Scholarships to Study at the 10 Top Universities for Politics in 2019
Included in the QS World University Rankings by Subject is a ranking of the world’s 200 top universities for politics degrees, based on a methodology which assesses each institution on academic and employer reputations among other factors.
With expensive study destinations like the US and the UK dominating the rankings, it can be difficult to find funding. Luckily, we’ve compiled a range of scholarships to study at the 10 top politics schools, which are revealed in reverse order below. You can browse more scholarships to study abroad here, and the full 2019 politics ranking table can be viewed here.
10. Australian National University (ANU)
Ranked 10th for its politics degrees, the Australian National University (ANU) is down slightly this year but is nonetheless consistently the highest-ranked Australian university for this subject, earning its best score for the academic reputation indicator (second in the world).
Annual international fees for its Bachelor of Political Science degree currently stand at AU$41,280 (~US$29,200). For domestic students, the course is a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP), meaning that the government pays part of your fees, and you will only need to pay the student contribution amount (more info here).
While ANU doesn’t currently offer any scholarships specific to politics, it does offer a selection of scholarships, including those specific to studying at the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences (in which politics is housed). Notable scholarships include the Academic Excellence Masters Scholarship, aimed at international students from China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong or Indonesia. You could also check our general list of scholarships to study in Australia.
9. Yale University
Undergraduate tuition fees at Yale stand at US$55,500 for the 2019/20 academic year, and Yale estimates the total cost of studies per year (including room and board and other expenses) at a whopping $75,925. The university’s MA in International Relations/Global Affairs, offered at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, had fees of $42,100 in 2018/19.
Fortunately, Yale is one of the five US universities to offer need-blind admission to all students, both domestic and international, meaning it won’t consider your ability to pay when deciding whether or not to offer you a place, and meets 100 percent of students’ demonstrated financial need, with an average of $52,800 awarded in 2018/19. Read more about financial aid at Yale here.
You can view a list of general scholarships to study in the US here.
8. University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
The University of California, Berkeley (UCB) is ranked eighth among the world’s top universities for politics degrees, again achieving its best score in the citations per faculty indicator.
As of the 2019/20 academic year, undergraduate fees at UCB are $14,184 for Californian residents and $43,176 for out of state students, including international students. At graduate level, fees are $14,132 for Californian students and $30,544 for all other students.
Scholarships on offer from the university’s Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science include the Travers Undergraduate Scholarship in Ethics and Politics, a merit-based scholarship awarding a stipend of $12,000 per year, aimed at all students planning to serve their country or community in a government capacity in the future. There are also numerous general scholarships and graduate fellowships available to study at UCB.
7. Princeton University
Down from third place last year but nonetheless ranking as one of the top 10 political science schools, Princeton University boasts a perfect score for the citations per faculty indicator, making it first in the world for this indicator.
Princeton currently charges $51,870 in undergraduate tuition fees, and it estimates the total yearly cost of attendance at $73,450.
Like Yale, Princeton is need-blind to all students (both domestic and international), allowing all students, regardless of family income, to attend. Students with a family income of $65,000 or less receive full financial aid including tuition, room and board.
Those interested in pursuing predoctoral research might be interested in applying for the Emerging Scholars in Political Science (ESPS) program, which aims to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups in political science PhD programs.
6. Stanford University
Stanford University climbed an impressive 11 spaces in this year’s politics ranking, now placing sixth in the world for this subject and the second-best institution in the US. The university’s department of Political Science pursues research in American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political methodology and political theory.
Tuition fees are currently $52,857 for all undergraduates and $52,479 for graduate politics degree students. The university has a limited amount of financial aid available to international students – so if you think you’ll need aid at any point during your studies, you must state this within your application. As well as using financial aid, many students fund their studies with a loan or part-time job.
5. University of Cambridge
Heading to the UK, the University of Cambridge is ranked fifth in this year’s politics ranking, with a very high score for the employer reputation indicator.
Those wishing to study politics at Cambridge at undergraduate level can expect to pay £9,250 (~€10,700) per year (if they’re a UK/EU student), or £19,197 (~US$25,200) per year (for overseas students). The university’s MPhil in International Relations and Politics costs £16,320 (€18,900) for UK/EU students and £29,220 (~US$38,300) for overseas students, while its PhD in Politics and International Studies costs £8,337 (~€9,660) for UK/EU students and £23,361 (~US$30,700) for overseas students.
Funding is available from sources such as the Cambridge Trust, which awards approximately 500 scholarships every year, and the Gates Cambridge program, which grants awards to outstanding postgraduate applicants from outside the UK. And for PhD students, the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) recently announced that five new merit-based PhD studentships are available, funding a full-time three-year doctoral degree in Politics and International Studies.
More scholarships to study in the UK can be found here.
4. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
A frequent feature at the top of ranking tables for social science subjects, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is ranked fourth among the world’s top universities for politics in 2019.
LSE charges the regular UK/EU fee for its BSc in Politics (£9,250), while the overseas fee was £19,152 (~US$25,150) for the first year in 2018. For its MSc in Global Politics, the 2019/20 will be the same for UK, EU and international students, at £23,328 (~US$30,600). However, the amount of financial aid you’re eligible for varies depending on what fee status you’re classified as.
LSE offers generous financial support in the form of bursaries and scholarships, such as the Kadas Scholarship (aimed at undergraduates from specific European countries), the ICAP Undergraduate Scholarship (which covers the full tuition fees of a student from sub-Saharan Africa), and the LSE Master's Awards (awards ranging from £5,000 to a full award, with preference given to students from low and middle-income families).
3. Sciences Po Paris
Heading to France, Sciences Po is the highest-ranked institution for politics in mainland Europe, earning a perfect score for the academic reputation indicator. This university might be ideal for those looking for an international experience - Sciences Po’s three-year bachelor’s degrees conclude with a year abroad at one of its partner universities, and more than half of students are international.
Tuition fees for undergraduate students in the European Economic Area (EEA) vary from €0 to €10,540 (~US$11,940) depending on your household income, while non-EEA fees are €10,540 per year at undergraduate level and €14,500 (~US$16,400) for master’s programs.
To enable all students to pursue their studies at Sciences Po, the university offers substantial financial aid including the Emile-Boutmy scholarship, open to undergraduate or master’s students from outside the EEA, and the Sciences Po Europe bursary, open to all first-year EU/EEA/Swiss students.
2. University of Oxford
The University of Oxford retains its position of second, and is first among the top universities for politics and international studies in Europe, achieving a perfect score in the ‘H-index’ indicator (which measures the productivity and impact of the publication of a scientist or scholar).
Oxford’s BA in History and Politics degree costs £9,250 per year for UK/EU students and £26,235 (~US$34,450) for overseas students, while the university’s MPhil in Politics costs £17,745 (~€20,600) for UK/EU students and £26,960 (~US$35,400) for overseas students.
Oxford recently announced its intention to increase the bursaries available to students from low-income backgrounds in 2020. You can search for scholarships based on your fee status, study level and year of entry here – many of Oxford’s scholarships will not require a separate application.
1. Harvard University
Concluding our look at the top universities for politics and international studies, Harvard University retains its position of first in the world, receiving a perfect score for the employer reputation indicator. At Harvard, politics degrees are available as government degrees through the Department of Government, and the university also offers a PhD in Political Economy & Government.
For 2018, tuition fees for all undergraduate students were $46,340, and the university estimated yearly total expenses of at least $71,650. Luckily, as with fellow Ivy League schools Yale and Stanford, Harvard is need-blind to all students, both domestic and international. 55 percent of undergraduates therefore receive need-based scholarships, and families with household incomes of $65,000 or less are not expected to contribute anything. International students are eligible for the same amount of financial aid as US students.
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This article was originally published in March 2019 . It was last updated in January 2020