Which college Model UN teams are the best on the circuit? There are many definitions of success in Model UN, and awards are not the purpose of Model UN. Nevertheless, they do tell us which teams are doing well and our rankings are meant to recognize teams for their accomplishments at conferences throughout the school year. Please note that rankings are relative to other teams’ results, and it is also best to compare year-over-year rankings with last year’s (Spring 2012) final rankings rather than the mid-season Fall 2012 rankings.
Methodology: The methodology is the same as last year with minor modifications in weightings to reflect attendance this year. Notably, BarMUN was weighted slightly higher than last year and WorldMUN received a full weighting in the “Large” tier. The average number of conferences won per team has increased from 5.32 to 6.04 this year; the average top-25 team won awards at about six conferences this year. The article above also provides insight into the purpose and philosophy behind the rankings.
Disclaimer: Only teams that participate at university-hosted conferences that emphasize awards are included in the dataset, and we can only use data that is available to us. This ranking is not meant to capture all of college MUN as many good teams participate at conferences that do not value the competitive aspect of Model UN.
2012-2013 Final College Rankings
1. University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania is the #1 team on the college Model UN circuit this year after winning an impressive collection of Best Large Delegation awards. UPenn attended a circuit-high tie of ten conferences and brought home the Best Large Delegation at eight of them: HNMUN, ChoMUN, NCSC, SCSY, VICS, NYUMUNC, WPSC, and DISCon. That could be the record for most Best Large Delegation awards won by a team in a single year ever, and their triumph at HNMUN was an emotional affair that was a testament to all the hard work that everyone put into the team. In addition to those eight, UPenn also won the Outstanding Large Delegation award at BarMUN and won awards at CMUNNY with a split team that weekend (the other half at SCSY). All-Star Head Delegate Alex Haber led UPenn and its team included All-Stars David Schwartz, Arka Mallela, Yadavan Mahendraraj, and Jocelyn Perry. Other top delegates included Bianca Faccio, Hirsh Shah, Akhilesh Goswami, plus a very deep bench of underclassmen.
2. Georgetown University
Georgetown had a very successful year in terms of winning awards, but the bigger story was their investment in the future by expanding their schedule to include conferences on the West Coast and outside of North America for the first time in team history. Georgetown won the Best Large Delegation award at McMUN and BarMUN and won the Outstanding Large Delegation award at UPMUNC and SCSY. It also finished third at ChoMUN and second at NYUMUNC. Finally, Georgetown took home the Best Small Delegation award at its first-ever visit to UCBMUN and in the top-10 overall (tied for third among American universities) at its first-ever visit at WorldMUN, a conference that it hopes to continue attending in the future. All-Star Head Delegate Dane Shikman led Georgetown and its team included All-Stars Anais Carmona, Jeff Caso, Sam Brothers, and Theresa Lou. Other top delegates included Nicholas Bellomy, Isobel Blakeway-Philips, Samantha Lin, Andrea Cohen, Neil Christy, and Pavan Rajgopal.
3. University of Chicago
UChicago had some of the highest quality performances this year and finished third in aggregate rankings primarily because it attended half as many conferences as UPenn and three fewer than Georgetown. Nevertheless, UChicago gave both a run for their money – UChicago won the Outstanding Large Delegation at HNMUN but had a higher raw score than UPenn, and UChicago could arguably be a better team than Georgetown as it won the Best Large Delegation at both head-to-head matchups at UPMUNC and UCBMUN. In addition, UChicago also won a Best Large Delegation at CMUNNY and finished in the top 10 at NCSC. All-Star Head Delegates Mark Mahvi, Parvathy Murukurthy, Susannah Wang, and ChoMUN Secretary-General Daphna Gall led the UChicago team. Other top delegates on the team included Adam Stevenson, Apratim Gautim, Eric Wessan, and Alex Novet.
4. Harvard University
Harvard had its best season in recent years as the long-term development of its younger members has paid off this year. Harvard won four Outstanding Large Delegation awards this year at ChoMUN, NCSC, UCBMUN, and CMUNNY. In addition, it finished third at UPMUNC, NYUMUNC, and WPSC (winning the Schwarzkopf Award at the latter). Harvard won or contended for a delegation award at every conference it attended this year, and Harvard should continue to contend for large delegation awards next year as many of those younger members are now moving into leadership roles within the team. All-Star Head Delegates Timothy Tsai and Rodolfo Diaz led the Harvard team, and its top delegates included All-Star Keshava Guha as well as Nina Chen, Richard Ebright, and Katherine Ebright.
5. United States Military Academy at West Point
West Point maintained its top-five status despite a serious challenge by other rapidly improved small delegations due to its ability to win at the most competitive conferences – it is the only small delegation to attend all four of HNMUN, UPMUNC, McMUN, and WorldMUN. West Point won the Best Small Delegation award at three conferences: HNMUN, NCSC (where it finished second overall), and SCSY. It also finished in the top five at McMUN and had strong performances at UPMUNC and WorldMUN. West Point gained further prominence in Europe by winning Best Small Delegation at OxIMUN. The West Point team featured Head Delegate Will Dickson, All-Stars Warren Geary, Ross Boston, and Ben Ketchum as well as other top delegates such as Patrick Brown and Brendon Moore.
6. The George Washington University
GW continues to rise in the rankings now that it has two classes of Colonial Cadets on its roster, and it is beginning to contend with other top-five powerhouses. Most notably, GW tied with cross-town rival Georgetown at WorldMUN and finished second overall at McMUN behind only Georgetown. GW also had top-five finishes at competitive conferences such as HNMUN and UPMUNC and even managed top-five finishes when splitting its large team at both SCSY and CMUNNY. In addition, GW won the Best Large Delegation at the inaugural &MUN conference and got on the scoreboard while training its freshmen Colonial Cadets at NCSC. All-Star Head Delegate Max Sanders led GW, and the large team also featured All-Stars Chris Longman, Jeremy Illoulian, Mari Manoogian, and Jared Greenspan. Other top delegates included Amy O’Halloran and Grace Mausser.
7. Florida International University
FIU had a powerful fall season competing as a small delegation and went undefeated during that run with Best Small Delegation awards at UPMUNC, CMUNNY, and BarMUN. But perhaps more impressive than the delegation awards is the team’s continued rise at HNMUN as a large delegation where it finished fourth overall this year behind only UPenn, UChicago, and Yale. FIU also had a top-ten performance at ChoMUN and won a Distinguished Delegation award at NMUN in the spring. This was supposedly a rebuilding or transition year at FIU, but one would not be able to tell with all the awards they have won and the team has potential to be even better in the near future. FIU was led by Head Delegate Mark Hodgson.
8. The College of William & Mary
William & Mary is back in the top 10 after one of its most successful seasons ever. The highlight of the season was winning the Best Small Delegation award at WorldMUN. Other highlights included a third overall finish at McMUN, winning awards with a split team at both SCSY (top five overall) and CMUNNY, and a top-ten performance at ChoMUN. The team also received awards at HNMUN, VICS, and DISCon. One final long-term highlight is that W&M successfully hosted its inaugural &MUN college conference. All-Star Head Delegate Zann Isacson led the W&M team this year. The team also included All-Stars Connor Smith and Jeff Rohde, and other top delegates included Abhi Goyal, Iman Shakeri, Katie Mitchell, and Lucas Leblanc.
9. Boston University
BU had one of its most successful seasons ever to establish itself this year as one of the elite small delegations on the circuit. That’s backed up by a Best Small Delegation award at McMUN and Outstanding Small Delegation awards at a strong set of conferences: UPMUNC, ChoMUN, and NCSC. In addition, the team finished fourth overall at NYUMUNC and won awards at HNMUN despite hosting their BosMUN high school conference the following week. Perhaps due to the growing quality of its team, their BarMUN college conference has also continued to grow and attracted many ranked teams this year. Head Delegate Travis Cunningham led BU, and its top delegates included All-Star Katrina Trost as well as Sam Leone, Samantha Weinberg, and Colin Rosenow.
10. Yale University
Yale had to develop a very young team this year, but it got progressively better during the season and by its last conference started to look like the elite Yale team of the past few years. Yale started off with awards at NCSC, improved to a top-ten finish at UPMUNC, and then came out in full force to place third overall at HNMUN. The team managed to maintain a top ten ranking despite attending only three conferences this year, half the average number of conferences attended by the top 25 teams, due to the high quality of its win at HNMUN. Head Delegate Lizzie Hylton led the Yale team.
11. New York University
NYU’s ranking derives from its ability to put on consistently strong performances at all the conferences they have attended even though they do not win a delegation award often, and their results show a clear improvement from last year. This includes a Best Small Delegation award at VICS and awards at HNMUN, UPMUNC, NCSC, CMUNNY, and WPSC. Head Delegate Akshay Anantharaman led the NYU team this year.
12. Claremont McKenna College
CMC retained its position as the top-ranked team on the West Coast – but now they are also showing that they can compete with top East Coast teams. On the West Coast, CMC won the Best Large Delegation at SBIMUN and a pair of Best California Delegation awards at UCBMUN and LAMUN, finishing second overall behind only UChicago at the former and finishing third overall at the latter. On the East Coast, they put in a top ten performance at UPMUNC. And in the world, they finished second among American delegations at WorldMUN behind only Best Small Delegation winner William & Mary by one Diplomacy Award. Head Delegate Daniel Shane led the CMC team.
13. Columbia University
Columbia may not win big at most of the conferences they have attended, but they do win often as they won awards at a circuit-high tie of ten conferences: HNMUN, UPMUNC, McMUN, ChoMUN, NCSC, VICS, BarMUN, NYUMUNC, WPSC, and FCMUN. Then again, Columbia had a very young team this year, and perhaps more important there seemed to be a focus on making sure the young delegates enjoyed their first college MUN seasons instead of stressing about awards. Outside of North America, Columbia also attended the University of Cambridge’s conference in the fall, giving them the distinction as the most well traveled team this year with 11 conferences on the schedule. All-Star Head Delegate Shunsuke Hirose led Columbia, and its other top delegates included Jorja Knauer and Michael Ying.
14. Emory University
Emory had a well-rounded season and consistently won awards at the conferences it attended. This included awards at HNMUN, UPMUNC, ChoMUN, NCSC, CMUNNY, VICS, and DISCon. The team’s closest finishes to a delegation award were in the South when it finished second overall at VICS and third overall at DISCon. One other significant note is that Emory launched its MUNE college conference this year. All-Star Head Delegate Pritika Gupta – who was named Best Head Delegate at VICS – led Emory this year, and the team featured All-Stars Katherine Bonner and Nicolette Kraska as well as top delegates in Orli Berman, Goldy Tenreiro-Braschi, and Kate Cyr. This makes Emory’s lineup notable for its inclusion and development of many top female delegates in the international relations field that is still relatively dominated by men.
15. Stanford University
Stanford is still in the process of developing depth in its team and did a great job strategically selecting conferences this year so that it could contend for small delegation awards. Those victories included a pair of Best Small Delegation awards at LAMUN and &MUN and another pair of Outstanding Small Delegation awards at CMUNNY and SBIMUN. The team also won awards at the more competitive conferences that it attended at McMUN, ChoMUN, NCSC, and UCBMUN. All-Star David Hoyt and Ian Chan served as Stanford’s Head Delegates, and the team’s top delegates included Sean Hiroshima and Elena Stephenson.
16. Rutgers University
Rutgers had a solid season overall including some strong performances at the smaller conferences. Their record includes top-five finishes at NCSC, a conference that the team has traditionally done well in, and at FCMUN. Rutgers also had top-ten results at McMUN and SCSY and won awards at competitive conferences such as HNMUN, UPMUNC, and ChoMUN. Head Delegates Danial Manzoor and Salman Khan led the Rutgers team this year.
17. Clark University
Clark rebounded nicely this year compared to last year, and that was in spite of a significant upgrade in competitiveness to its travel schedule. The team continued to demonstrate its ability to compete with the best by finishing sixth among North American delegations at HNMUN behind only UPenn, UChicago, Yale, FIU, and West Point. Clark also received the Outstanding Small Delegation at SCSY and won awards at UPMUNC, ChoMUN, NCSC, and FCMUN. Samer Said and Elena Stocchiero led the Clark team.
18. Florida State University
Florida State upgraded the competitiveness of its schedule this year and made sure to make the most of each conference, and the result is the team being recognized as the highest ranked team that attended only four conferences. FSU finished in the top five overall at ChoMUN, NCSC, and VICS. The ChoMUN performance was significant in that the team finished ahead of FIU, showing that FSU has the potential to reclaim its spot as the best team in the state of Florida. FSU also won awards at McMUN. Its top delegates included Melissa Giddings, Hillary Harlan, and Christopher Hansford.
19. University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley is narrowing the gap between its team and Claremont McKenna in its quest to regain the title as the top team on the West Coast. They split their head-to-head West Coast matchups this year – Berkeley won the Best Large Delegation at LAMUN while it won the Outstanding Large Delegation at SBIMUN. The team also maintained its national profile with awards at UPMUNC, McMUN, and ChoMUN. All-Star Shannon Thomas and Anirudh Garg were the Head Delegates, and the team also included a top delegate in Ravi Puni.
20. Tulane University
Tulane consistently won delegation awards at the conferences it attended. This included a thoroughly dominating performance at the inaugural MUNE en route to the Best Delegation award there, an Outstanding Small Delegation award at UCBMUN, and an Outstanding Delegation award at DISCon where it only finished behind UPenn. In addition, Tulane finished in the top ten at UPMUNC. Tulane may be ready for tougher competition after its strong performances at smaller and mid-sized conferences this year. Head Delegates Sophie Parker and Patrick Matthews led the Tulane team.
21. McGill University
McGill continues its steady rise up the rankings under the second year leadership of All-Star Head Delegate Keagan Tafler. The team won awards at HNMUN, NCSC, SCSY and VICS. The team also took home a Best Small Delegation award at CIAC and the Outstanding Delegation award at FCMUN. Now that it can win delegation awards at the smaller conferences, look for McGill to continue to improve and start contending for more awards at the mid-sized conferences. The team’s top delegates included Daniel Stysis, Sabrina Ostrowski, Alexander Taciuk, and Loreena Percy.
22. University of Florida
The University of Florida had another good season by winning awards at most of the conferences it attended. This included strong performances at VICS (third overall), UCBMUN, and CMUNNY. The team also got on the scoreboard at ChoMUN and CMUNNY. In addition, the team also won awards at SRMUN. Head Delegate Christopher Joyce led a team that included All-Star Troy Robinson as well as top delegates in Aaron Kalafarski, Fred Kolb, and Ashley Inman.
23. Carleton University
Carleton University breaks into the top 25 rankings for the first time, which gives Canada two teams in the top 25 again. Although Carleton does not attend many conferences, it competes well at the most competitive ones. The team finished fourth overall behind only Georgetown, George Washington, and William & Mary at McMUN and was just outside the top ten among North American delegations at HNMUN where it also bested McGill in the head-to-head matchup.
24. Michigan State University
Michigan State returned back into the top 25 with a solid performance in the spring to make it three straight years with such a ranking. The team started off with awards at UPMUNC and BarMUN but had a much stronger second-half of the season with top-ten finishes at McMUN and ChoMUN. Head Delegate Chris Bourdganis led MSU this year.
25. Cornell University
Cornell managed to navigate a challenging schedule – perhaps the most challenging it has ever faced – and the team was able to win awards at the most competitive conferences such as HNMUN, UPMUNC, and McMUN. Cornell also won awards at NCSC, SCSY, and WPSC. Alexa Bruer was Cornell’s Head Delegate, and the team included All-Star Ankur Bajaj as well as top delegates in Matthew Rosenspire, Brian Hui, Meril Pothen, and Conna Walsh.
Top 50 College Model UN Teams:
Notes: List is in alphabetical order. There are 26 teams in this tier due to a tie for 50th place. The five closest teams to the Top 25 are Elon, Miami, Vanderbilt, Queen’s, and SUNY Geneseo.
- Bard College
- Boston College
- Colgate University
- Dawson College
- Duke University
- Elon University
- Hofstra University
- Marianopolis College
- Mount Allison University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Princeton University
- Queen’s University
- State University of New York at Geneseo
- Tufts University
- Université de Montréal
- University of Calgary
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of Delaware
- University of Miami
- University of New Mexico
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
- University of North Carolina, Charlotte
- University of Toronto
- Vanderbilt University
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
- Washington University in St. Louis
Congratulations to all the delegations for a successful 2012-2013 school year. Good luck to all the graduating seniors, and we hope to see everyone else back on the circuit next year. Have a great summer!