. Yale University
    7. University of Michigan
    8. University of California, Berkeley
    9. University of California, San Diego
    10. Cornell University

    Top 10 International Relations Schools for Policy Careers:

    1. Johns Hopkins University
    2. Georgetown University
    3. Harvard University
    4. Tufts University
    5. Columbia University
    6. Princeton University
    7. George Washington University
    8. American University
    9. Syracuse University
    10. University of California, San Diego
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