WU political science department ranks 7th in nation

Kathleen White | Staff Reporter

Washington University’s political science department and government program was ranked 7th out of 598 programs nationwide by College Factual.

The University’s political science program was ranked a top 10 program by College Factual, a source of college data analytics and insights, which recently published its 2018 rankings. The University’s program was also ranked first out of 12 programs in Missouri for the second year in a row.

The ranking was determined based on a variety of factors, including education quality, average earnings of graduates and accreditation.

According to James Spriggs, chair of the University’s political science department, the department is one of the best in the nation due to its world-class faculty.

“The department has built an undergraduate major that provides the tools necessary for students to succeed as citizens and professionals,” Spriggs said. “We do so by offering courses that ensure students can think theoretically about important questions, as well as answer those questions using rigorous social science research methods.”

In addition to the faculty, some students believe the strength of the political science program lies in the courses available to students.

“For the major, you have to take a minimum of a few classes in different subject areas with American politics, international, comparative, political theory, political methodology all that sorts of stuff,” freshman and political science major Arik Wolk said. “Because there’s so much variety in each semester with the classes that are offered, it really gives students a more holistic view of the world of politics.”

Political science major and freshman Nathan Card believes that the department deserves its top 10 recognition.

“Political science doesn’t always get the credit it deserves on Wash. U.’s campus, but it’s a surprisingly large department and the professors are high key very accomplished in their respective subfields,” Card said. “It’s awesome to know that our department excels on the national stage and that political science majors will be well prepared for their respective careers.”

Spriggs believes the undergraduate experience in the University’s political science department sets it apart from other schools.

“We train students to think like social scientists, coupling knowledge of theories of how the political world works with an understanding of research design and methods for testing theories. This training provides students with the tools necessary to succeed in the age of big data,” Spriggs said.

According to Spriggs, the political science department is committed to growing and improving their program further.

“We will continue to refine our undergraduate major to ensure students get the best possible educational experience,” Spriggs said.

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