<p>I know that this may sound stupid, but between Harvard, George Washington University, and Georgetown, which has the best political science department? I'm only going to be a Sophomore, so I have three years to think about it- but if I'm going Harvard, then I can't be satisfied with 4's on my AP Exams because I would need 5's to achieve Advanced Standing. However, since Georgetown and George Washington are closer to the capitol (And therefore would have great internships), wouldn't they provide the better experience for someone who wants to go into the political field? I have read up on it, consulted multiple websites, and have spent time on their websites, and I just can't choose. Help?</p>
<p>Harvard students have no problem landing great internships. Any of the three would be good.</p>
<p>There is no reliable ranking for most undergraduate departments.
There are several rankings for graduate programs. Some people assume that having a strong graduate program indicates the undergraduate program must be pretty good, too. In my opinion this is a reasonable assumption, as long as the overall undergraduate school appears to be strong by other measures (rankings, average class sizes, student satisfaction, etc.)</p>
<p>Here are two rankings of graduate Political Science programs:
Rankings</a> - Political Science - Graduate Schools - Education - US News and World Report
[NRC</a> Rankings in Political Science<a href="the%20latter%20may%20be%20quite%20out%20of%20date">/url</a></p>
<p>Again, these are graduate department rankings. The US News ranking is based solely on peer assessments (the opinions of deans, program directors, and senior faculty). The NRC-95 ranking also was a peer assessment. These rankings presumably reflect opinions about well-known faculty at each school, based largely on the quality and volume of their scholarly publications in peer-reviewed journals (probably not based on their impact if any while holding government office).</p>
<p>Georgetown and GW do much better in assessments of International Relations programs conducted by Foreign Policy magazine.
([url=<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inside_the_Ivory_Tower%5DInside">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inside_the_Ivory_Tower]Inside</a> the Ivory Tower - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia](<a href="http://www.stat.tamu.edu/%7Ejnewton/nrc_rankings/area39.html%5DNRC">http://www.stat.tamu.edu/~jnewton/nrc_rankings/area39.html))</p>
<p>Academics aside, for government-related internships a DC location is convenient but Harvard students are not at a loss for opportunities either. The comparative pros and cons may depend somewhat on what you mean when you say you want to "go into the political field". If you want to run for President, Georgetown is good but statistically, you'll probably have better luck with a Harvard degree :) Of course, getting into Harvard will depend on much, much more than your score on a couple of AP exams. After discounting for "hooks" (legacies, URMs, top athletes, celebrities, children of major donors etc) the true admit rate for unhooked applicants probably is about 5% or less; most of those rejected are well qualified.</p>
<p>Duke has a great poli-sci UG program.</p>