Political science program?

<p>Does anyone know if Swarthmore has a good poli sci program? I've seen it on those rankings, but can anyone tell me more about it?</p>

<p>Poli Sci is a very strong department, and one of the most popular majors at Swarthmore.</p>

<p>Here are the top 20 undergrad per capita producers of PhDs in Political Science/Government over the most recent ten year period:</p>

<p>Number of PhDs per 1000 graduates<br>
Academic field:Political Science and Government<br>
PhDs and Doctoral Degrees: ten years (1994 to 2003) from NSF database<br>
Number of Undergraduates: ten years (1989 to 1998) from IPEDS database<br>
Formula: Total PhDs divided by Total Grads, multiplied by 1000 </p>

<p>1 Swarthmore College 10
2 Haverford College 8
3 Princeton University 8
4 Pomona College 7
5 Harvard University 7
6 University of Chicago 7
7 Oberlin College 7
8 Williams College 7
9 Reed College 7
10 Wesleyan University 6
11 Bryn Mawr College 6
12 University of the South 5
13 Whitman College 5
14 Amherst College 5
15 Yale University 5
16 College of Wooster 5
17 Stanford University 5
18 Georgetown University 5
19 Claremont McKenna College 5
20 Carleton College 5</p>

<p>As you can see, over the ten year period one out every 100 Swarthmore graduates has gone on to get a PhD in Poli Sci. That is a huge number, indicating both the popularity of the department and its academic preparation. </p>

<p>Poli Sci is Swarthmore's third most popular major, behind Economics and Biology. Along with all social sciences, Political Science would be considered one of Swarthmore's real strengths.</p>

<p>Having said that, if you ask Swarthmore students, they are likely to say that the department is excellent, but perhaps a little TOO popular. Because of its size, some of the one-on-one mentoring by faculty that is a given for all students in smaller departments tends to be reserved for the majors, and especially honors majors in the Poli Sci department. But, that is a criticism that is based on the extreme standards of personal faculty interaction set by Swarthmore students. It's also a function of the fact that just about everybody at the schools takes at least one or two poli sci courses -- because they are generally interesing and because they fit with a lot of different areas of interest, be it international studies, public policy, etc.</p>

<p>Swarthmore produces a ton of public-policy wonks, goverment officials, think-tankers, and politicians. Well-known examples in recent political life include Sen. Carl Levin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and Presidential Candidate/Tank commander, Michael Dukakis. </p>

<p>I would say that, in general, there is a pretty strong strain of "social consciousness" in the department. So, for example, one of my daughter's professors just won some awards for a new book on two periods of reconstruction for African-Americans -- one following the Civil War and another following the Civil Rights movement. I doubt that you would confuse many Swarthmore poli sci profs with Rush Limbaugh. You can read through the course listings and get a flavor. As a political science major back in the stone ages, I see a lot of very interesting courses.</p>

<p>BTW, there is also an interdisciplinary Public Policy major.</p>