The Department of Political Science at Virginia Tech has been identified as one of the top-20 programs in the country with regards to return on investment for its undergraduate majors

Virginia Tech was ranked 13th by a website aimed at helping students find affordable college options. Students who graduate from these programs earn more over their lifetimes, on average, than political science graduates from other institutions, after subtracting tuition and fees.

AffordableCollegesOnline, or AC Online, calculated that Virginia Tech students majoring in political science averaged a 30-year return on investment of $763,700.  

“This national ranking affirms the quality of our college’s excellent and affordable education in liberal arts disciplines, like political science, here in Blacksburg,” said Tim Luke, chair of the Department of Political Science. “With its excellent faculty, rigorous academic courses, and this high ROI factor, Virginia Tech’s political science undergraduate programs should be high on the list of all students and families who are carefully considering how they invest in higher education in today’s difficult economic times.”

Given this ranking, it is no surprise that the political science department with its two undergraduate majors in international studies and political science also has had the largest undergraduate group of majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences over the last 10 years.

AC Online had this to say about political science at Virginia Tech:

“Studies in the political science degree at Virginia Tech cover political systems, processes, and governance for careers in diverse fields. Students can expand their involvement in the department by participating in internships, study abroad, honor societies, and Model UN, among other opportunities.”

AC Online used the following criteria to pinpoint the nation’s top political science programs:

  • Total weighted cost (provided by Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System)

  • 30-year Net ROI (provided by

  • Four-year degree-granting institution
  • Fully accredited institution

  • Must offer political science at the undergraduate level
  • Private, for-profit institutions excluded



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