University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Political Science Department Among Nation's Best for Highest Return On Investment

The University of Vermont has been recognized for having one of the top 20 political science departments with the highest lifetime return on investment by AffordableCollegesOnline.org in its list of “Best Colleges for Political Science Majors.”

UVM’s No. 6 ranking means that only students who graduate from the political science departments at Stanford, The College of William and Mary, The University of California-San Diego, James Madison and the University of Oklahoma earn more over their lifetimes, on average, after subtracting tuition and fees.

“Ours has long been a department of cutting-edge research scholars who are deeply committed to excellent undergraduate teaching,” said Robert Bartlett, Gund Professor of Liberal Arts and chair of the Political Science Department. “We expect a lot from our students, who get the best of both a great research university in terms of exposure to world-class researchers and a great liberal arts college, with attention from full-time professors who really care about teaching. The curriculum of our department and college prepares them to do well in a wide variety of careers after they graduate from UVM.”

The brief description of UVM accompanying the rankings says students balance a rigorous academic life with the placid surroundings of Lake Champlain and two mountain ranges. “Undergraduate political science students get all the attention from faculty, as the department focuses exclusively on the bachelor’s degree. The instructors in the department create unique and groundbreaking research, like one professor’s book on how the Harry Potter series influenced the political ideals of the Millennial generation.”

The rankings were based on several factors including total weighted cost provided by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and 30-year net return on investment (ROI) by PayScale.com. ROI is the incremental lifetime earnings of a political science major as a result of earning a college degree minus the cost of the education. Data sets from the National Center for Education Statistics and the Carnegie Classification, a framework widely used in the study of higher education, were also used.