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March 29, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

Best Colleges & Universities for Policy Debate: An alternative to US News & World Report Rankings

Best Colleges and Universities for Policy Debate

Malcomb Gladwell recently critiqued the US News & World Report rankings. Here is a ranking based on recruiters who make actual decisions regarding hiring when you graduate from school (aka from the horses mouth). You can read about the methodology and the results by clicking the link. If Ive missed something, feel free to a leave a comment. Michigan, Berkeley, Northwestern, and NYU seem to come out fairly consistently at the top. Surprisingly, the University of Minnesota does quite well. Also Georgetown, Columbia, and the University of Illinois do quite well on a number of lists in specific majors.

Unfortunately, government, nonprofits, education, and law are not featured.


University of Michigan (6)
Cornell University (7)
University of Minnesota (10)
Berkeley (12)
Cal Poly (18) Assuming Cal Poly SLO = Cal Poly State
West Virginia (23)
Arizona State University (24)

Illinois (Champaign) (4)
MIT (8)
Stanford (11)


University of Michigan (1)
Harvard (4)
Berkeley (6)
Northwestern (8)
Univ. Illinois at Champaign (10)
Columbia (13)
NYU (14)
Stanford (16)
Arizona State (19)
Cal Poly (22)
University of Florida (23)
Georgetown (25)

Liberal Arts

Georgetown (1)
NYU (3)


Michigan (1)
NYU (2)
Berkeley (3)
Minnesota (11)
Florida (12)
Columbia (13)


Northwestern (1)
Berkeley (3)
University of Minnesota (4)
NYU (6)
U of Michigan (7)

Computer Science

Berkeley (2)
University of Michigan (3)
MIT (6)
Illinois-Champaign (9)


University of Minnesota (4)
University of Michigan (6)
Berkeley (8)
NYU (11)

If for whateve reason, this ranking isn’t helpful (for instance your intended major isn’t listed) and still you want to use the US News and World Report Rankings you can find them here. Actually, more important in some ways is the cross reference of top policy schools with the US News & World Report data (just click the link to read).

Here is the summary of top policy teams ranked via US News & World Report survey data:

1) Harvard
2) Dartmouth
3) Northwestern
4) Cornell
5) Emory
5) Vanderbilt
7) Berkeley
8] Georgetown
9) University of Southern California
10) University of Michigan
11) Wake Forest
12) NYU
13) Boston College
14) University of Rochester
15) Case Western (I believe they still have a team…I honestly don’t know)
16) University of Florida
16) University of Texas.

I’m sure you can investigate individual offerings yourself.


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