The Best College Model UN Teams – World Division:
North America Top 11-15

by KFC on March 29, 2011

Rutgers takes a team photo after winning Outstanding Small Delegation at McMUN

What are the best college Model UN teams in the world? The Best Delegate team decided to answer this question with our Top 25 Standings. We had to separate the college circuit into two divisions and devised methodologies for both divisions. We recommend reading the two links before jumping into the standings.

The standings are based on results as of March 21, 2011 which allowed us to capture results from WorldMUN. The standings reflect only team performances at conferences and not the overall quality of the program (i.e. it does not measure if a program hosts conferences or have any other special activities).

Here is the list of the top 11-15 college Model UN teams. All of these teams have either won a Small Delegation award this season or had multiple award winners at the most competitive conferences on the World Division circuit: Harvard HNMUN and Harvard WorldMUN. Check out which colleges made our Top 25!

The Best College Model UN Teams – World Division: North America Top 11-15 Standings (as of 3/21/11)

11. Rutgers University

Rutgers can claim to be one of the best small delegations in the World Division and they have the consistent recognition at some of the most competitive conferences this year to prove it. The team won won awards at Georgetown NCSC but their team really shined when they competed at two of the most competitive and largest conferences on the World Division circuit. The team won an Outstanding Small Delegation at U.Penn UPMUNC and followed up on that victory with another Outstanding Small Delegation at McGill McMUN. These two delegation awards gives Rutgers more team awards than any college that placed below it.

12. Emory University

The Emory team is relatively young but rapidly growing into one of the better teams in the nation. It was difficult to ascertain exactly how good the team was earlier this year – the team won Best Delegation at Duke DUMUNC and won awards at UNC Charlotte’s Carolinas MUN, but both conferences are not considered to be among the most competitive conferences in our methodology. We got a better sense when the team won a few awards at U.Penn UPMUNC, but we knew the team lived up to its increasingly high potential when it took home four awards at Harvard HNMUN – that gives them a head-to-head advantage over any team that placed below it. The team will get a chance to solidify its place in the Top 25 standings with results from Virginia VICS.

13. Case Western Reserve University

Case Western may be a surprise to some but with good reason. The team attended Columbia CMUNNY but then had to split its team between two conferences on the same weekend – Georgetown NCSC and its local Lake Erie International MUN conference (LEIMUN) – which meant few opportunities to see them at full-strength in the fall. But Case Western won the awards when it counted. The team took home three awards at Harvard HNMUN which is more than any team that placed below it. Several teams that placed below them may be able to claim to have better overall season results (though not a head-to-head advantage), but the season is not over yet — Case Western will get a chance to prove any doubters wrong when they compete at U.Chicago ChoMUN later in April.

14. College of William & Mary

William & Mary is a team that consistently wins awards at the most competitive conferences. The team performed exceptionally well outside the United States – their overall wins and win ratios put them in contention for delegation awards at WorldMUN and McGill McMUN (unofficial results would place them 2nd at WorldMUN and 3rd at McMUN). The team also placed 3rd at Columbia CMUNNY and had two award winners at Harvard HNMUN. Their results at three of the four most competitive conferences in the World Division circuit – HNMUN, WorldMUN, and McMUN – places them solidly in the Top 25. Their head delegate is Sam Schreck, and one of their star delegates is Kedar Pavgi.

15. Florida State University

Florida State seemed to be seeking some respect from its peers in the college circuit this year despite already having a reputation as a top team. The team won awards at Georgetown NCSC, competed at SRMUN in Atlanta (a conference on the National Division circuit) and the local Florida MUN Conference, and then highlighted its resume by winning Best Small Delegation at Berkeley UCBMUN against some tough competition. The strength of their Berkeley delegation award — which Florida State has consistently won in the past five years — puts them at #15 on our Standings for now and slightly ahead of George Washington. They’ll get a chance to reinforce their position when they compete at Mt. Holyoke FCMUN this weekend. Their star delegate is Sara Dejam who we featured at Georgetown NCSC and interviewed at Berkeley UCBMUN.

Check out the teams in the Top 16-25!


What do you think about the colleges that made our Top 25? Make sure to check back on March 31st for the top 6-10!

  • Griffin

    There are a lot of schools that won a lot more awards at HNMUN than some of these schools. You guys better have some sort a tie for the remaining places. Example:

    10. (Tie)
    University X
    University Y
    University Z

    If not, this whole Top 25 thing will be a farce. Also, breaking things down into World and National rankings is a bit ridiculous.

    • KFC


      Yes, there are a lot of college teams that won more awards at HNMUN than these, and that will reflect in the top 1-10 standings. Rest assured that we counted from the official awards list at HNMUN, and please correct us if any numbers are wrong.

      Ties are possible if college teams tied for awards across all conferences they competed in. If teams tied for awards at the most competitive conference they both attended, then we will look at results from the next most competitive conference they attended since our methodology takes into account over 15 college conferences.

      Breaking the college circuit into the two divisions — World and National — as defined in our methodology was necessary because the NMUN awards process is different from the awards process of the college-hosted conferences. At NMUN 2010, you had four colleges with two Outstanding Delegations and 26 colleges that won one Outstanding Delegation. You could make an argument that the four colleges with the two awards — Alma College, BYU, Georgia State, and Wright State — should be factored into a combined standings (and would probably break the top 10 or top 15), but it’d be impossible to differentiate the other 26 teams and figure out how valuable their Outstanding Delegation is compared to one that is won on the college-hosted circuit.

      Finally, these are not rankings — they do not reflect how a team could perform head-to-head against another team. They are standings that are meant to capture overall team performance across all conferences they have attended to date.

  • Mark

    If WorldMUN and HNMUN performance are so highly weighted according to your methodology, how does a (technical) second place performance place William and Mary at 14? Shouldn’t Schools with exceptionally a strong showing at WorldMUN, like WM, GWU, UNC-C, should rank much higher according to your methodology?

    • KFC

      Yes Mark, you are correct. However, we mentioned in the methodology that conferences that publish their results will have much more influence in our standings. We can definitively say that at HNMUN, Emory won 4 awards, Case Western won 3, and William & Mary won 2 awards — all the head-to-head comparisons are clear. We only have unofficial results (as noted) that claim W&M to be at “2nd place” at WorldMUN. If we could get official numbers to work with and draw head-to-head comparisons for the final standings, then we could designate “2nd place,” “3rd place,” and so forth like we have done with several conferences for this March 21st edition of the standings, and this could bump up teams like W&M.

  • The Circuit

    Kedar Pavgi is the man. Just sayin’

  • Griffin

    Thanks for the clarification, KFC. I definitely see where you are coming from now. Couldn’t there also be an argument made that it would be hard to gauge performance at World Mun since schools like UChicago, Penn, West Point and others did not attend. Please do not take this the wrong way. It is not intended as a flame.

    • KFC

      That’s a good point that we considered when we weighted the conferences in our methodology. In order to be unbiased though, we didn’t assume teams were already good and further didn’t want to weight a conference based off the reputation of the participating teams before they even competed (which we wouldn’t have been able to do anyway since we don’t have complete participation data). Therefore, we only used conference size as a proxy for competitiveness. We realize there are flaws to being unbiased — in reality a smaller conference could be more competitive than a larger conference. If we could get full lists of participants at every conference, then we could develop a more accurate competitiveness weighting for each conference (similar to “strength of schedule” in college sports).

    • Ron

      I am pretty sure West Point attended worlds. Youtube has their caberet performance and they took home awards in 3 of 5 committees.

  • KFC

    We’ve gotten some questions about William & Mary’s standing, so I wanted to explain how we derived its standing:

    W&M won 2 awards at Harvard HNMUN. Head-to-head results at this conference are weighted the most since it’s ranked as the most competitive conference in our methodology and we have full published awards data to work with. The two awards would place W&M tied for 9th among North American schools that attended. Next, two schools won large delegation awards ahead of W&M at McMUN, and neither attended HNMUN or WorldMUN. If you add the eight schools that placed above W&M at HNMUN plus the two from McMUN plus Harvard (can’t compete at their own conferences and didn’t attend McMUN), then W&M would place no higher than #12 in this scenario. They are currently at #14 because we inserted two other schools that won multiple small delegation awards above W&M in the standings.

    We didn’t (and still don’t) have official numbers on how many awards W&M or any other school at WorldMUN to make our own designations for “2nd place,” “3rd place,” and so forth. If we can obtain accurate and official WorldMUN results to determine if they placed 2nd overall in terms of total awards won, then the weighting of that may give W&M a big enough boost to place higher than several teams that own a head-to-head advantage against them from HNMUN and McMUN.

  • Sheng Zhou

    I’m not one to complain but it seems that HNMUN is highly weighted and since GWU doesn’t go to HNMUN we suffer a lot in the rankings. Perhaps you can alter the algorithm to offset this in the next rankings?

    • KFC

      You’re right in that regard. HNMUN is highly weighted (most competitive conference, full awards data to work with) and schools that attended this year gained the benefit of having their awards count for more in the standings. This undervalues the achievements (and perhaps even some head-to-head victories) of schools that didn’t attend HNMUN. Although we tried not to undervalue the other conferences, we simply didn’t have enough data to give awards won at other conferences more weight. I think the answer to this problem is getting more complete awards info from every conference so that schools can still attend the conferences that they want to attend and get a more “fair” weighting on the awards won at those conferences.

    • KFC

      One factor that still gives HNMUN awards more weight though: most of them are won with double delegations.

      • Cat

        I was under the impression that when calculating awards, Harvard counts the number of delegates who won an award rather than the number of delegations (i.e. an award won by a double del actually counts as 2).

  • Griffin

    I have two responses and I know that delegates out there might take this the wrong way.
    Everyone on the circuit knows that a lot of schools do not attend HNMUN because the competition is simply too strong. Moreover, a lot of schools in the rankings make the choice to forego HNMUN and attend other less competitive conferences because the Mun cost-to-win ratio is higher.

    Personally, HNMUN is without a doubt the best conference at fielding committees that prevent unfair stacking. No offense to Georgetown or GWU, but there seems to be something inherently unfair with conferences allowing these school to have 8 delegates per committee.

    A perfect example of this is UPMUNC. At UPMUNC, GWU and Georgetown had around 8 delegates per committee. With Chicago, Yale, and Harvard having 4 a piece. Stacking the conferences in this manner fails to ensure and prevents fairness. At HNMUN, this does not occur. A delegate from one school must go against a delegate from another and there is less of a chance that you will have blocs divided into university blocs. Other conferences need to understand that while making money and fundraising is a huge factor in running these conferences, inherent fairness, or a lack thereof, should also be a huge factor.

    Regardless, this is NOT an UPMUNC or a UPENN flame. Props should and do go out to Sachi and Geoffroy for running a great UPMUNC this year.

  • Patrick

    Are these rankings only for American teams?

  • Washingtonian

    To come to GW and Georgetown’s defense, the fact that they bring more delegates should not be looked at as an attempt to “stack a committee.” Both schools in fact have possibly one of the largest active memberships of all collegiate Model UN programs and as a result have decided to bring as many people as possible, to give all of their members an opportunity to participate.

    This practice in fact hurts both schools as far as awards go, since every conference at least in part basis there award on a per capita points basis. So by bringing more delegates who are unlikely to win awards they hurt their overall performance as far as school awards are concerned.

    I actually get a little angry at schools that bring just above the large delegation cut-off and bring only what they consider to be their best delegates. This practice tends to put winning awards above fostering a enjoyable team/club environment. Both GW and Gtown know who their best delegates are and could easily cut there delegation sizes in half at the larger conferences and I would argue, perform nearly as well as far as the number of individual awards they win.

    My argument is not meant to target any particular schools or start a flame thread, but I don’t think Georgetown or GW’s intent is to “stack committees.” I don’t disagree that a limit on the amount of delegates at each would make things more fair, as both of those schools would be forced to only bring their best delegates and show the Circuit how truly good they are 😉

    • Sheng

      Thank you for your rather eloquent reply mysterious Washingtonian. I can also add to the GW side of things as their head del this year. Our policy with regards to conferences like UPMUNC and NCSC and to a lesser extent McMUN and have always been to bring as many newbies as possible. NCSC is almost 90% freshmen and UPMUNC is a mix of 50-50. As a result, we try to bring fairly large delegations that would be considered untenable by most other schools without the big interest and pool of interested MUNners that schools like ours and Georgetown have.

      Having multiple countries on one committee actually does hurt as a lot, as award chances are lowered and freshmen gravitate to work only with other GWU students. So it is undoubtedly a double-edged sword. With that being said, at these larger conferences, we have always been about having fun and getting some MUN exposure first. That is why we never perform remarkably well at these bigger conferences. If we brought a group of 8 or 12 to every conference we go to, I don’t doubt we would be considered one of the best in the country.

      • KFC

        Personal opinion (not necessarily Best Delegate’s opinion): I’m also in favor of schools bringing as many delegates as they want. The point is to grow the Model UN activity and introduce the experience to as many club members as possible. I accepted everyone who wanted to join the team when I was UCLA’s head delegate.

        I know there are some teams that limit their team size in order to get a better winning percentage, but I’ve also seen that cause fractures with the rest of the program because only a few are taking up all the expenses fundraised by many. Programs may experience a high drop-out rate as many conference staffers are shut out from the opportunity to compete or develop their skills as delegates. The travel team grows slower and relies on a few talented individuals, and the conference organizers suffer, particularly if they’re hosting a crisis-oriented college conference, since the staffers have never had the opportunity to participate in a quality crisis sim as delegates.

      • Hayes


        Mad props to the large delegation love. It must be nice to be so local that you can afford to take that many kids to NCSC for example without having to worry about transporation costs.

        MSU always treated UPMUNC in much the same way, taking way more delegates than we felt had a shot at winning awards, and a lot of newbies. I get the feeling that if MSU were to follow the strategy of taking small delegations to UPMUNC, like they do at BarMUN, NCSC, and ChoMUN, they’d see the same awards return as they do at the smaller conferences. But that’d mean the only shot that newer delegates had of heading for conferences would be McMUN, and that’s to the detriment of the team, no matter how much fun McGill’s conference is. And so the larger delegations stay.

        Anyway, GW was definitely one of the strongest teams we went up against throughout my career, and it’s good that you’re keeping up the tradition.


  • Pingback: The Best College Model UN Teams – World Division: International Top 20 | Best Delegate()

  • Pingback: 10 Lessons from the Model UN Standings (open thread for feedback) | Best Delegate()

  • Pingback: Recaps: MUN Standings, GC Middle School, Cornell CIAC, and StuyMUNC. Plus preview of Montessori MUN | Best Delegate()

Previous post:

Next post: