Skip to content
March 22, 2010 / compassioninpolitics

Top Universities with NDT/CEDA Debate Teams

Top Intercollegiate Debate Programs by the Academic Ranking by the US News Ranking System
I’ve included this for rising juniors and seniors who have competed in Lincoln Douglas Debate or policy debate and are interested in competing in NDT/CEDA style policy debate in college. Here are the top debate schools who compete in NDT/CEDA debate based on US News Rankings. In other words, I’ve cross-referenced existing policy debate programs who compete in CEDA/NDT with the US News and World Report Ranking system for 2010. If I have left any debate school or program off the list, feel free to leave a comment in the comments section.

I also highly suggest reading the article by Al Louden on the subject of high school college debate recruiting:

1) Harvard University
(Ranked 1 by US News)
2) Dartmouth College
(Ranked 11 by US News)
3) Northwestern University
(Ranked 12 by US News)
4) Cornell University
(Ranked 15 by US News)
5) Emory University
(Ranked 17 by US News–Tied)
5) Vanderbilt University
(Ranked 17 by US News–Tied)
7) Berkeley
(Ranked 21 by US News)
8] Georgetown University
(Ranked 23 by US News)
9) University of Southern California
(Ranked 26 by US News)
10) University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
(Ranked 27 by US News)
11) Wake Forest University
(Ranked 28 by US News)
12) New York University
(Ranked 32 by US News)
13) Boston College
(Ranked 34 by US News)
14) University of Rochester
(Ranked 35 by US News)
15) Case Western University
(Ranked 41 by US News)
16) University of Florida
(Ranked 47 by US News–Tied)
16) University of Texas
(Ranked 47 by US News–Tied)

You may also want to check out the opportunities at top law and political science programs. For more about CEDA Debate, feel free to visit CEDA You can also find out about NDT rankings at the NDT Sweepstakes page.

Its also important to note that the US News and World Report rankings are imperfect–however they are a nice starting point for anyone looking to get an idea of the top universities overall or in a particular major or even in a particular geographic region. As such, remember they are just a starting point… Happy college searching.


Leave a Comment
  1. AG / Apr 6 2010 2:44 pm


  2. compassioninpolitics / Apr 7 2010 7:11 pm

    To my knowledge Yale does not have an NDT/CEDA program but rather a parlimentary debate program.

    If this is in error, feel free to correct me.

  3. Kurt / May 18 2010 5:10 pm

    Columbia has a CEDA Team

  4. compassioninpolitics / May 18 2010 8:57 pm

    I left off Indiana University (just launched or re-launched as the case may be), Kansas University, and Illinois University (not sure if they are still around)

    Here is a full list of participating programs which may help you narrow your search:

    Remember to check out department specific programs, professors, and rankings.

    Getting a college degree is no longer about the degree per se–but more about the professional and work experiences you have had (internships, special programs/competitions, volunteering) and the network you’ve built. The reputation of your department and institution come into play as well–as professional recruiters from the Fortune 500 decide which schools to focus on.

    I would take classes–not so much based on the departmental requirements–you have to go beyond that and take classes which will give you skill sets which will be leveraged in the 21st century economy.

  5. compassioninpolitics / May 18 2010 9:08 pm

    For instance, if you want to be involved in social change you want to be where the action is (NYC, Boston, San Fran, and Washington DC).

    Also, there are lots of ways to be involved in social change:
    1) government–so public policy administration/public policy management
    2) urban planning
    3) teaching at the high school or college levels
    4) nonprofit mangagement and nonprofit communications
    5) being a lawyer (in particular areas of social good and social change)
    6) being involved with social enterprises (for profit businesses with non-profit ends)
    7) working with philanthropic foundations
    8] social work
    9) green business & technology
    10) product and system design to solve social problems
    11) management and leadership skills from business or an MBA
    12) scientific researcher, dietician, or career consultant….the list goes on.

    Figure out how your vision of social change will mesh with the needs of the community when you get out. What skills are businesses looking for? How can you prove yourself to employers when you get out?

    As college degrees spread the race for skills acquisition increases and the need to stand out from the crowd does as well.

  6. Nathan Ketsdever / May 18 2010 10:14 pm

    Here is a list of top graduate public policy programs–which may be of interest to former debaters who have spent so much time theorizing and strategizing about government and urban policy:

  7. best graduate business schools / Oct 11 2010 2:54 am

    Yey! Harvard on top again, I think that the best graduate business schools around are the ones that have former students who made it big and contributed to social changes that the media covers. You are right when you said that the networks that you build or your school builds have a strong impact on the possibility of getting work.

    I think that more recruiters are now looking on the practical skills including – communication, interpersonal, leadership skills and working experiences as basis on filling up vacant positions. Taking up one’s postgraduate course however, one should consider its relevance to one’s B.A degree.

  8. compassioninpolitics / Nov 28 2016 3:49 am

    I would point out that the list I used for this was from 2010, although this list doesn’t seem to change a lot over the years, with universities going up 2 or 3 or reducing 2 or 3.

    I would be worth checking out the most recent list on US News and World Reports.


  1. Best Colleges & Universities for Policy Debate: An alternative to US News & World Report Rankings « Compassion in Politics: Christian Social Entrepreneurship, Education Innovation, & Base of the Pyramid/BOP Solutions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: