A handful of top universities crank out most of the nations’ political science faculty … Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Michigan, to be precise.
Last year, a study in Georgetown Public Policy Review exposed the extent to which a relatively small number of graduate programs in political science dominate placement in Ph.D.-granting departments., reports InsideHigher Ed.
“The study looked at the 116 universities ranked by U.S. News & World Report for political science graduate programs, and examined where all of the tenure-track or tenured faculty members earned their doctorates. The top four institutions in the magazine’s rankings of departments — Harvard, Princeton and Stanford Universities and the University of Michigan — were the Ph.D. alma maters of 616 of the political scientists at the 116 universities (roughly 20 percent of the total). The top 11 institutions were collectively responsible for the doctoral education of about half of those in tenured or tenure-track positions at the 116 universities.
“On Saturday, the author of that study — Robert L. Oprisko of Butler University — presented expanded findings here at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. The paper argues not only that some departments may have more historical dominance but that others may be on the rise right now (judging from the number of assistant professors they have placed). While Oprisko is critical of a system that seems to place so much emphasis on Ph.D. pedigree, he also argues that this information needs wider circulation to help would-be graduate students make informed choices. (Oprisko earned his Ph.D. at Purdue University, not one of the dominant institutions). The paper — also by Kirstie L. Dobbs of Loyola University Chicago and Joseph DiGrazia of Indiana University — may be found at the website of the Social Science Research Network. Continue reading “Who makes political scientists”