Top Poli-sci programs outisde of HYPS

<p>Hello, I am a rising senior, who plans on focusing on poli-sci, and possibly law school afterwards. I know that harvard/yale/columbia/georgetown/etc can all offer excellent poli-sci programs. However, those schools are reaches for me, so:</p>

<p>CCers, what are some smaller/LAC which offer solid poli-sci programs, (and perhaps international relations, although I havn't looked into IR much, though I should), and do a good job getting undergraduates into top law schools.</p>

<p>So far towards the top of my list I have Claremont-McKenna. I'm applying early to Stanford regardless, but I am remaining realistic about my chances.</p>

<p>my stats:</p>

<p>3.93gps with 4AP's taken, and 3 more senior year
2190 SAT, with 1460 in math+reading
medium EC's. </p>

<p>Thank you very much. I'd be glad to include any other info that I might have left out.</p>

<p>georgetown, bar none.
Columbia as well.</p>

<p>Chicago 10 ch</p>

<p>As far as law school, the reputation of your undergrad has a negligible effect on your admission, unless you went to HYPS and even then it is a small soft factor at best. Pick the school where you feel that you can earn the highest grade point average and study diligently for the LSAT.</p>

<p>Depends what in political science you want to study. </p>

<p>I must say as a political science major who got into Columbia, but who chose Claremont McKenna that I have learned the most I have thought possible. </p>

<p>Claremont McKenna's emphasis on economics and political science make it amazing. It's other emphasis on IR is dreary, though.</p>

<p>Claremont Mc Kenna!</p>

<p>Columbia University
Cornell University
Duke University
Emory University
Georgetown University (International Relations)
Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michigan State University
Northwestern University
Ohio State University
Princeton University
Stanford University
Tufts University (International Relations)
University of California-Berkeley
University of California-Los Angeles
University of California-San Diego
University of Chicago
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
University of Rochester
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Washington University-St Louis
Yale University</p>

<p>Why do you say those are reaches for you? You have excellent stats. You'll find that at a certain point, those schools are reaches for almost everyone. Every person I've met that's sure they'll get in at the aforementioned schools did not. That includes two 2400ers. I do know a kid with a 2180 that got into Harvard though. There's always a shot if your scores and grades are close</p>

<p>Georgetown's poli sci faculty is not that strong outside of IR. I mostly agree with Alexandre's list though Michigan, Berkeley, Chicago, UCLA, Columbia, and Duke are stronger than the other non-HYPS on this list. Among LACs check out Swarthmore, Bowdoin, and Claremont-McKenna among others.</p>


<p>@poisondart90 I say those are reaches because I want to apply to some safer schools. I realize that I <em>could</em> get in with my stats, but I know realistically that I most likely will not. I am tentatively applying to (if I am not accept early to stanford) upwards of 3-4 Ivy's, so I need to flesh out the lower part of my gradient. </p>

<p>Thank You for everyone's advice!</p>

<p>**jasonpham **says "As far as law school, the reputation of your undergrad has a negligible effect on your admission, unless you went to HYPS and even then it is a small soft factor at best. Pick the school where you feel that you can earn the highest grade point average and study diligently for the LSAT."</p>

<p>That's actually not true. Of course, GPA and LSAT score are very important, but where you went to school (how competitive the student body is) still matters to admissions folks. The list of "impressive" schools goes well beyond HYP.</p>

<p>I think you and I are looking at it from two different perspectives. The prestige of the your undergrad is important only once you have earned a GPA and LSAT in a high enough range to be considered for admissions. Even then, the prestige of undergrad only helps in the ranking of applicants with similar numbers. It is my understanding that it is rare for the prestige of an applicant's undergrad to be the factor which jumps the application over another application with higher numbers.</p>

<p>However, the law school admissions process is almost entirely a numbers game, your soft factors, including the prestige of your undergrad, come only into play after you have won the numbers portion. This is supported by widely available interviews with law school adcomms, by the numbers reported by the law schools themselves, by the statistics of admits and denials on, and by the way in which law school admissions calculators, which have been shown to be fair indicators of admissions, use only the GPA, LSAT, and URM status to calculate chances of admissions.</p>

<p>Also, for a bit of anecdotal flair. Just this last cycle I saw physics major from MIT with a 3.1/174 blanket the T14 and was admitted only to Cornell and Georgetown, both off the waitlist, and to Northwestern. In the same cycle, a messed-up-in-high-school-changed-my-life-around University of Phoenix student with a 3.85/169 found his way into Boalt, NYU, and Virginia, in addition to Cornell and Georgetown.</p>

<p>So while your soft factors, which is what your undergrad prestige is, do have some effect on your chances, they are still superseded by GPA and LSAT, and to a slightly lesser extent, your URM status.</p>

<p>Gourman Report undergraduate ranking in Political Science:
UNC Chapel Hill
Indiana Bloomington
Johns Hopkins
Notre Dame
Ohio State
U Penn
Texas Austin
U Washington
U Pittsburgh
U Rochester
Illinois UC
Maryland CP
UC Santa Barbara
SUNY Buffalo
U Mass Amherst
Michigan St
Washington U St Louis
US Air Force Acad
US Military Acad
UC Davis
Boston U

<p>I agree that law school is far more of a numbers game: extracurriculars, work experience, essay, etc. not nearly as important as other admissions processes. However, quality of the undergraduate expereince is considered (without giving away too much personal info, I do know that from firsthand experience). </p>

<p>Even your example shows that schools are making some adjustments for the quality of undergrad. The fact that a 3.1 (which is well below the typical GPA averages) is still getting in to T14 says something. With a 3.3 s/he would have done even better. A 3.4 or 3.5 even better than that. </p>

<p>To get into a T14 from Phoenix you have to be at the top of the class (virtually a 3.9) with great LSATs. To get in from MIT, you need strong numbers but you don't necessarily need to be at the tippy top of the class.</p>

<p>In my experience, a Williams or Haverford or Bowdoin 3.3 means more than a Phoenix 3.8. But, does a 2.7 beats out a 4.0 (probably not). I guess I'm just saying it's a factor, but there are so many mitigating circumstances.</p>

<p>The fact that studies like WSJ feeder school lists (based on top business, law and medical schools) are domintaed by "prestige" schools is not meaningless:
<a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>BTW, there are tons of archived threads on this topic.</p>

<p>I think you should certainly consider the undergrad programs that are the 10 largest per capita producers of PH.Ds in the field:</p>

<p>Swarthmore College
Haverford College
Princeton University
Pomona College
Harvard University<br>
University of Chicago
Oberlin College
Williams College
Reed College
Wesleyan University</p>

<p>Note: **Interesteddad **has posted this material (with a longer list, I think top 30 or so)</p>

<p>I agree with you on the point that a 3.8 from Phoenix is hardly impressive. It would be hard to argue that earning a 3.1 as a Physics major at MIT is not a much greater accomplishment.</p>

<p>Nevertheless, my example shows that the above assumption is not the case in law school admission as the 3.85 from a much lesser institution had a better cycle than the 3.1 from a top undergrad in a very rigorous program. </p>

<p>But again, I think we're arguing from two different perspectives. If you have a low GPA, or are a splitter applicant, the prestige of your undergrad definitely comes into play as the MIT 3.1/174's cycle is not likely to be replicated by a ASU 3.1/174. It is a factor, though among many, and it was my mistake if my original post suggested otherwise. </p>

<p>A common critique of the WSJ is the faulty assumption of causality, rather than viewing the list as a study of correlation. Typically, the hardest working and most intelligent students matriculate at the top undergraduate schools. These same students are likely to do well in school (on top of the debatable accusation of grade inflation at these top undergraduates), and these same students are likely to score very well on their graduate exams. </p>

<p>I believe Berkeley has a detailed listing of the law schools to which their undergraduates have been accepted and their respective average GPA and LSAT. And despite Berkeley being a highly regarded school, their numbers indicated that their students' scores hovered around or slightly above the 50th percentile in both categories, thus suggesting that their students were well qualified for these law schools in the first place. I imagine that students at even more highly regarded undergraduate schools would fair even better in these categories. It is this pattern, I would argue, that causes the correlation between prestigious schools and their successful placement at prestigious graduate schools.</p>

<p>Another</a> poli sci ranking</p>

<p>Certainly higher numbers from better places help. The problem is before you enroll the student going to MIT doesn't know if she'll be a 3.9, 3.7, 3.6, 3.5, 3.1, or 2.7 student... Falling into the latter categories may not beat out the Phonix 3.85, but falling in the first 4 categories may... Lots of unkowns.</p>

<p>Unfortunately, neither of have enough information on what a 3.1 at MIT means. While the 3.1, in your example, was not enough to outperform the Phoenix student... maybe a 3.2 or 3.3 or 3.4 would be enough. (There's a place where the difference is too extreme that the school prestige can't fill the gap... I'm just not sure where that is...) If that's the case, then I don't think you can say undergrad school doesn't matter.</p>

<p>Based on my experience, I just think it's wrong to say that law schools don't even look at the name of the school and that a 3.85 from Phoenix is the same as a 3.85 from MIT. </p>

<p>In fact, law schools receive data on the average LSAT score of each school as a way to signal something about the quality of the student body. Several law schools consider those factors. Do they matter as much as they might in some other disciplines? Maybe not. But I think it is misleading advice/misguided as a strategy to attempt gain admission to a top law school by purposefully pursuing weaker undergrad competition/education in the hopes of a higher GPA.</p>

<p>Are there people from lesser ranked schools at Harvard Law? Yes, but they are far outnumbered by people from undergrads from more elite schools.</p>

<p>Now you're stretching my argument. I do not suggest that the prestige of the applicant's undergrad has no influence on admission to law school, and as I previously stated: "[Prestige of undergrad] is a factor, though among many, and it was my mistake if my original post suggested otherwise."</p>

<p>What I am suggesting is that it is a mistake to pick an undergraduate school based on its success with sending its students to top law schools since it is most often, as suggested by the numbers reported by undergraduate schools, the merit of the student alone rather than the prestige of the undergraduate school which garners its students with acceptances to these top law schools. These student did not get into a T14 because they went to an elite school. They are at an elite school because they are intellectually well qualified, and it would follow, should they continue to prove their intellectual ability, that they be intellectually well qualified for a T14 law school. The elite undergrads dominate the T14 because typically, lower ranked undergrads do not boast as strong of a class profile as the elites. But to say that it then follows that elite schools are a contributing factor to a successful application cycle would be to confuse a sufficient condition for a necessary condition.</p>

<p>Take a look at A 3.5/165 from an Ivy will have a very similar cycle to a 3.5/165 from a top 25 undergrad. The same pattern follows throughout the application range. Unless there is a large gap in quality of undergrads between two applicants, the prestige factor makes a slight difference at best, as indicated by interviews with adcomms, the numbers provided by law schools and by undergrad schools, law school admissions calculators, and the massive colllection of cycles available on</p>

<p>Should a student turn down MIT for Phoenix ? That would be absurd, to put it lightly. Does the student at MIT have to work any less dilligently than the Phoenix student for law school admittance ? I think you and I can both agree that regardless of your undergraduate school, it still largely boils down to a numbers game and that the name on your sheepskin is no free pass to any law school. What I would suggest is to attend the highest ranked school which fits your academic needs where you might achieve the greatest balance between quality and academic success.</p>