Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science Programs

SEARCH COLLEGES
Sponsored Schools

Political science is an academic area of study concentrated in the political theories and practices of different government systems. This multidisciplinary field also examines how wealth and resources have historically been ― and currently are ― distributed among populations of cities, states and provinces, countries, and other governmental jurisdictions, as well as the laws and policies that have guided and continue to influence these provisions. Subfields of political science include: comparative politics, or the science of weighing differences and similarities between governments; international or global relations; public administration; and public health. Political science often leans on other academic disciplines, including social sciences like history, sociology, anthropology, and economics, as well as law, criminal justice, and public policy.

Political science is one of the most popular areas of study among U.S. undergraduate students, and The Princeton Review ranks ‘government/political science’ as the third best college major. The bachelor’s in political science will prepare students for a wide range of career paths in both the government (public) and private sectors. The curricula of these bachelor’s programs is grounded in history, economics, political theory, social advocacy, and law. Many bachelor’s in political science pathways culminate in a capstone experience, which typically entails a comprehensive research project that addresses a current trend or hot topic in the global political sphere. An internship may be required, as well. Many of today’s students are choosing to earn their bachelor’s in political science online. Web-based students follow the same rigorous curricula as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, leading to the same job opportunities after graduation. The asynchronous (or self-paced) format of most online bachelor’s in political science degree programs is also a good fit for students with part-time jobs, childcare duties, and other commitments that potentially conflict with commuting to a college campus.

Learn more about what you can do with an online bachelor’s in political science and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A POLITICAL SCIENCE DEGREE?

Graduates with a bachelor’s in political science are prepared for many careers, including paralegal, political scientist, and public relations specialist. Read more here.

WHAT JOBS CAN YOU GET WITH A POLITICAL SCIENCE DEREE?

Political science jobs include technical writer, fundraiser, and political scientist. Read more here.

WHAT IS A POLITICAL SCIENCE DEGREE?

Political science programs focus on political theories and different government systems. It’s a multidisciplinary field that covers how resources are distributed, laws, policies, and more. Read more here.

IS A POLITICAL SCIENCE DEGREE WORTH IT?

Graduates with a political science degree are prepared for many positions that currently have a low unemployment rate, such as paralegal and public relations specialist. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects many of these positions to grow. Read more here.

IS POLITICAL SCIENCE A LIBERAL ARTS DEGREE?

No. Both programs are multidisciplinary, but political science has more of a focus on government policy, resource distribution, and law. Read more here.

WILL AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN POLITICAL SCIENCE PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

A bachelor’s in political science online degree will introduce students to the foundational theories and practices that have shaped modern politics, laws, and government systems.
Coursework will involve extensive study in both the U.S. government and the governments of other countries, often as part of side-by-side comparisons. Other courses will delve into social justice and advocacy, highlighting some of the defining social issues of the past and present. Capstone projects allow students to draw on the skills and knowledge they have acquired to create a comprehensive report, and internships prepare students for the realities of today’s work environments.

WILL AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN POLITICAL SCIENCE PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Bachelor’s in political science online programs offer a flexible, easily-accessible alternative to traditional higher learning. Students can download course lectures and readings, participate in virtual discussions with other students, submit written assignments, take exams, and communicate with their professors from the comfort of their own home. Current technology also enables them to study on the go using a laptop, tablet, smartphone and other portable Wi-Fi-compatible devices.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY BACHELOR’S IN POLITICAL SCIENCE?

Bachelor’s in political science recipients are typically well-suited for jobs in law, policy, criminal justice, and other fields related to political theories and practices. In addition, many of these students find careers in occupations that require skills in leadership and communication, as well as a background in liberal arts, social sciences, and social advocacy. These include roles in fields like public relations, human resources, sales and marketing, social work, and community management. The bachelor’s in political science can also serve as a stepping-stone toward a master’s or Ph.D. in political science; a graduate degree is often the minimum educational attainment level for political scientists, as well as political science teachers.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN POLITICAL SCIENCE PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school’s strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online bachelor’s in political science programs in the United States. Our ranking is based on the courses schools offer, available specializations, student outcomes, career support services, and other criteria used to determine academic excellence. If you are considering an online bachelor’s degree in political science, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific requirements and offerings.

See Methodology
Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1 Florida International University RANKING SCORE 77.81 COST GRADUATION RATE 56% LOCATION Miami, FL

As Miami's largest university, FIU serves about 54,000 students and offers more than 40 online and blended programs. The school ranks among the nation's top research universities, with more Fulbright scholars on staff than the majority of comparable colleges sharing the R1 Carnegie classification.

FIU's online political science degree emphasizes the analysis of political institutions, theory, and processes. The program encourages students to participate in political events and public affairs. FIU's online BA in political science comprises 120 credits, including prerequisites and core requirements, political science major courses, and electives. Major coursework focuses on the four general fields of political science: American politics, comparative politics, international politics, and political theory. Students may apply credits earned through independent studies or internships toward elective requirements. Distance learners can complete the degree entirely online.

Students enrolled in the online program partner with an assigned success coach to develop a customized undergraduate study plan. Students may tailor their program to include a specialized area of study within political science. Distance learners can begin the program in the fall, spring, or summer term. FIU Online offers interactive course content, 24/7 tech support, and streaming lectures. Coursework is completed in an asynchronous format.

Freshman applicants must submit official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students must provide official college transcripts and, if submitting less than 60 transferable credits, high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.

Students build advanced professional expertise in communication, collaboration, and critical-thinking, in addition to global political science skills. Graduates qualify for careers in political research, campaign management, public policy analysis, and government service.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Tuition: $213/credit in-state; $330/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (305)348-7000
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
2 University of Central Florida RANKING SCORE 77.19 COST GRADUATION RATE 69% LOCATION Orlando, FL

Serving over 64,000 students, Orlando's University of Central Florida has offered online degrees -- including a highly regarded online political science degree -- for over 20 years. To receive the university's political science BA degree, students must complete 120 credits of general education and major-related courses with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 for all political science classes. Learners must also demonstrate capability in a foreign language, either by completing one year of college-level instruction by the Department of Modern Languages or testing out through standardized examinations.

The major is divided into three tracks, of which students must choose one: American politics and policy, international relations-comparative politics, or pre-law. Each track consists of a three-credit basic core requirement, 21 credits of advanced coursework, and 12 credits of related electives. Students have time to pursue electives outside of the major, but not all electives may be available online. UCF delivers most of its online political science courses through the university's [email protected] learning management system.

UCF's Online Student Services provides access to multiple resources, including career services, academic resource and writing centers, accessibility and advisory services, library access, and book and computer stores.

Applicants must hold a minimum GPA of 2.0 from their previous institution. Transfer students may not count community college credit toward upper-division courses. Even if CLEP is awarded, 60 credits must be completed at UCF. The last 30 out of 39 credits must also be completed at the university. At this time, state regulations prevent UCF from admitting residents of Michigan, Minnesota, or Oregon. In-state and out-of-state tuition admission rates are the same, but non-Florida residents are subject to an out-of-state fee.


Program Overview
Department: Political Science
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Political Science
Available concentrations: American politics & policy, international relations - comparative politics, pre-law
Accrediting body: SACS
Tuition: $179/credit in-state; $384/credit out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT (if fewer than 60 transferable credits)

Admission Requirements
Department phone: (407) 823-2608
Department email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
3 Northeastern University RANKING SCORE 70.31 COST GRADUATION RATE 86% LOCATION Boston, MA

Founded in 1898 and presently enrolling over 17,000 students, Northeastern University is located in the historic city of Boston. Northeastern's College of Professional Studies offers an online political science degree, the school's BS in political science. This degree requires 120 credits, including foundational courses in general education (18 semester hours) and political science (36 semester hours), as well as major requirements and electives (36 semester hours).

The curriculum takes a multidisciplinary approach, drawing relevant coursework from departments such as history and anthropology. The program includes optional concentrations in international relations and comparative politics or American politics, which can be completed through five specific electives. Major studies conclude with a required three-credit capstone course that engages students in extensive research and analysis.

Northeastern uses the Blackboard online learning system, and students may access materials at any time, though assignments are usually due on a weekly basis. Northeastern's academic year consists of three 15-week terms. Online students enjoy access to the Office of Academic Advising (everyone is assigned a career and academic coach), the Peer Mentoring Program, tutoring services, and Northeastern's libraries.

Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED and need to submit transcripts from any institution attended, including those from which they wish to transfer credit. SAT and ACT scores are not required, but students with sufficient Advanced Placement scores should submit them to receive college credit. For added flexibility, Northeastern administers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer, and calculates tuition on a per-year basis. Tuition rates are the same for all students regardless of residency. Online students may also qualify for merit- and need-based scholarships, awarded several times per year.


Program Overview
Department: College of Professional Studies
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Political Science
Available concentrations: International relations & comparative politics, American politics
Accrediting body: NEASC
Tuition: $504/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 4-7 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling

Admission Requirements
Department phone: (877) 668-7727
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
4 Liberty University RANKING SCORE 66.51 COST GRADUATION RATE 51% LOCATION Lynchburg, VA

Founded in 1971 in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty is the largest university in the state and also the largest private, nonprofit school in the United States. The university serves over 100,000 students through academic programs rooted in Christian values and principles. Liberty offers 289 online programs at all levels of study across 17 academic schools.

Liberty's political science degree online builds a foundation in the history and theory behind political science. The program also introduces students to the basic principles of civic and American government within a Biblical context. Students can complete the 120-credit program entirely online. Courses explore modern economics and politics, foreign policy, and the composition of the U.S. government. Distance learners must complete a Christian life and thought sequence and a course in instructional technology for online learning, which are part of the core requirements. The BS in political science culminates in a senior seminar, along with courses in political theory and contemporary issues in political science.

Each distance course lasts eight weeks. Students may begin Liberty's online political science degree at one of eight yearly start dates. Courses do not require specific log in times. Students may transfer up to 90 credits toward the BS in political science degree, however at least 30 hours must be completed through Liberty.

Applicants must submit a high school self-certification form, confirming completion of a high school diploma or its equivalent, as well as any unofficial college transcripts from prior experience, with a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Liberty offers generous financial aid options, especially for military personnel and veterans, including tuition discounts, book vouchers, and college credit for military training.

Graduates often enter the fields of public administration, regulatory affairs, and community development, aspiring to careers as lobbyists or elected officials in the private government sector.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Political Science
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800)424-9595
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
5 Texas Tech University RANKING SCORE 66.46 COST GRADUATION RATE 60% LOCATION Lubbock, TX

With an annual enrollment of more than 37,000 students, TTU is one of the largest colleges in Texas, offering more than 150 degrees through its main campus in Lubbock, several satellite locations, and a substantial online program. The school’s BA in political science offers a broad overview of domestic and international politics that is ideal for careers in journalism, education, business, and politics. This degree uses a fully-online format. In-state tuition is available to students who take all courses online, making it convenient and affordable to pursue the degree regardless of state residency. For online learners who do reside in Texas, TTU hosts many distance education sites in cities around the state, including Waco, El Paso, Fredericksburg, and Highland Lakes. These campuses make it possible for many students to complete some classroom courses at a satellite location near their home.

The online political science degree requires at least 30 credits of major coursework, which includes courses such as international politics and the history of the United States since 1877. The program focuses on regional politics, with available courses in Texas politics and federal and Texas constitutions. TTU offers four concentration options: American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and policy and public administration. Each concentration requires 12 credits of relevant electives. The comparative politics track features courses in comparative foreign policy, post-communist politics, governments of Western Europe, and Latin American politics. All students must complete a nine-credit communications literacy component, which is part of the political science curriculum. The components builds skills in written, oral, and mathematical communication. Political science courses that satisfy the communications requirement include introduction to political analysis, selected topics in American politics, selected topics in international relations, and selected topics in comparative politics.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Available concentrations: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Policy and Public Administration
Tuition: $421/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (806) 742-2011
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
6 University of Illinois at Springfield RANKING SCORE 63.33 COST GRADUATION RATE 50% LOCATION Springfield, IL

UIS was founded in 1995 and serves around 5,400 students. This public liberal arts college is home to a sizeable online program, which includes a bachelor of arts in political science that integrates empirical, philosophical, and policy-based approaches to the field. This degree is offered completely online, and learners must live within 50 miles of Springfield to apply to the program.

The political science online degree requires 32 major credits, with 17 credits of core courses and 15 credits of elective courses. The program core includes six courses, covering foundational topics such as political philosophy, comparative politics, international relations, and empirical political analysis. The elective requirement allows students to explore specialized political science topics and consists of five courses at the 300 or 400-level. The program concludes with a two-credit closing seminar that synthesizes major political science topics. Students also have the option to take an honors closing seminar that covers similar material but requires the completion of an independent research study in a political science area. Honors students are allowed to take one graduate political science course as an elective, though this credit cannot be used toward a graduate degree.

All students at UIS must complete a 10-credit engaged citizenship common experience, which emphasizes global awareness and community engagement. Political science majors complete a six-credit internship program and a four-credit U.S. communities course. The internship begins with an academic seminar that builds a theoretical framework for the field experience. Students then complete supervised work with an approved organization in politics or public affairs, drawing connections between their course learning and the real world. Online learners perform the internship near their residence, communicating with faculty online and by telephone. UIS allows students to complete two internships.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Tuition: $370/credit
Credit requirements: 120 years
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (217) 206-6646
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
7 University of Massachusetts - Amherst RANKING SCORE 62.45 COST GRADUATION RATE 76% LOCATION Amherst, MA

UMass is a major center of higher education in New England, operating five campus locations as well as UMass Online, a distance education system that offers more than 150 degrees online. The school’s bachelor of arts in political science helps students build a broad understanding of political systems and processes in the U.S. and around the world. Students gain knowledge of major political science concepts and theories as well as the skills to analyze these ideas critically. The program is available completely online.

UMass’ political science online degree is a completion program, and applicants must hold at least 24 undergraduate credits, either from UMass or another accredited institution. These credits typically fulfill lower division and general education requirements, preparing students for specialized major coursework. Applicants can transfer up to 75 credits toward the degree. While admission is open to out-of-state students, certain state regulations prevent UMass from enrolling online learners who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Maryland, and Minnesota. The school offers free online demo courses that introduce the online learning platform.

The 39-credit major curriculum introduces fundamental topics in political science, including public policy, constitutional law, civil liberties and rights, and political parties and interest groups. An optional pre-law concentration focuses on U.S. and international law and court systems, preparing graduates for law school. All students complete a three-credit internship with a political or public policy organization. The internship offers the chance to explore connections between class learning and real life public policy, giving students a better understanding of how political theories relate to political practice. UMass allows online learners to intern with organizations in their own community, but the political science department must approve all internship placements.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Available concentrations: Pre-law
Tuition: $332/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.7 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (508) 999-9202
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
8 Oregon State University RANKING SCORE 61.30 COST GRADUATION RATE 63% LOCATION Corvallis, OR

Based in Corvallis, Oregon State University is a public research university that offers a highly regarded online political science degree as either a BA or BS. Consisting of 180 credits, the program's curriculum explores topics beyond American politics. For example, students analyze the politics of contemporary Europe and how global powers view the US alongside subjects such as sports and environmental politics. They may also choose to study American and international politics; government; political analysis; and related issues like media, gender, and law. Online students also have the option to declare a minor.

Students must meet five broad requirements in order to earn OSU's online political science degree. First, students are required to complete 51 credits of general education core classes, which includes a three-credit writing intensive course. Learners must also complete 15 additional credits in the College of Liberal Arts core. Students also complete 15 to 24 political science credits on top of the program requirement of 51 major credits. Finally, students must fill the remaining credits with electives to meet the 180 credit total. OSU delivers courses via Canvas during four 11-week quarter terms throughout the year.

Ecampus Student Services offers access to resources such as OSU Libraries, online tutoring, career services, a writing center, and video-based counseling. The Open Oregon State program offers learners a variety of free educational materials online, including digital textbooks.

Applicants with less than 24 semester credits are considered first-year students. OSU administers four application deadlines per year, each nine weeks prior to the start of the quarter. High school graduates should submit ACT or SAT scores. OSU maintains a preference for GPAs of 3.0 or higher. Transfer applicants should have a 2.25 minimum GPA in their college coursework. OSU's tuition rates are the same low per-credit rate regardless of an applicant's state residency.


Program Overview
Department: Political Science
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts or Bachelor's of Science in Political Science
Available concentrations: General political science; environmental politics & policy; international affairs; law, politics, and society
Accrediting body: NWCCU
Tuition: $280/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 180 quarter credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, winter, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.25 minimum for transfer applicants only
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT (if graduated high school in 2011 or later)

Admission Requirements
Department phone: (541) 737-1879
Department email: [email protected] (Andrew Edwards, Advisor)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
9 Pennsylvania State University RANKING SCORE 60.36 COST GRADUATION RATE 25% LOCATION University Park, PA

Public research university Penn State has educated online students for nearly two decades thanks to its internet-based University Park World Campus, the second-largest campus of the Pennsylvania State University system. Although its online political science degree is offered as a BS and a BA, this profile highlights the school's BS in political science.

To earn the BS, students must complete 120 credits of online political science courses centered on political theory, analysis, mathematics, programming, and statistics. The program also provides several opportunities for students to complete non-major-related electives. Penn State schedules start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. Courses last between 12 to 15 weeks and generally involve weekly assignments. Students access materials, delivered by the Canvas and ANGEL course management systems, at their convenience. To help with their studies, 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.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED. Transfer applicants must have earned a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0. In order for credits to transfer, a course must have an equivalent offered by Penn State and must relate to the political science major. The last 36 of 60 credits must be completed by students on-campus at Penn State. Tuition rates remain the same regardless of residency. Students who pursue 12 or more credits a semester pay a flat fee and part-time students pay a per-credit rate. Military and veteran students qualify for lower tuition rates, and extra admission and credit transfer support.

The university 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).


Program Overview
Department: Political Science
Program name: Bachelor's of Science in Political Science
Accrediting body: MSCHE
Tuition: $542/credit (59 or fewer credits); $584/credit (60+ credits)

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 120 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall - June 30; spring - October 31; summer - March 15

Admission Requirements
Department phone: (814) 863-5386
Admissions email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
10 University of Wisconsin - La Crosse RANKING SCORE 60.21 COST GRADUATION RATE 68% LOCATION La Crosse, WI

UWL is home to an online program that offers one of the Midwest’s best political science degrees online. The school’s bachelor of science in political science approaches the subject from a humanistic and scientific perspective, combining qualitative and quantitative methods to examine political structures. Students gain a broad understanding of how political systems develop, function, and change over time. Learners also explore domestic and international politics. All required courses for the degree are available online, and they do not include any on-campus requirements.

The political science major requires 30 credits and consists of a 15-credit core, six credits of elective courses, and nine credits in the program’s areas of inquiry. Students select one course from three of the four areas, which includes American government and politics, international relations, comparative politics, and political theory. The areas of inquiry offer a variety of courses that allow degree candidates to customize their studies and explore personal or professional interests. The American government component includes courses such as American presidency, politics and the media, identity politics, and Wisconsin government and politics.

Elective courses allow students to select six additional credits from any of the inquiry areas or the school’s public administration department. Elective options include an independent study in political science and internships in political science, criminal justice, and public administration. Internships allow students to work with political organizations at the local, state, or federal level, drawing connections between the program and their own experience. The independent study course allows candidates to explore an area not covered by elective courses under faculty supervision. The internship can be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits, while the independent study can be repeated for a maximum of six. Online students can perform internships and independent studies, though not all elective offerings may be available online.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Political Science
Tuition: $3,073/term
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (608) 785.8434
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
11 University of Iowa RANKING SCORE 59.22 COST GRADUATION RATE 72% LOCATION Iowa City, IA

Based in Iowa City, UI is oldest college in the state, with a history dating back to 1847. The school is also home to one of the largest online programs in Iowa, which includes a bachelor of arts in political science. This fully online degree explores American politics and international affairs through a highly customizable curriculum with several specialization options.

The political science online degree requires 36 credits of major coursework, split between 15 credits of introductory courses and 21 credits of upper division courses. Intro courses include foundational topics in American politics, political behavior, comparative politics, international relations, and American foreign policy. Students then complete an additional seven courses in specialized political topics, with unique options such as Latin American politics, revolutions and political violence, immigration policies, and fixing America’s electoral system.

UI’s political science curriculum offers significant flexibility, and candidates are not required to take any specific upper division courses. The school offers several concentration options that emphasize specialized knowledge in areas such as political behavior, American intuitions, and identity politics. Each concentration requires students to complete four courses from an approved list, for example, the identity politics concentration includes options such as black literature and politics, immigration politics, and women and politics in the United States. Not all concentration course options may be available online.

UI offers a variety of support services for online students, including academic advising and counseling done by Martha Kirby for first-year students through graduation. First-year students receive support from the Academic Advising Center, which assists with the transition into academic life and the development of academic success strategies. From the second year on, a dedicated academic adviser offers support specifically for online political science students, assisting with course selections, schedule changes, and further study plans. Online learners can schedule virtual advising appointments using UI’s convenient online scheduling system.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Available concentrations: American Institutions, Political Behavior, Political Communication, Identity Politics Political Theory, Politics of Foreign Countries, International Relations
Tuition: $324/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: UI CLAS admissions requirements
Standardized tests: SAT and ACT only needed for students with less than 24 hours of college credits earned

Contact
Phone: 319-335-2347
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
12 Kennesaw State University RANKING SCORE 59.17 COST GRADUATION RATE 42% LOCATION Kennesaw, GA

With more than 35,000 students, KSU is one of the largest colleges in Georgia, operating campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta, several satellite locations, and an online learning program. The school’s bachelor of science in political science examines the formation and functions of government systems, with a focus on the institutions and the processes that shape public policy. This fully-online program offers asynchronous courses.

KSU’s political science online degree curriculum consists of 18 credits of lower division major requirements, 15 credits of upper division major requirements, 15 credits of upper division electives, and 15 credits of related studies. Lower division courses introduce fundamental concepts, including state and local government, comparative politics, and political ideologies. The upper division core requires candidates to select one course from four of five available subfields: American government and politics, global studies, political theory, public law and administration, and research methods. Each subfield offers several course options. The global studies area includes courses in American foreign policy, international law and organization, and the politics of developing areas.

Upper division electives allow candidates to customize their studies in specialized areas of political science. An additional 15 credits of related studies serve a similar function, allowing students to choose complementary courses in relevant areas such as business law, economics, statistics, or any other approved subject area. Common related study courses include international trade and finance, public and urban economics, and advanced business law. Students have the option to complete an internship, directed applied research, and cooperative study. All degree candidates must also complete a senior seminar as part of the program’s upper division requirements. This capstone course draws connections between the major concepts and theories, focusing on the intersection of empirical and theoretical modes of inquiry.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Political Science
Tuition: $257/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (470) 578-2929
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
13 University of Hawaii - West Oahu RANKING SCORE 58.02 COST GRADUATION RATE 14% LOCATION Kapolei, HI

Kapolei-based University of Hawai'i-West O'ahu was founded in 1976 and today offers six bachelor's programs covering 32 areas of study, including the bachelor of arts in social science with a concentration in political science. Students pursuing this political science online degree not only take a variety of major-specific courses, but also a series of interdisciplinary courses that enable them to think critically about the changing face of politics on the global, national, and local levels.

Courses in the program include global issues, environmental politics, and Hawai'i politics. Students are encouraged to pursue internships, and former students have worked at institutions including the National Tropical Botanical Garden, Maui Community Day Work Program, and the Hawai'i Immigrant Justice Center.

Hawai'i residents pay less tuition than do out-of-state students. However, students who fall within the Pacific Island Jurisdiction or the Western Undergraduate Exchange pay a lower rate than other out-of-state students. These groups include a number of Pacific Islands, such as Tonga and the Federated States of Micronesia, and a number of western states and territories.

Applicants with a 2.0 minimum GPA and at least 24 credits from an accredited institution can apply as transfer students; those with fewer credits qualify as freshmen. Freshmen applicants must have a 2.7 GPA and SAT or ACT scores to enroll. Lower GPA applicants can be considered based on their test scores. All freshmen students must provide a letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor as well as a one-page personal essay. Applicants who have earned a GED may also apply, but are encouraged to complete the SAT or ACT.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences with a concentration in Political Science
Tuition: $300/credit in-state; $840/credit out-of-state; $450/credit Pacific Island Jurisdiction or Western Undergraduate Exchange
Credit requirements: 120
Program length: 2 to 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.7 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: 808-689-2372
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
14 Fort Hays State University RANKING SCORE 57.81 COST GRADUATION RATE 37% LOCATION Hays, KS

Kansas' Fort Hays State University boasts a total enrollment of more than 14,000 students, including approximately 8,100 online learners from more than 20 countries. FHSU's online political science degree is offered by the university's Virtual College and consists of courses in American politics, international relations/comparative politics, public law, political theory, and public administration and policy. Students may concentrate in public administration or pre-law. Unlike some pre-law concentrations at other political science degree online schools, FHSU's program includes a number of law-related courses such as legal advocacy, legal research, and even LSAT preparation.

In order to complete the 124 credit hours required for the BA in political science, students take 55 credit hours of general education classes, 37 credit hours of core and major classes in political sciences, and 22 credit hours of electives in any field of interest. However, those who pursue a concentration have less opportunities for free electives, as concentration coursework consists of 20 credit hours. The program has a 10-credit hour modern language requirement, and students must complete a senior capstone research project. FHSU delivers its online political science courses asynchronously through Blackboard.

All online students are assigned an academic adviser 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.

To apply, all incoming freshmen under the age of 21 must submit ACT or SAT scores. Both freshmen and transfer applicants should submit transcripts from all prior institutions. Kansas residents must hold a minimum GPA of 2.0, while out-of-state applicants should demonstrate a minimum 2.5 GPA. Students may enroll in the fall, spring, and summer. Tuition is the same affordable per-credit hour rate regardless of state residency. Fort Hays is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Department: Political Science
Program name: Bachelor's of Arts in Political Science
Available concentrations: Pre-law, public administration
Accrediting body: NCA
Tuition: $207/credit

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous & synchronous

Program Requirements
Credit requirements: 124 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 4 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
GPA: Requirements vary based on age, residency status, & number of college-level credits
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT (unless over the age of 21 or ranked in top third of high school class)

Admission Requirements
Department phone: (785) 628-5393
Department email: [email protected] (Shala Mills, Department Chair)
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
15 University of Memphis RANKING SCORE 56.56 COST GRADUATION RATE 42% LOCATION Memphis, TN

U of M serves more than 21,000 students through campus and distance education programs. The bachelor of arts in political science offers a broad overview of governments domestically and internationally, exploring the ways in which countries and political institutions interact with one another.

The college divides its political science curriculum into four main areas: American government and politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. Undergraduates are required to complete at least six credits in each of the four fields and a total of 36 political science major credits. Each subsection offers a wide variety of course options, giving candidates the ability to customize their studies. The American government and politics section includes more than a dozen courses, with options such as interest groups in American politics, the political media, constitutional law and national powers, and urban politics. Degree candidates are only required to complete two specific courses for the political science major: American government and political statistics.

U of M offers several unique experiential learning opportunities for undergraduates earning their political science degree online, including administrative or legislative internships, mock trial courses, study abroad opportunities, and independent programs. Internships typically take place with branches of local, state, or national government, with many students interning at the Tennessee General Assembly. Internships also include a seminar portion that allows students to discuss and analyze their learning. The mock trial course is a simulation that builds deeper knowledge the U.S. judicial system, making it ideal for pre-law candidates. Study abroad programs offer the opportunity to perform field work in a foreign country, while independent study allows students to perform in-depth research into a political science area of their choice. Undergraduates can fulfill up to nine credits of major coursework using any of these unique learning experiences.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Tuition: $420/hour
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (901) 678-2111
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
16 University of Massachusetts - Lowell RANKING SCORE 56.56 COST GRADUATION RATE 56% LOCATION Lowell, MA

UMass-Lowell is the second-largest public college in Massachusetts, serving more than 18,000 students annually. The school’s bachelor of liberal arts with a concentration in political science explores government and political practices at the local, regional, national, and international levels, examining the effects of politics on major aspects of society and culture. This flexible program is available either completely online or in a hybrid format.

UMass’ liberal arts program is customizable, and degree candidates select two concentration options to fulfill credit requirements. The school offers several concentrations for political science undergraduates, including economics, gender studies, history, legal studies, and philosophy. The liberal arts major requires 42 credits, which are split evenly between two concentrations. Students choose from several online political science courses, including traditional topics in public policy, international relations, and American politics. The curriculum emphasizes the relationship between politics and cultural exchange, with unique courses such as the politics of food, politics and sports, and politics of the internet. Concentration studies take the form of electives, with no specific courses required. Learners must take at least four upper division courses in each concentration. Online students complete their final concentration course in each discipline as part of UMass-Lowell’s interdisciplinary focus requirement.

Students benefit from a wide selection of academic resources and support, including academic advising, tutoring, and career services. Academic advisers are available for live online chat sessions to answer questions or to provide in-depth counseling through telephone or email. The school also hosts a virtual open house that introduces online learning practices to new students. Peer tutors are available to help with most academic subject areas, including writing and political science. The Office of Career Services & Cooperative Education Center supports students in obtaining employment during school and after graduation through internships, career connections, and resume and interview training.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Liberal Arts with concentration in Political Science
Available concentrations: Economics, History, Gender Studies, Legal Studies. Philosophy
Tuition: $340/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (978) 934-2474
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
17 University of Maryland - University College RANKING SCORE 55.57 COST GRADUATION RATE 10% LOCATION Adelphi, MD

The University of Maryland-University College was founded in 1947 as the College of Special and Continuation Studies, and has focused on educating working professionals ever since. UMUC is part of the University System of Maryland, and the second part of the school's moniker -- University College -- is a British term which denotes that UMUC teaches courses from all departments outside of the university's normal class times. This means that the bachelor of science in political science at UMUC is flexible and well-suited for students with commitments outside school.

The program prepares students for careers in the ever-changing world of politics, whether as elected officials, administrators, journalists, or any number of related careers. Graduates will be capable of analyzing political structures and interpreting complex problems in order to propose solutions.

Courses in the program include terrorism, antiterrorism, homeland security, American foreign relations, and international political relations. Over the course of the program, students complete an in-depth political analysis of a specific country in order to produce a white paper assessing the political or economic risks of working with that nation. They also choose a policy-oriented group to research and develop a counterterrorism plan for the organization.

This political science online degree consists of 120 credits delivered through eight-week courses, allowing students to focus on one class at a time, while still completing their program quickly. Most courses do not use exams, but instead test student knowledge through essays and other projects. Up to 90 credits can be transferred from other accredited institutions. Maryland residents pay less for tuition than out-of-state students, and military personnel qualify for reduced tuition.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Political Science
Tuition: $289/credit in-state; $499/credit out-of-state; $250/credit military
Credit requirements: 120

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: 855-655-8682
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
18 Indiana University - East RANKING SCORE 54.53 COST GRADUATION RATE 33% LOCATION Richmond, IN

Richmond-based Indiana University East offers over 800 courses through more than 50 programs, and has graduated over 8,000 students. Among those programs is the political science online degree, which prepares students for careers including social activism, law, nonprofit administration, and politics. Courses include political theory, political analysis, and comparative international politics. All students in the program complete a written project that serves as a culmination of their studies.

The bachelor of science in political science is a degree completion program for students who have already fulfilled their general education requirements. Students planning to take online political science courses at IUE must have earned 60 credits toward the 120 credits needed to earn a bachelor's degree. At least 30 credits must be from 200-level courses at IUE, and 15 credits in the major field must also be from IUE.

For admission, transfer students from Indiana need a minimum GPA of 2.0 in their previous coursework from an accredited institution; nonresidents need a minimum GPA of 2.5. Freshmen applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores, though they must complete their general education courses before they can enroll in the political science program.

Indiana residents pay less than out-of-state students, though residents in select counties in Western Ohio also qualify for in-state tuition. The Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP) allows students from other midwest states to pay reduced tuition. Qualifying states include Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Freshman, transfer, or returning students from these states automatically qualify for MSEP. IUE offers a number of competitive scholarships, including some intended specifically for transfer students.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Political Science
Tuition: $216/credit in-state; $309/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 60
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: 765-973-8208
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
19 University of Missouri - St Louis RANKING SCORE 53.96 COST GRADUATION RATE 53% LOCATION St. Louis, MO

The University of Missouri-St. Louis's UMSLNOW initiative provides flexible options for students with busy schedules, offerings classes at night, online, and on weekends to help learners achieve their educational goals. The bachelor of arts in political science at UMSL is a strong point for the school, featuring faculty who are nationally and internationally recognized for their research. Students earning their political science degree online at UMSL can go on to become judges, professors, policy advocates, and elected officials.

The degree consists of 120 credits, 36 of of which must be major-specific courses. Half of the courses in the major must be at the 2000 or 3000 level, and 15 must be at the 3000 or 4000 level. Courses in the program include comparative and American politics, political analysis, public policy, and administration. All students must complete a senior seminar to round out their education. The topic of this seminar changes each semester.

Students must complete a foreign language requirement as part of the bachelor's degree. Specialization options also exist in legal studies, American politics, public policy and administration, and international and comparative studies. Students are encouraged to take electives in other departments that relate to their major, in addition to at least one statistics or accounting course.

Transfer students must have at least 24 credits from an accredited institution, otherwise they must apply as freshmen. Transfer students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.3 in order to be considered. The tuition rate for Missouri or Illinois residents is lower than it is for out-of-state students.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Tuition: $404/credit in-state; $972/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid

Admission Requirements
GPA: Varies according to ACT or SAT scores
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: 314-516-5521
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
20 University of North Alabama RANKING SCORE 53.75 COST GRADUATION RATE 43% LOCATION Florence, AL

UNA is the oldest public college in Alabama, with a history that dates back to 1830. The school is home to a respected distance education program that includes a completely-online political science degree. UNA offers either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in political science. Both programs cover the major principles of politics, government, and public policy; feature the same major curriculum; and most of the same general education requirements. The BA requires a language component, while the BS fulfills these credits with additional electives.

The political science major requires 36 credits, split evenly between the program core and electives. The 18-credit core includes six courses that cover foundational political science topics such as U.S. government and politics, public policy and administration, comparative politics, and political theory. Students have the option to pair their political science degree with a minor in legal studies, a popular combination that explores the intersection of law and politics. The minor prepares graduates for law school through courses such as U.S. constitutional history, criminal law, and judicial process and behavior.

UNA’s elective courses offer the chance to delve into specialized political science subfields, with six available subject areas to choose from: American politics, comparative governments, political theory, international relations, public policy, and public administration. Students may earn up to three elective credits with either an internship or an independent study. The internship allows online learners to gain real-life experience with a government or public policy organization, while the independent study allows students to explore a political science topic that falls outside the scope of elective offerings. Another unique elective option is the model United Nations, an online simulation that builds a deeper understanding of UN procedures and international relations.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Political Science or Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Tuition: $277/credit
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.25 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (256) 765-4525
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
21 Arizona State University - Downtown RANKING SCORE 53.49 COST GRADUATION RATE 67% LOCATION Phoenix, AZ

Opened as the Territorial Normal School in 1886, Tempe-based Arizona State University is older than the state it calls home, and today is considered one of the most innovative schools in the country. ASU's over 130-year history has seen the graduation of more than 500,000 students. Among the university's many offerings is the bachelor of arts in political science.

A political science degree trains graduates for careers in politics, business, and a variety of other fields. Courses in the ASU program include political theory and American foreign policy, contemporary global controversies, and politics and film. These courses are taught by awarding winning faculty, who hold prestigious honors including the Pulitzer Prize and the MacArthur Fellowship.

Courses are 7.5 weeks long in this 120-credit program, allowing multiple start dates, but students are still limited to 18 credit hours per spring or fall semester, and seven during summer semesters. Students in this major are required to study a foreign language or, if they already speak another language, prove competency in it though testing.

At least 30 credits for this online political science degree must be completed at ASU, but students can transfer credits from other accredited institutions. A maximum of 64 credits may come from a community college. Transfering credits can also help reduce the cost of attendance at ASU. Financial aid is available to students who qualify, including scholarships, grants, and loans.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Available concentrations: N/A
Tuition: $584/credit
Credit requirements: 120
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: 855-278-5080
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
22 University of West Georgia RANKING SCORE 53.23 COST GRADUATION RATE 41% LOCATION Carrollton, GA

Located in Carrollton, UWG has a substantial online program that includes a bachelor of arts in political science and a bachelor of science in political science. Online learners at UWG receive support from the college, including an academic adviser that is assigned to political science students. This adviser can assist with course selection, academic planning, and connecting students to other school resources.

The bachelor of arts political science curriculum includes 12 credits of foundation courses and 27 credits of major courses. Foundation courses build broad knowledge in history, social sciences, philosophy, and other relevant disciplines. Students choose four courses from a wide selection of topics, with common selections including survey of world history, U.S. history, introduction to ethics, and introduction to global studies. Major courses explore upper division political science topics, with students required to take at least one course in four subject areas: political theory, American politics, comparative politics, and international politics. All political science undergraduates must take the senior seminar, which serves as a capstone course. Offering a broad overview of program topics, the seminar focuses on individualized study, allowing students to identify weak spots in their learning and augment these areas with concentrated study.

All students pursuing the political science online degree are required to select an academic minor worth 15 to 18 credits. UWG offers several appropriate minors to match the political science major, including economics, anthropology, geography, global studies, and history. Elective courses build additional knowledge in related areas and require students to earn another 15 to 18 credits. One popular elective option is the internship in government, which allows candidates to earn up to six credits for supervised work with a political or public policy organization. Online learners can perform the internship within their own community, building professional experience and drawing connections between schoolwork and the real world.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Political Science
Tuition: $264/credit
Credit requirements: 124 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (678) 869-6504
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
23 University of Wisconsin - Whitewater RANKING SCORE 52.55 COST GRADUATION RATE 57% LOCATION Whitewater, WI

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater joined the University of Wisconsin system in 1971, having been Wisconsin State University for a hundred years. Among the school's programs is the online political science degree, which can be earned as either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science. Tailored for careers in politics, law, or public administration, this major gives students hands-on experience through internships, research projects, and practical coursework.

Courses in the program include writing in political science, women and American politics, the judicial process, and black political and social thought. Online courses are taught by the same faculty as on-campus courses, and come with the same expectations. Most applicants have already earned an associate degree, or at least completed their general education requirements. Students who have not already completed their general education requirements can still enroll in the program, but may have to take other courses before beginning their major courses.

Wisconsin residents qualify for instate tuition, and book rental is included in all online tuition rates. However, rates may vary from one program to the next, and so it is advisable to checks with the coordinators of different programs for specifics. The same financial aid options are available to online students as those studying on-campus, including grants, scholarships, and loans. Since the political science degree is a degree completion program, students should have already completed around half the credits needed to graduate prior to enrolling.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Political Science
Tuition: $7,680/year in-state; $16,000 out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120
Program length: 2 to 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online or hybrid
Instruction style: synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: ACT or SAT

Contact
Phone: 262-472-1532
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
24 Eastern Kentucky University RANKING SCORE 52.29 COST GRADUATION RATE 41% LOCATION Richmond, KY

Based in Richmond, EKU offers an online bachelor of arts in political science that builds foundational and advanced knowledge in U.S. and global politics, preparing graduates for positions within government and other political organizations. The program has six start dates per year and an accelerated, eight-week course format.

EKU’s political science degree online requires 51 major credits, which consists of a 36-credit program core and 15 credits of elective courses. The program core requires seven courses that build general knowledge in political science, with courses including world politics, introduction to political philosophy, research and writing in political science, and an introductory course in either public administration or public policy. The program core ends with the political science capstone, in which students integrate major subfields into a comprehensive research paper under faculty supervision.

Electives include specialized topics that explore advanced public policy, political theory, and the intersection of politics and culture. Candidates have the chance to customize their degree through unique courses such as the politics of Mexico, terrorism and political violence, and politics and religion in the United States. Students are required to take one diversity course, with options including law and politics of civil liberties, politics of development in Appalachia, and the politics of sex.

EKU provides online learners with a variety of academic resources, including online tutoring, career services, and adult learner resources. The school offers its own GURU tutoring service, allowing distance students to meet with peer tutors through Skype. The Center for Career and Co-op offers services for current students and alumni, including career exploration, resume and cover letter training, internship placement, interview skills training, and job search assistance. EKU also offers online assistance to help new and returning students adjust to academic life.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Tuition: $409/credit
Credit requirements: 120
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (859) 622-8224
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
25 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin RANKING SCORE 51.56 COST GRADUATION RATE 34% LOCATION Odessa, TX

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is recognized as an innovator within the University of Texas system for its work on affordable tuition, creative partnerships, and flexible course formats. UTPB offers many online programs, including a bachelor of arts in political science. Students learn to research and analyze data, study the U.S. legal system, and develop a global perspective.

Courses in the program include American national politics, congressional politics, and international relations. Three minor options are also associated with the program: communication, psychology, and sociology. These minor fields help to shape a student's studies and individualize their education, helping them to achieve their career goals. Political science majors can pursue careers in politics, lobbying, finance, and education.

Students complete this online political science degree in a year or more, depending on their personal situation. Online courses are taught asynchronously, meaning class sessions and work can be completed at any time to fit around the busy schedules of working professionals Courses are only eight weeks long, and there are six start dates each year. The program is taught by the same faculty who teach on-campus courses.

Tuition rates are the same regardless of residency, and UTPB offers flexible payment options to help students cover the cost of their education. Applicants who transfer credits from another regionally accredited institution must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. Students who earned credits from an institution which is not accredited may be considered for conditional admission, in which case they must retain at least a 2.0 GPA during their first 30 credits at UTPB.?


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Tuition: $297/credit
Credit requirements: 120
Program length: 12 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: 866-552-8872
Email: [email protected]

Tweet this Share this School Profile
26 National University RANKING SCORE 51.09 COST GRADUATION RATE 38% LOCATION La Jolla, CA

National University offers a one-course-per-month format which provides students a great deal of flexibility in scheduling their courses. Part of the National University System -- a collection of colleges focusing on the needs of modern students -- San Diego-based NU was founded in 1971 and has offered online classes for over 20 years. Among its online offerings is a bachelor of arts in political science, which prepares students to tackle hot-button issues in health care, community security, economics, and social justice.

Preparing students for careers in journalism, electoral politics, and nonprofit administration, this online political science degree includes courses such as public policy, Middle Eastern politics, global civic culture, and environmental ethics. Students must complete 180 quarter units, at least 45 of which must be completed at NU. The program includes a capstone course which requires students to analyze political science literature and write a paper based on their research. Successful graduates of the program should be capable of applying political science theories to practical situations, while undertaking rigorous research into questions about the nature of politics, power, and government.

Freshmen applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.0, though students with lower GPAs may be admitted on a probationary basis. NU has articulation agreements with over 110 community colleges, making it especially to transfer credits. NU charges the same tuition for undergraduate courses regardless of state residency. Students from California and Nevada community colleges are eligible for the Transfer to Success Scholarship.

NU's online courses are offered in an asynchronous format, allowing students maximum flexibility. Though courses have deadlines, students can log in and do their work according to their own schedules.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Tuition: $362/quarter unit; $1,629/course
Credit requirements: 180 quarter units

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: 858-642-8494
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
27 Central Michigan University RANKING SCORE 50.78 COST GRADUATION RATE 57% LOCATION Mount Pleasant, MI

CMU enrolls over 28,000 students annually, around a quarter of them through its online Global Campus program. The school’s bachelor of science in political science explores the theories, policies, and structures of government in a local, national, and international context. The versatile online program prepares graduates for careers in a variety of professional fields, including business, government, law, journalism, and education.

CMU’s political science degree online includes 33 major credits, with 15 credits dedicated to introductory courses and 18 credits dedicated to electives. The curriculum requires students to complete courses in five required subject areas: American national political institutions and processes, American state and local government/public administration and policy, international relations, comparative politics, and political theory. The introductory section comprises five courses that build foundational knowledge, including state and local governments, great political thinkers, and introduction to empirical methods of political research. Electives allow students to explore topics in the program’s five main subject areas, building deeper knowledge to suit their professional interests. CMU offers the opportunity to pursue one of three undergraduate certificates: citizen engagement, political advocacy and elections, and lawmaking and legal processes. Each certificate requires candidates to take a specific sequence of courses, and students may choose to pursue multiple certificates, although, this requires them to take additional courses.

For students with relevant professional or non-credit academic experience, CMU provides a Prior Learning Credit program, which offers the chance to translate real-life experiences into academic credit. Professional training, work experience, military training, and life experience all have the potential to count toward undergraduate credit. Academic advisers can work with students to determine relevant experiences that may fulfill prior learning requirements.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Political Science
Tuition: $417/credit
Credit requirements: 124 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (877) 268-4636
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
28 Texas State University RANKING SCORE 50.73 COST GRADUATION RATE 54% LOCATION San Marcos, TX

Established as a teachers college in 1903, Texas State University offers programs on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. The school enrolls 38,000 students and administers a comprehensive portfolio of degrees. The hybrid, 120-credit bachelor of arts in political science requires general education courses in subjects such as history, English, and philosophy. The 30-credit major includes the study of American government, political institutions, political theory and methodology, and public law and public administration. All students choose a minor, which includes consumer affairs, economics, media studies, and military science.

The program's electives give students the opportunity to explore advanced topics in five areas: American government, political theory and methodology, comparative government, international relations, and public law and public administration. Notable electives include the study of politics and personality, in which students examine political theory and personality and political orientation. A series of courses allows students to study particular groups, including women or Latinos in politics and the victims and perpetrators of The Holocaust. Those seeking to understand politics from an international perspective can study government and politics in Russia, Europe, or Latin America. Students acquire practical experience through an internship conducted at nonprofit agencies and must complete nine credits of writing courses before they graduate. Political science majors who plan to teach grades eight through 12 must choose a minor in geography or history and pass the TExES test, which confers certification.

Upon completion of the political science online degree, students acquire a substantial body of political science knowledge. This program prepares graduates for various career options, including working in the government and journalism. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED and the SAT or ACT.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of arts in political science
Tuition: $277/ credit in-state; $692/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (512) 716-4001
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
29 Southeast Missouri State University RANKING SCORE 50.73 COST GRADUATION RATE 49% LOCATION Cape Girardeau, MO

Southeast Missouri State University, based in Cape Girardeau, is home to more than 145 undergraduate majors and 75 graduate programs. The bachelor of arts in social science with a major in political science is a degree completion program tailored for students who have already earned an associate degree or completed college coursework.

Southeast emphasises career preparation, and many students make use of internships, research assistantships, and other opportunities to gain hands-on experience while taking classes. Online political science courses at Southeast are only available to students who have completed coursework within the political science discipline. Prior coursework might include on-campus or hybrid courses at Southeast, or courses taken at another accredited institution. Students with at least 24 credits from another college or university can enroll as transfer students, and must have earned a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Southeast offers a special tuition rate for online students, regardless of residency. These rates include all relevant general or web fees, though individual courses may involve additional fees. This rate applies only to students who are taking all of their classes online. Otherwise, students pay standard rates, and Missouri residents pay less than out-of-state students.

Online courses are delivered in either 16- or eight-week periods, with start or end dates based on the normal academic calender. Southeast makes use of Moodle, an open-source learning platform, to manage courses. This is the primary way students interact with their courses, professors, and peers. Online courses at Southwest typically make use of discussion forums to replace classroom discussions, allowing students to log in and contribute when it works for them.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of Arts in Social Science with Political Science concentration
Tuition: $272/credit
Credit requirements: 120
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: 573-651-2000
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile
30 University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth RANKING SCORE 50.05 COST GRADUATION RATE 48% LOCATION Dartmouth, MA

Umass-Dartmouth, one of five colleges in the University of Massachusetts system, enrolls 8,600 students. The school offers 55 undergraduate majors and 54 minors. Umass-Dartmouth provides students with ample extracurricular activities through 163 student organizations. Students unable to attend classes on campus can choose from a growing suite of fully online and hybrid programs. The 120-credit bachelor of arts in political science provides learners with a comprehensive education that is focused on political institutions, processes, and the global community.

The online political science degree requires general education that some students transfer in from prior college work. The program includes courses in public policy in America, constitutional law, civil liberties and rights, and political parties and interest groups. The analysis of public affairs writings and oral presentations cultivate research skills, fine-tune abilities to formulate and analyze arguments, and hone critical thinking and reading skills.

Some students choose the 39-credit, pre-law concentration to prepare for law school; the curriculum focuses on law and the courts, the political system in the U.S., and political systems around the globe. The bachelor of arts in political science requires all students to acquire hands-on experience through an internship at a relevant organization. Some students study abroad to expand their knowledge and get the internship requirement waived. Learners are prepared for careers in law, government, business, and international associations.

The school allows students to transfer up to 75 credits from a regionally accredited institution. Umass-Dartmouth offers online learners comprehensive support services, including free tutoring in math and writing, library access, and career development by appointment. Admission requirements include a high school diploma and the SAT or ACT.


Program Overview
Program name: Bachelor of arts in political science
Available concentrations: Pre-law concentration
Tuition: $996/three-credit course in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 120 credits
Program length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (508) 999-9202
Email: [email protected]
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Tweet this Share this School Profile

A political science degree online is for students interested in politics and political theory. Political science graduates find careers in government, law, business, advocacy groups, teaching, and journalism. An online political science degree covers a broad range of topics.

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Concentration Description Potential Careers
American politics This concentration focuses on analyzing and understanding the American political system using historical and contemporary case studies. The concentration typically looks at institutions, politicians, the public, law, the media, and diversity to try to understand how the political system has evolved and how to create change. Governmental positions (local, state, and federal level), lawyer, advocate in the nonprofit field, lobbyist
Comparative/international politics This concentration is similar to the American politics concentration but is expanded to analyze and compare politics at a global level. More focus is given to understanding and resolving conflict. A comparative politics concentration also spends time looking at why politics differ from country to country. Governmental positions, international business, international legal positions, NGOs
Political theory A political theory concentration (sometimes called political philosophy) focuses on the theoretical underpinnings of the political and legal system. Courses explore philosophical questions about the meaning of justice, the social order, and authority. Students who want a theoretical understanding of politics should consider this concentration. Teaching, law, governmental positions

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

Political science degree online schools offer a range of courses that can vary between schools. Some sample online political science courses are listed below.

  • The American political system: This course introduces students to how the American political system has worked historically and how it functions today. It also gives an overview of the field. Topics covered include institutional foundations of U.S. politics and activities of politicians, citizens, and organizations. This introductory course is helpful for students interested in any career dealing with politics or the government.
  • Constitutional law: This course looks at constitutional law in the United States from a contemporary and historical point of view. The intentions of the founding fathers are considered while the role of the Supreme Court and changes in society over time are also examined. The three branches of government and their separate roles are discussed. Future lawyers and government workers benefit from this course.
  • Political protest: This course examines the role of protest in either American or global politics. Topics include protesters, protest strategies, and response to protest from the government, the public, and the media. Students also analyze the way that protests and governmental responses to protest change depending on type of government and epoch. This course develops necessary skills for students interested in pursuing careers in advocacy and nonprofit groups.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN POLITICAL SCIENCE?

Factors affecting program length include the number of courses available each term, if a student attends classes full-time or part-time, and the number of transfer credits a student has when beginning the program.

Some programs give students the choice to go at their own pace, while others adopt a cohort learning approach. In cohort programs, students progress through the program together, taking the same courses each term. The cohort approach fosters a community of learners who support each other. Students who go at their own pace may have more flexibility in how many courses they take and when they take them. On average, it takes two-and-a-half to four years to complete a political science degree online.

When looking at political science degree online schools, it’s important to make sure the school chosen is accredited. Accreditation is a voluntary process in which a school is evaluated to make sure it meets minimum educational standards.

There are two types of accreditation: regional and national. Regional accreditation agencies concentrate on specific geographic regions of the country. National accreditation agencies can accredit schools in any part of the country and typically work with for-profit and faith-based schools. Regional accreditation is more widely recognized, and regionally accredited institutions tend to accept transfer credits. By choosing an accredited school, students can be assured they will get a quality education. Many political science online degrees at the bachelor’s level are not accredited separately from the school.

Two organizations play important roles in accreditation: the Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The Department of Education (DOE) is a U.S. government agency that establishes policy and coordinates federal assistance, including student loans and grants. The DOE publishes a list of nationally recognized accreditors that students can trust. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation is an organization of degree-granting American colleges and universities. Its purpose is to coordinate the accreditation process for higher education in the United States by ensuring the quality of accrediting agencies. For a list of all accredited schools, visit the Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

JOB PLACEMENT: BACHELOR’S IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

The political science field is relatively small, and little to no job growth is projected in the coming years. Thankfully, this is not the only career option for those who earn a bachelor’s in political science; graduates ― particularly those with good grades and solid recommendations ― are well-positioned to compete for jobs in business, creative media, and social services.

Unemployment rates for political science graduates will vary by their specific job title. Using data from U.S. News & World Report, the table below looks at the current employment rates for some of the most common jobs among political science bachelor’s recipients. Comparatively, the average unemployment rate for all occupations nationwide currently sits at 4.5%.

Occupation Unemployment Rate (2017)
Public Relations Specialist 1.1%
Paralegal 2.8%
Market Research Analyst 3.1%
Interpreter and Translator 4.0%
Political Scientist 7.9%
Fundraiser 8.1%
Technical Writer 8.7%

Source: U.S. News & World Report

EARNING A LIVING

Like unemployment rates and projected job outlook, the earning potential for those with a bachelor’s in political science will often boil down to their experience level and current title, as well as the size of their employer and their city/state of employment. The table below features 20-year salary growth projections for five of common careers among those who have earned a bachelor’s in political science.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 Years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Public Relations Specialist $41,877 $54,057 $60,563 $60,173
Public Relations Manager $51,770 $67,115 $74,905 $75,446
Campaign Manager $50,474 $61,609 $79,208 $73,469
Marketing Manager $54,369 $65,768 $73,016 $77,213
Human Resources Specialist $44,951 $50,430 $54,645 $61,124

Source: PayScale

All five occupations experience salary growth of at least 36% after 20 years on the job. PR managers reported the highest growth rate: a 45.7% increase in earnings between the entry-level and late-career stages. Campaign managers ranked closely at second with 45.6% career salary growth, followed by PR specialists with 43.7% salary growth.

Career Opportunities

Those who earn a bachelor’s in political science will be qualified for dozens of jobs in a wide range of industries, although individual eligibility may depend on their chosen concentration. Four popular career pathways in political science are outlined below.

Public Relations Specialists: Public relations specialists (also known as PR specialists) create a positive image for individuals and organizations in order to generate public interest. Their day-to-day duties include writing press releases, scheduling public appearances, coordinating interviews with journalists, and engaging in social media marketing on behalf of their clients.

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers: PR and fundraising managers design the materials used to promote and raise money for individuals, organizations, and social causes. PR and fundraising both play an important role in modern politics, and these managers often find work with elected officials, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers: These managers develop and coordinate programs designed to generate public buzz about a person, place, or product. Those with a background in political science are well-suited for the data analysis, demographic research, community outreach, and communication that this job entails.

Human Resources Specialists: HR specialists are responsible for recruiting new employees, screening job applicants, conducting interviews, and providing orientation programs for workers when they begin work. The BLS notes that 14% of HR specialists are work for local, state, or federal government employers.

Occupation Median Annual Salary Projected Industry Growth (2014-24)
Public Relations Specialists $56,770 6% (+14,900 jobs)
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers $104,140 7% (+4,700 jobs)
Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers $127,560 9% (+19,700 jobs)
Human Resources Specialists $59,180 5% (+22,000 jobs)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to political science is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you’ll find three of the country’s most prominent organizations established for political science professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates. Resources like these often prove invaluable as you complete your degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.

  • American Political Science Association: Founded in 1903, the APSA today represents more than 13,000 members in 80 different countries. The association published four different peer-reviewed journals and hosts a handful of events, including an annual exhibition in a different major city each year.
  • International Political Science Association: UNESCO established IPSA in 1949 to “support the development of political science in all parts of the world, building academic networks linking East and West, North and South”. Membership is offered at individual, institutional, and collective rates.
  • International Association for Political Science Students: The IAPSS represents more than 1,000 students worldwide and publishes two peer-reviewed journals. Membership benefits include voting rights in general assembly meetings held each year, an invitation to join different committees, and complimentary magazine and journal subscriptions.

Despite the relative affordability of online bachelor’s programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Students who pursue online degrees will be eligible for scholarships, grants and other financial aid that is unavailable to their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Learn more about these financial opportunities for web-based learners.

MASTER’S IN FINANCE

Finance — the study of money and asset management — is one of the most popular degree concentrations for MBA students. Learn about the best schools for this area of study with our comprehensive degree guide.

MASTER’S IN HUMAN RESOURCES

Another popular specialization field for MBA students, human resources (or HR) focuses on hiring, new employee orientation and other administrative needs. Visit our guide to master’s degrees in HR for more information.

BUSINESS RESOURCES

Our page dedicated to resources for business students includes links to professional organizations, open courseware, industry publications, books and business-minded users to follow on Twitter.

BUSINESS CAREERS

Our career page for business degree graduates includes a state-by-state breakdown of business careers and academic options for business students, as well as popular job sites, professional organizations and continuing education opportunities for established professionals.

Rankings Archive

Best Online Bachelor's in Political Science Programs of 2017
Rank School Location
1 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
2 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus University Park, PA
3 Northeastern University Global Network Boston, MA
4 Arizona State University-Skysong Scottsdale, AZ
5 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
6 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
7 Troy University Troy, AL
8 University of Maryland-University College Adelphi, MD
9 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
10 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Whitewater, WI
11 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
12 National University La Jolla, CA
13 Columbia College Columbia, MO
14 Indiana University-East Richmond, IN
15 Brescia University Owensboro, KY