Top Schools for Social Policy

According to the US News & World Report's Public Affairs Specialty Rankings in Social Policy (2009 edition), Harvard tops the list of best social policy programs in the US, followed by University of Michigan--Ann Arbor (2nd) and University of Wisconsin--Madison (3rd). Other institutions ranked in the Top 10 include Syracuse University (=4th), University of Chicago (=4th), UC Berkeley (6th), New York University (7th), Duke (8th), UT Austin (9th), Princeton (=10th) and University of Southern California (=10th).

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University offers a PhD degree in either Government and Social Policy or Sociology and Social Policy (http://www.gsas.harvard.edu/programs_of_study/social_policy.php). Candidates in both doctoral degree programs are expected to choose a field specialization. Six topical areas are available:
(1) work, wages, and the marketplace
(2) neighborhoods and spatial segregation
(3) family structures and parental roles
(4) immi­gration, race, and labor market segregation
(5) education and inequality
(6) historical and comparative social policy

In the UK the top three schools for Social Policy and Administration are Bristol (1st), London School of Economic (2nd) and Cardiff (3rd), according to the Guardian University Subject League Tables 2010. Other institutions ranked in the Top 10 include Bath (=4th), Leeds (=4th), Birmingham (6th), York (7th), Nottingham (8th), Glasgow (9th) and Loughborough (10th).

The School for Policy Studies at Bristol University is ranked top in the UK. The School also achieved excellent result in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, ranked 4th out of 66 UK institutions in the field of Social Policy and Social Work based on the Research Power ranking (a measure that takes account of both the quality and quantity of research activity). In the RAE 2001 the School received a grade of 5 and placed among the top six Social Policy departments in the country.

The Department of Social Policy at LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science) is ranked second top in the Guardian League Table. In the RAE 2008 LSE is rated top for research in Social Policy, whether ranked by grade point average or by the percentage of research receiving the top 4* grade, with 50% of its research recognised as world-leading, and 100% graded at international level.

Cardiff University is ranked in the Top 3 nationally for Social Policy and Administration programs. In the RAE 2008 Cardiff School of Social Sciences has 55% of research work graded as either “world leading” or “internationally excellent”, together with the size of the School, putting it among the top five centres in the UK. the School offers the following Honours degree programmes:
- BSc Econ Social Policy
- BSc Econ Education and Social Policy
- BSc Econ Social Policy and Criminology
- BSc Econ Social Policy and Sociology

* Suggested Reading:

Best Social Work Programs

Top Political Science Departments

Best Historical Sociology Programs