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Political Science graduate program ranked number one

By Charlie King-Hagen
Communications Student Writer

The political science graduate program in the College of Arts & Sciences at Kansas State University has been ranked the number one program in the nation for its faculty support and career support.

The rankings, provided by GraduatePrograms.com, a student-rated website, underscore the efforts that have gone into making a strong graduate program.

"These rankings are a testament to the tremendous dedication of our faculty and the effort that they pour into graduate education,” said Jeffrey Pickering, political science department head. “This outcome also underscores the value of the graduate education that we provide, and that recognition of our program is growing.”

Through scholarship entries and social media usage, GraduatePrograms.com reached out to current and recent graduate students from over 1,300 political science programs across the country. The graduate students were asked to rank and review their universities based on 15 criteria, including career support, faculty support, and quality of network. Ratings were based upon a 10-point scale, with 10 points signifying a perfect score.

Between Sept. 1, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2012, GraduatePrograms.com received over 40,000 responses from graduate students. Once reviews and information had been compiled, GraduatePrograms.com released the information online, with K-State being recognized for the quality of its faculty and career support.

“The rankings rightly point out the type of support we provide to graduate students both during their graduate programs and after they graduate," said Pickering.

In the category of career support, K-State’s political science program received a 9.910 ranking.

“As an alumni of Kansas State political science department, I am delighted to learn of the department’s national ranking,” said Orlandrew Danzell, former K-State political science graduate student and current assistant professor at Mercyhurst University. Danzell believed the strong theoretical and methodological training he received has allowed him to compete with candidates from highly touted political science programs.

“Dr. Pickering, Dr. Kisangani, and Dr. Long provided me with the kind of professional mentorship that was so impactful, that today I am also a university professor,” Danzell said.

In the category of faculty support, the political science program received a 8.410 ranking.

“The Professors in the department are not only well-respected scholars in their fields, but also wonderful instructors and mentors,” said Melia Pfannenstiel, a graduate of the program. Pfannenstiel received her bachelor’s degree at a smaller liberal arts school and felt that she her transition to a larger research university was a smooth one.

“I attribute this to the friendly, collegial atmosphere of the department,” she said. “I always found professors to be approachable and I consistently received the necessary assistance and guidance to be successful as a graduate student.”