Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science Programs

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 University of Central Florida 72.92 3/5 65% Orlando, FL

Orlando’s University of Central Florida currently serves about 64,000 students. This state research university has been offering online degrees — including an online political science degree — for over 20 years. Students enrolled in the school’s political science BA program accumulate 120 credits by choosing one of three concentrations: American politics and policy, international relations-comparative politics, or pre-law. Each consists of basic and advanced core requirements and various electives. Students must also demonstrate capability in a foreign language.

Courses are delivered through the school's Webcourses@UCF learning management system, though some classes do have in-person requirements. Online Student Services provides access to multiple resources, including career services, academic resource and writing centers, accessibility and advisory services, the school's library, and book and computer stores.

Applicants must have at GPA of 2.0 or higher at their last school attended. At this time, the University of Central Florida cannot enroll distance learners with residencies in Michigan, Minnesota, or Oregon.

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2 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus 65.83 4/5 50% University Park, PA

Public research university Pennsylvania State University's internet-based University Park World Campus has been educating online students for nearly two decades. Those pursuing Penn State Online’s BS in political science (note that the school also offers a BA in Political Science) attain 120 credits through classes in political theory, analysis, mathematics, programming, and statistics.

Courses last 12 to 15 weeks and generally involve weekly assignments. Students can access materials, which are delivered by Canvas and ANGEL course management systems, at their convenience. Online students take advantage of academic advising services, career counseling, technical support, tutorials, and the university's libraries, which make up one of the largest research collections in the country.

The school encourages World Campus students to join university organizations, including branches of national honor societies Alpha Iota Omega (for political science students), and Alpha Sigma Lambda, for adult learners. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or a GED.

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3 Northeastern University Global Network 64.31 4/5 79% Boston, MA

Located in Boston, Northeastern University was founded in 1898 and currently enrolls over 17,000 students. NU's College of Professional Studies (and, for international students, NU's Global Network) offers an online political science degree, the school's BS in political science. This degree requires 120 credits, includes foundation courses in general education (18 semester hours) and political science (36 semester hours), as well as major requirements and electives (36 semester hours). Interested students may concentrate in international relations and comparative politics or American politics by completing five specific electives.

Northeastern uses the Blackboard online learning system, and students may access materials at any time (though assignments are usually due on a weekly basis). The academic year consists of three 15-week terms. Students enjoy access to the Office of Academic Advising (everyone is assigned a career and academic coach), the Peer Mentoring Program, tutoring services, and NU's libraries. Applicants must submit transcripts and/or GED scores. SAT and ACT scores are not required.

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4 Arizona State University-Skysong 63.19 3/5 51% Scottsdale, AZ

Arizona State University boasts an incredible total enrollment of close to 100,000. ASU’s online BA or BS in political science requires 120 hours in subjects such as government, politics, math, and composition, as well as several social science courses. Some courses require a minimum grade of “C” in order to receive credit towards the degree, and all political science students must demonstrate a proficiency in a foreign language. The program uses multiple digital learning platforms, including Blackboard, to provide course materials.

The degree is offered in an accelerated format, with classes starting six times a year and running for seven-and-a-half-week sessions. Students can access course materials whenever they like, though assignments are due at certain times. Online students have access to academic advisors and success coaches, and are encouraged to join student organizations, such as the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Tuition is the same for both in-state and out of state residents.

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5 Oregon State University 62.50 3/5 61% Corvallis, OR

Oregon State University is a public research university, and its e-campus offers a political science online degree (BA or BS). Students must acquire 180 credits (classes carry three or four credits) during four 11-week terms.

Graduation requirements include 51 credits of general education classes, including a writing class; 15 credits in the College of Liberal Arts, 15-24 credits in political science subjects, and 52 elective credits. Political science undergraduates study American and international politics; government; and political analysis, as well as related issues like media, gender, and law. Online students may also declare a minor.

Courses are delivered via Canvas, and Ecampus Student Services offers access to OSU Libraries, online tutoring, career services, a writing center, video-based counseling, and more. The Open Oregon State program offers a variety of free educational materials online, including digital versions of textbooks. High school graduates should submit ACT or SAT scores. GED recipients must have received a minimum score for admission.

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6 Fort Hays State University 61.11 3/5 41% Hays, KS

Fort Hays State University in Kansas features a total enrollment of more than 40,000 students, including about 6,700 online learners. The online political science degree offered by Fort Hays’ Virtual College delivers courses in American politics, international relations/comparative politics, public law, political theory, and public administration and policy. Students can concentrate in pre-law or public administration.

In order to accumulate the 124 credit hours required for the BA, students take general education classes (55 credits hours); core and major classes in political sciences (37 credit hours); and electives (22 credit hours). There’s also a 10-credit hour language requirement. Course materials are delivered via Blackboard.

All online students are assigned an academic advisor and enjoy access to free online tutoring, technical support, and writing and career resources. The Forsyth Library offers assistance via text, email, and phone as well as research guides, ebooks, and databases. All incoming freshmen must submit ACT or SAT scores.

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7 Troy University 58.75 3/5 35% Troy, AL

Located in Alabama, Troy University has delivered internet-based education for nearly two decades. In the fall of 2015, the school had a total enrollment of about 18,000. Approximately 9,000 of these were online students.

Troy's political science online degree program requires 120 credit hours for a BA, of which 36 must be within the major. Students concentrate in either American politics and public administration or international politics, where they learn about subjects such as American government, world politics, and political theory and research. Undergraduates must also take classes in English composition, math, science, and history.

Most courses run for nine-week terms, and Troy uses the Blackboard and Canvas learning management systems. Troy’s virtual student union, Trojan Café, is updated weekly. The site hosts articles, tips, discussion forums, and announcements. Troy requires ACT or SAT scores for applicants under 25. High school graduates should have a minimum GPA of 2.0.

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8 University of Maryland-University College 57.92 3/5 4% Adelphi, MD

The University of Maryland University College is a member of the University System of Maryland. Members of the military, their families, veterans, and adult learners make up a significant portion of UMUC students.

UMUC’s online BS in political science is a 120-credit degree course. Major courses (30 credits) address topics such as political science, theory, government, terrorism, war, law, and statistics, while general education requirements (41 credits) include classes in computing, writing, arts, the physical and social sciences, and math. Students also complete 49 elective credits. Most courses are offered in eight week sessions, and materials may be accessed at any time through Learning Experience Online (LEO).

Students benefit from access to academic advisers, tutoring and writing centers, mentoring, career services, technical support, and library services. Most textbooks are available at no cost through UMUC’s open resource program. Applicants should submit either a high school transcript, a college transcript with at least 24 semester hours of credit, or GED scores.

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9 University of Nebraska at Omaha 55.00 3/5 46% Omaha, NE

Founded in 1869, the University of Nebraska-Omaha is part of the public University of Nebraska system and enrolls more than 15,000 students, most of whom live off-campus. UNO offers a concentration in political science for online undergraduate students pursuing a bachelor’s of general studies. This undergraduate degree requires 120 credits, including a concentration (30 hours). Classes introduce students to political history, theory, and analysis; government; law; international relations, and politics as in relation to gender, ethnicity, identity, and race.

UNO uses Blackboard learning management system to deliver live and recorded media, as well as other course materials. Online students have access to the Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss library, which boasts more than 200 databases. The library also features more than 400,000 ebooks and documents, as well as an Online Learning Resource Guide. Applicants should submit high school and/or college transcripts, as well as ACT or SAT scores.

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10 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 51.67 3/5 58% Whitewater, WI

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater became part of the public University of Wisconsin system in 1971. The school currently enrolls more than 12,000 students. UWW’s online BA and BS programs in political science are degree-completion courses for students who have earned at least 12 undergraduate credits.

The political science degrees require 120 credits total, of which 34 credits are in the major. Students take courses in American government, public policy and administration, comparative government, international relations, political theory, and more. BA students must show that they have a certain level of proficiency in a foreign language, while BS students are required to complete several math and science courses. Political science majors must also choose a minor.

UWW uses Desire2Learn for course material delivery. Online students enjoy access to career services and the library, which offers free document delivery to distance students, web chat and email reference, and an extensive ebook collection. Applicants should have GPA of at least 2.0.

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11 Southern New Hampshire University 50.28 4/5 59% Manchester, NH

Founded in 1932 as a business school and based in Manchester, this private institution became a degree-granting institution in 1963 and Southern New Hampshire University, its current name, in 2001. Today, about 3,000 students attend classes on campus, while more than 75,000 do so online.

SNHU’s BA in political science degree requires 120 credits and offers courses in American history, politics, government, international relations, law, and comparative and world politics. The school also offers classes in political theory, analysis, and research. SNHU uses Blackboard and eight-week terms begin six times each year.

Online students have access to SNHUconnect, the virtual student union, as well as to the school's writing center, academic advising, tutoring, disability resources, technical support, and wellness educational resources. SNHU’s Shapiro Library features more than 100 full text databases, and offers interlibrary loan and electronic document delivery services. Applicants can transfer up to 90 credits towards a degree.

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12 National University 47.36 4/5 23% La Jolla, CA

National University specializes in educating adult learners. Students enrolled in the online BA in political science learn about topics such as political theory, comparative politics, international relations, American and international politics, and public policy. The major consists of 10 core classes, plus seven electives.

NU students take one course a month during the 32-week school year, and need 180 quarter units (most classes carry four and a half credits) to graduate. Qualified students have the option to continue to the school's master of public administration transition program. Students have access to the library and library services, including tutorials, research guides, and guidance from staff. Online students can also consult career services, the help desk, disability services, and the math, academic success, and writing centers. As NU's student body includes many active or former members of the military, the school also hosts a facility specifically for veterans. Applications are accepted year-round.

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13 Columbia College 46.11 3/5 42% Columbia, MO

Based in Missouri, Columbia College serves students at 36 locations around the country. The school also educates more than 16,000 online students annually. This non-sectarian school is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia's BA in political science is a 120 semester hour degree. Students take general education courses, including an ethics class, foundational political science classes (18 semester hours), and major electives (30 semester hours). Subject matter includes American government, international relations, international studies, the presidency, ethics, and political philosophy. Students must also complete six semester hours of a foreign language.

Online courses run in six eight-week sessions per year, and the school employs the Desire2Learn learning management system. Online students have access to academic advisors, career advisors, and virtual veteran services. Columbia's Stafford Library also provides an Online Campus Library Guide, which includes course guides, tutorials, and citation information. Applicants should submit either official transcripts from high school or college, or GED scores.

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14 Indiana University-East 43.89 3/5 25% Richmond, IN

Located in Richmond, Indiana University East is part of the renowned public Indiana University system. The school currently serves more than 4,500 students. Its online BS in political science is tailored to the needs of undergraduates who have accumulated 60 or more semester hours of college credit (IU accepts grades of “C” or higher). Political science students complete 36 hours of advanced-level courses, 18 of which should be in the major. Subject matter includes American politics, international relations, comparative politics, and political theory. IUE uses Canvas to deliver materials.

The IUE library is part of the extensive IU Library system, which has millions of items, including books, ebooks, and full text databases. The library also offers email and chat reference assistance. Degree students must complete at least 30 hours (including 15 hours in the major) at IU East.

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15 Brescia University 43.89 3/5 46% Owensboro, KY

Brescia University is a small Roman Catholic institution in Owensboro, Kentucky. A BA in political science from BUonline requires students to complete 128 credits, including political science classes (18 hours), general education courses (57 hours), and electives. Political science students take classes in American government, international relations, comparative political systems, public policy, constitutional law, campaigns and elections, and more. A math class is also required.

Brescia uses the Moodle learning platform, and all online courses include weekly (and required) scheduled chat times. Courses are scheduled in four eight-week sessions (modules), and some students complete the program's degree requirements in two years. More than 70% of Brescia’s faculty members hold the highest degree available in their field.

The school's Fr. Leonard Alvey Library makes available extensive resources for online students, including live distance instruction, research assistance, citation information, and tutorials. Tuition is the same for both Kentucky and out-of-state residents.

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