In the national rankings of graduate programs released March 30 by U.S. News and World Report, the Department of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis secured a No. 12 ranking, placing the department’s graduate program among the best in the nation. The recent report marked a seven-point increase for the program from the previous list published by U.S. News and World Report.
Margit Tavits, the William Taussig Professor in Arts & Sciences and chair of political science, was “absolutely ecstatic” to hear about the new ranking. Tavits attributes the graduate program's recognition to both the high quality and productivity of the faculty in political science and the strong graduate training offered. "A majority of our PhDs continue to get good academic jobs as a result, even in the increasingly difficult job market," she said.
According to Tavits, the political science department at WashU stands out nationally for at least two additional reasons. “First, we have had an established and well-recognized reputation in data science, long before most other programs started investing in quantitative social science,” Tavits said. “Second, our department has been able to avoid academic silos and encourages collaboration across specializations within the department and with colleagues in other disciplines. This feeds academic excellence.”
"Our department has been able to avoid academic silos and encourages collaboration across specializations within the department and with colleagues in other disciplines. This feeds academic excellence.”
In addition to the overall No. 12 ranking, multiple specialties within political science earned individual placement in the national rankings: political methodology came in the top ten, at No. 8; American politics, No. 15; comparative politics, No. 18; and international politics, No. 26.
The Department of Political Science tied for the 12th spot with the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and the University of California–Los Angeles. All three programs earned a score of 4.2 on a 5-point scale developed by U.S. News and World Report that is based on a survey of academics at peer institutions. Cornell University and New York University tied for the follow-up spot at No. 15.