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October 30, 2011 / compassioninpolitics

Top Policy Debate Programs at State Universities

1. University of California–Berkeley
2. UCLA
3. University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
4. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
5. University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
6. College of William and Mary (Williamsburg Virginia)
7. Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA
8. University of San Diego
9. University of California–Davis
10. U Cal-Santa Barbara
10. University of Wisconsin–Madison (I may be wrong about this one)
14. Penn State University–University Park
13. UC Irvine
13. University of Texas–Austin
17. Ohio State Columbus
17. Maryland–College Park
19. Texas A & M
19. University of Florida
19. University of Pittsburg
23. Purdue
23. University of Georgia
25. Clemson
25. Rutgers
25. Minnesota
28. Michigan State University
28. University of Iowa
28. Virginia Tech
31. Colorado School of Mines (?)
31. University of Indiana–Bloomington (recently added)

Political Science Rankings for State Schools

1. University of Michigan
2. Berkeley

3. University of California–San Diego
4. UCLA
5. University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
6. Wisconsin
7. Ohio State
8. University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
9. University of Illinois–Urbana Champaign
10. University of Texas–Austin
11. Texas A & M
12. UC Davis
13. University of Indiana
14. University of Washington
15. Michigan State
16. Penn State University
17. Maryland–College Park
18. SUNY
19. University of Iowa
20. University of Virginia

Here is the original ranking list. Also, a number of these that aren’t highlighted may have parli teams….

If you want to get more specific, check the grad school rankings (which can help you assess a given department)
Engineering
Science
Business
Computer Science
Social Science
Economics
Political Science
Political Affairs

If you’ve already picked a school that is perfect for you….great. Fantastic.

Second, this is not an admonition to pick your school only on its ranking, but rather a filter to help focus your search on schools which have a reputation for academic excellence and research (at a minimum they probably deserve to be on your radar). That can also help you seek out the universities which have robust student activities and groups around your chosen major–opportunities which can help you stand out when looking for that first internship or job in your chosen career path.

Third and finally, you may have decided that college debate is not for you. There are obviously arguments on both sides of this question.

I hope this helps open up in a good way your college search–especially if you are already looking at public universities.

Here is the original……………………………………..which is less accurate, but still helpful in some respects (UCLA doesn’t have a program–despite being on a list that they do–and UCLA should be ranked higher). I also encourage you to read the blurbs if you are a high school debater looking for a public university.

Despite the idealism you may or may not have been fed, where you go to school makes a difference–especially in your first 3 to 5 years out of school. All college degrees are not created alike. All college campuses are not alike….especially in the eyes of recruiters who are making the decisions about hiring when you graduate. Also, it just makes sense for social and long term economic reasons to go to a school with smart people and accomplished professors:

This is a list of top state schools who are good at policy debate….(see below for how I complied the list)

1) University of California at Berkeley
2) University of Michigan
3) University of Texas
4) Tie: University of Indiana
Michigan State University (MSU probably has an edge, particularly in engineering & the sciences)
5) Tie: University of Wisconsin
University of Georgia
University of Kansas
University of Minnesota
Arizona State University
George Mason University (in Virginia outside DC)
UCLA
University of Florida
University of Iowa
6) Tie: University of Massachusetts
University of Pittsburg
University of Kentucky
University of Oregon
University of Oklahoma
7) Tie:UT Dallas
University of North Texas
San Diego State
and a handful of CSU programs.

This is based on a vague idea of academic research & reputation (loosely based on the US News and World Report Rankings as well as research institutions). Its arguable that there is significant overlap in the middle…especially given different majors available.

Here is a comprehensive list of NDT/CEDA programs.

You’ve been in the education system for 12 years now…given that….invest in a school which will be worth 4 years of your time. You don’t want to go to a school which is just a mater of jumping through hoops….or you will be doing just that….jumping through hoops. Where you go to school if far, far, far more important than how many rounds you won, how many tournaments you won, or how many TOC bids you managed to scrape together. These 4 years can be challenging and fun….or easy and boring.

For those of you who disagree with the list….its a method of increasing transparency in what is a pretty important life decision. I’m trying to help people optimize 4 years of their life….and beyond. If you have an issue with the rankings themselves…feel free to take issue with US News and World Report specifically.

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