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2021 Best International Relations & National Security Schools

226 Colleges
$38,051 Avg Salary
$28,099 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best International Relations & National Security School for You

In 2018-2019, 15,207 people earned a degree or certificate in international relations and national security, making the major the #77 most popular in the United States.

There are so many programs in today's world that it can tough to figure out which one is the right one for you. Along with traditional schools that require in-person attendence, you can attend one of many reputable online schools. Some programs even offer a hybrid experience. Alternatively, you may choose a trade school that prepares you to enter the workforce with knowledge in a specific field.

The Best International Relations & National Security Schools ranking is one of many tools that Course Advisor has developed to help you make your educational decision. Our analysis looked at 226 schools in the United States to see which programs offered the best educational experiences for students.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best International Relations & National Security Schools in the United States

The following schools top our list of the Best International Relations & National Security Colleges.

Top 25 Top Schools in International Relations

#1

Claremont McKenna College

Claremont, CA

Our 2021 rankings named Claremont McKenna College the best school in the United States for international relations and national security students. Located in the large suburb of Claremont, Claremont McKenna is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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#2

Pomona College

Claremont, CA

Out of the 226 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Pomona College landed the # 2 spot on the list. Pomona is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Claremont.

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#3

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

A rank of #3 on this year’s list means Stanford University is a great place for international relations and national security students. Located in the suburb of Stanford, Stanford is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population.

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#4

Duke University

Durham, NC

Out of the 226 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Duke University landed the # 4 spot on the list. Duke is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Durham.

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#5

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of Pennsylvania. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best International Relations & National Security Schools list. UPenn is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Philadelphia.

After completing their degree, international relations graduates from UPenn carry an average student debtload of $18,573. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $193, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#6

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Yale University landed the #6 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best international relations and national security programs. Yale is a large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of New Haven.

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#7

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Harvard University landed the #7 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best international relations and national security programs. Harvard is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Cambridge.

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#8

Colgate University

Hamilton, NY

Colgate University landed the #8 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best international relations and national security programs. Colgate is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Hamilton.

International Relations majors at Colgate take out an average of $16,274 in student loans while working on their egree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $169, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#9

Brown University

Providence, RI

Brown University ranked #9 on this year’s Best International Relations & National Security Schools list. Located in the city of Providence, Brown is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population.

While working on their degree, international relations majors at Brown accumulate an average of around $15,500 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $161.

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#10

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for international relations and national security students. It came in at #10 on the list. Located in the large city of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population.

On average, international relations graduates from Johns Hopkins take out $42,946 in student loans while working on their degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $490, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#11

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Northwestern University ranked #11 on this year’s Best International Relations & National Security Schools list. Located in the city of Evanston, Northwestern U is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

International Relations majors at Northwestern U take out an average of $14,800 in student loans while working on their egree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $154, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#12

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Georgetown University landed the #12 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best international relations and national security programs. Georgetown is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Washington.

The average amount in student loans that international relations majors at Georgetown take out is $41,298. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $472.

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#13

Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT

Middlebury College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for international relations and national security students. It came in at #13 on the list. Located in the town of Middlebury, Middlebury is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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#14

Rice University

Houston, TX

With a ranking of #14, Rice University did quite well on this year’s best schools for international relations and national security students. Rice is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Houston.

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#15

Tufts University

Medford, MA

Tufts University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for international relations and national security students. It came in at #15 on the list. Located in the suburb of Medford, Tufts is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

International Relations majors at Tufts take out an average of $36,338 in student loans while working on their egree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $413, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#16

Hamilton College

Clinton, NY

Hamilton College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for international relations and national security students. It came in at #16 on the list. Located in the medium-sized suburb of Clinton, Hamilton is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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#17

Saint Anselm College

Manchester, NH

With a ranking of #17, Saint Anselm College did quite well on this year’s best schools for international relations and national security students. Located in the medium-sized suburb of Manchester, St. Anselm College is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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With a ranking of #18, The University of Texas at Austin did quite well on this year’s best schools for international relations and national security students. UT Austin is a very large public school located in the city of Austin.

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Columbia University in the City of New York came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Best International Relations & National Security Schools ranking. Located in the city of New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population.

While working on their degree, international relations majors at Columbia accumulate an average of around $83,000 in student debt. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $967, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#20

Norwich University

Northfield, VT

Norwich University ranked #20 on this year’s Best International Relations & National Security Schools list. Located in the town of Northfield, Norwich is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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#21

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA

University of Virginia - Main Campus landed the #21 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best international relations and national security programs. Located in the small suburb of Charlottesville, University of Virginia is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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#22

George Washington University

Washington, DC

George Washington University ranked #22 on this year’s Best International Relations & National Security Schools list. Located in the large city of Washington, GWU is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

The average amount in student loans that international relations majors at GWU take out is $39,750. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $448.

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#23

Lafayette College

Easton, PA

Lafayette College ranked #23 on this year’s Best International Relations & National Security Schools list. Located in the large suburb of Easton, Lafayette is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

On average, international relations graduates from Lafayette take out $22,538 in student loans while working on their degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $234, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#24

Wellesley College

Wellesley, MA

Wellesley College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for international relations and national security students. It came in at #24 on the list. Located in the suburb of Wellesley, Wellesley is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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#25

Bucknell University

Lewisburg, PA

Bucknell University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for international relations and national security students. It came in at #25 on the list. Located in the town of Lewisburg, Bucknell is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

The average amount in student loans that international relations majors at Bucknell take out is $27,000. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $280.

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Rest of the Top Best International Relations & National Security Schools

#26

University of Richmond

University of Richmond, VA
#27

Gettysburg College

Gettysburg, PA
#28

Carleton College

Northfield, MN
#29

College of William and Mary

Williamsburg, VA
#31

Dickinson College

Carlisle, PA
#33

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best International Relations & National Security Schools award.

Rank College Location
34 University of Chicago Chicago, IL
35 Villanova University Villanova, PA
36 Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey Monterey, CA
37 Institute of World Politics Washington, DC
38 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
39 Hobart and William Smith Colleges Geneva, NY
40 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
41 Emory University Atlanta, GA
42 Connecticut College New London, CT
43 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
44 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
45 American University Washington, DC

International Relations & National Security by Region

View the Best International Relations & National Security Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

International Relations & National Security is one of 13 different types of programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Economics 48,297
Political Science & Government 47,035
Sociology 37,611
General Social Sciences 19,694
Anthropology 11,703

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to RepubFan12.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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