U.S. News & World Report has once again named graduate schools and programs at the University of California San Diego among the best in the nation. Released today, the 2022 Best Graduate Schools rankings gave high marks to the campus’s graduate education in political science and the Jacobs School of Engineering, among other professional schools and programs on campus.
COMMITMENT TO ACTION
As we look toward 2021 with great hope, the Department of Political Science remains committed to the core mission that has guided our actions throughout a challenging 2020. We have worked to support our students by delivering courses through remote instruction and in outdoor tent classrooms, to serve our university and community by providing informative forums on public affairs, to contribute to our discipline through path-breaking research, and to continue to foster an inclusive department culture. Some of the key areas we’d like to highlight include:
- To adapt to the pandemic, our faculty, lecturers, and graduate instructors are changing not only where they teach but how they teach, striving to leverage technology to create more opportunities for active learning and to connect with students in new ways. Our department also launched a new major in the fall in Race, Ethnicity, and Politics at the same time that we continue to expand enrollment and course offerings for our B.S. in Data Analytics, the first program of its kind at any UC. Our Law and Politics Initiative is offering new classes to prepare students for successful law and public affairs careers, holding career-planning events for students, connecting them to internships supported with stipends, and advising them on post-graduate applications through the leadership of our new director, Maysa Nichter.
- During a complex and critical election season, our scholars provided data-driven research to help inform the public discussion about how to administer elections in the nation and in our state during a pandemic. We also organized a mayoral issues forum, broadcast on KPBS, that brought together the two candidates in the San Diego mayor race to address the city’s policy challenges in depth. After the November election, our faculty shared their expertise with the entire campus community at two university post-election information sessions.
- Our faculty and PhD students continue to publish influential work in top journals and in books from leading academic presses. You can learn more about some of these projects, as well as the courses that explore these topics in greater depth, through the research summaries of UCSD work on social media and political action and on racial and ethnic politics. Many of our faculty also lead centers that bring together research teams and connect their scholarship to the policy realm and community needs through research centers including the US Immigration Policy Center, the Center on Peace and Security Studies, and the Center for Global Justice.
- In order to accelerate progress toward creating an inclusive culture, our new Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has brought together undergraduate and graduate students with faculty and staff leaders to make concrete proposals in the areas of department culture, recruitment and retention, mentorship, and curriculum. We have co-sponsored events organized by the Associated Students this year featuring speakers such as Angela Davis and Kimberle Crenshaw and are planning additional events. This summer, for the fifth year we hosted our HBCU/STARS Summer Research Program, which brings in students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to hone, expand, and deepen their academic research skills, and are thrilled that three alumnae of these programs are now enriching our graduate program.
Cutting-edge Tools to Change the Political World
Our department combines world-class research with an innovative and intensive approach to teaching undergraduates and PhD students.
Founded in 1974, we are by far the youngest of the globe’s top departments – we are rated as the #7 program by the National Research Council, #9 by US News and World Report, and #6 in the London School of Economics and Political Science rankings.
UC San Diego Political Science took its place among our ivy-covered peers not by following their traditions but carving out our own paths, helping to change the way that our discipline approaches the study of the political world.
We bring the same passion for non-tradition into our classrooms, where we try to provide our students with courses on subjects they never knew existed, assignments that challenge them to perform professional-level work, and research tools they can use to explore their own questions.
We offer a general political science major along with seven areas of concentration - American politics, comparative politics, data analytics, international relations, political theory, public law, and public policy.
Our full-time doctoral program is consistently recognized as one of the top ten programs in the nation. 15-20 new graduate students enter the program each year, spending an average of five years earning the PhD.
Tom Wong Earns the 2021 ACLU Presidential Prize
Associate Professor Tom Wong has been selected as the recipient of the 2021ACLU Presidential Prize. The ACLU established its Presidential Prize in 2013, which is given biannually to a full-time academic in any discipline for outstanding contributions to civil liberties, either during the period preceding the award or for a lifetime contribution. President of the ACLU, Professor Deborah N. Archer at NYU, shares, “The 2021 ACLU Award Selection Committee chose you [Tom] for this honor because of your significant contribution to research on immigration, not only as a matter of advancing academic scholarship in this area, but also for the major impact your research has had in policymaking and litigation. You have made an enormous difference, and we are delighted to honor your work...it is no exaggeration to say that your scholarship has made outstanding contributions towards the better understanding of civil rights and civil liberties issues, enabling organizations like the ACLU to do advocacy work and effect change.”