Top stand alone masters degrees?

<p>WHich are generally the best schools for terminal/stand alone masters degrees in Political science/government or (maybe International relations)?</p>

<p>Columbia's program (School of International and Public Affairs) has to be up there. John Hopkins (School of Advanced International Studies) and Georgetown (School of Foreign Service) are the other two that immediately come to mind.</p>

<p>Georgetown is #1 I think for international relations, then JHU.</p>

<p>Top 20 for IR (according to Foreign Policy):</p>

<ol>
<li>Georgetown</li>
<li>Johns Hopkins</li>
<li>Harvard</li>
<li>Tufts</li>
<li>Columbia</li>
<li>Princeton</li>
<li>George Washington</li>
<li>American</li>
<li>Denver</li>
<li>Syracuse</li>
<li>UCSD</li>
<li>Chicago</li>
<li>Yale</li>
<li>Stanford</li>
<li>Pittsburgh</li>
<li>UC Berkeley</li>
<li>Maryland</li>
<li>MIT</li>
<li>Monterey</li>
<li>USC</li>
</ol>

<p>For poli sci in general, my assumption would be that the general school lineup looks similar, though the actual rankings must be different.</p>

<p>Those rankings have been discussed at great length...for the most part, I think one can conclude that the methodology for them is pretty flawed. I'd say, after reading an endless amount of forums on the topic, that the programs are generally regarded as such:</p>

<p>Top of the Top Tier (in no particular order):
Johns Hopkins SAIS
Georgetown SFS</p>

<p>Rest of the Top Tier (also in no particular order):
Tufts Fletcher, Columbia SIPA
Harvard KSG, Princeton WWS (they're both more public policy focused, and therefore somewhat different from SAIS/SFS/SIPA/Tufts)</p>

<p>Second Tier:
GWU and American
Then UCSD, Denver, Syracuse</p>

<p>I think U. of Chicago and Yale are both great programs (particularly the latter, which is just as difficult to get into as Princeton, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, etc.), but they're generally thought of as having a different (i.e. academic) focus than the other major IR programs. So, even though they're ranked 12 or 13 on that list, I'd say they would be much, much higher up for anyone who is focused on following up their masters in IR with a PhD. I'd even go out on a limb and say that Yale is probably the top program for anyone who wants to eventually get a PhD in Political Science, as it's research-heavy, students take courses with PhD students, and the smaller size allows students far better exposure to professors than most, if not all, of the other IR programs.</p>

<p>Beyond that, other lower-ranked schools are better in different specialties. For example, UCSD is really strong in East Asia, etc. So...I suppose discerning the best IR programs is a bit more complex than a strict ranking system.</p>

<p>Sadly, the listing kigali posted is pretty much the only ranking system IR programs have.</p>

<p>Decidedfactor, you're absolutely right, but the OP asked for terminal programs, in which case I would assume that they're interested in pursuing a career that would (presumably) start during the last stretch of their MA run and last past graduation, eventually landing them a solid job in their chosen field, which would mean that a strong alumni network, proximity to employers and so forth are all very important. It's my understanding that the top 8 in the FP list are better springboards for "applied" (non-academic) careers. I do understand that there are flaws in the methodology, of course.</p>

<p>Good point. I guess I got ahead of myself...whoops. :-)</p>

<p>That said, I think it's advisable to look at those top 8 in "tiers," as opposed to ranking them sequentially 1 through 8 (given the flawed methodology as we've mentioned).</p>

<p>Oh, of course! A lot of factors come into play here - what the OP would like to study, where they'd like to work, what sort of region/relations they'd like to focus on... All in all, though, that top-20 list, whatever its flaws, is a good place to start when researching programs and what they offer.</p>

<p>Thanks all, </p>

<p>I've noticed that the rankings you gave me were mostly for IR and MPP degrees, anyone know of any reputable terminal MAs in Government (known in some schools as Political Science or Politics). </p>

<p>Thanks again</p>