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10 Best Online Schools for a Political Science Degree Program in 2023

10 Best Online Schools for a Political Science Degree Program

Johns Hopkins University

1. Johns Hopkins University

Premium Score: 98.75

Acceptance Rate: 9.9%

National Rank: 9

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Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is a private university ranked among the top schools in the nation. It is located in Baltimore, Maryland and in addition to its highly ranked brick and mortar classes, JHU offers some of the best online education options in the world.

Their online graduate programs in government studies rank at the top of the list for a number of reasons including their academic rank, the average salary of its graduates upon completion, and their graduation rate- theirs is 93%!

Here is a list of their online graduate-level government programs: 

  • Master of Arts in Global Security Studies 
  • Master of Arts in Government
  • Master of Arts in Non-governmental Organization Management
  • Master of Arts in Public Management
  • Master of Science in Data Analytics and Policy
  • Master of Science in Geospatial Intelligence
  • Master of Science in Government Analytics
  • Master of Science in Intelligence Analysis 
  • Post-Bachelor’s Certificate in Nonprofit Management 

Some of their online programs examine governmental institutions, policy, and society while others focus on statistical analysis, public management, and geospatial analytics. Keep in mind, this is a hybrid degree and a number of the classes are required to be taken on campus.

As a graduate student, you have options and chances are if you have an interest in political science, JHU has a degree to match your interest. 


Virginia Tech University

2. Virginia Tech University

Premium Score: 92.25

Acceptance Rate: 56%

National Rank: 2

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Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia Tech) is a public 4-year institution located in Blacksburg, Virginia. There are 34,683 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. The U.S. News ranks Virginia Tech as the 74th best school in the nation and 30th for top public schools as well as 42nd for most innovative schools.

VT ranks near the top of our list for its high graduation rate, national ranking, and for the average salary of its graduates. VT offers an online Master of Arts in Political Science. Their program offers both a political science foundation along with a foundation in social science research methodologies.

Take a closer look at their course list to determine if this online degree might be a good fit for you:

  • Collaborative Governance and Civil Society
  • Research Methods
  • Contemporary Political Theory
  • Alternative Perspective in Political Theory 
  • Global Conflicts 
  • Transnational Migration
  • Legislative Branch
  • Executive Branch
  • Judicial Branch
  • Political Behavior 
  • Identity Migration and Place
  • International Politics
  • And Much More

As you can see this is a very thorough online program that covers a wide range of topics related to political science. Keep in mind, this is a hybrid degree and a number of the classes are required to be taken on campus.

If you are looking to study political science and would like to follow a broad and comprehensive curriculum than the degree from Virginia Tech may be a good fit for you. 


Indiana Wesleyan University

3. Indiana Wesleyan University

Premium Score: 97.5

Acceptance Rate: 93%

National Rank: 674

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Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU)is a private university that enrolls just over 10,000 students at their campus in Marion and far more when you consider their online programming.

Their U.S. News ranking is 25th for the best school in the region and 14the for best undergraduate teaching university. We selected IWU for its ranking high ranking according to Times Higher Education.

The program is an undergraduate degree in political science that aims to prepare students for a career as a political scientist, history teacher, sociology teacher, and anthropologist. Here is a sample of the courses: 

  • American Government
  • Macroeconomics
  • State and Local Government and Politics
  • American Foreign Relations
  • Foreign Governments
  • Religion and Politics 
  • Comparative Economic Systems
  • International Economics
  • American Political Parties 
  • World Politics 
  • International Studies 
  • Political Thought 

As you can see IWU offers an exceptionally thorough degree in political science and would be a good fit for any person looking to change careers or simply looking to complete their bachelor’s degree online. 


Southern New Hampshire University 

4. Southern New Hampshire University

Premium Score: 86.75

Acceptance Rate: 88%

National Rank: 133

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Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private 4-year institution located in Manchester, New Hampshire. There are over 100,000 students the vast majority of which are online.

Their brick and mortar campus maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1 but when factoring in the online campus the student-to-faculty ratio jumps to 24:1. Of their many online programs is SNHU online bachelor’s degree (BA) in political science.

We selected this degree for the high graduate salary as well as the high graduation rate. SNHU aims to equip its students with “higher-order skills” including “writing, communication, analysis, problem-solving.” These skills translate into marketable skills that are generally in demand in the market place.

Here’s a closer look at their curriculum: 

  • Introduction to Statistical Analysis 
  • United States History
  • American Politics 
  • Globalization and World Politics 
  • Modern War and Society
  • Judicial Administration 
  • Sociology of Social Problems
  • And much more 

The course offers the freedom to take electives. Electives are an important part of any undergraduate degree as it gives students an opportunity to explore areas that may be of interest. The grand total number of credits required for this online bachelor’s degree in political science is 120. 


George Washington University

5. George Washington University

Premium Score: 85.75

Acceptance Rate: 50%

National Rank: 62

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George Washington University is a private 4-year university located in the District of Columbia. It currently enrolls 28,000 students and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1. According to US News, George Washington University (GWU) ranks as the 70th best university in the nation, 42nd best for veterans and 86th for the best value.

Their academic ranking along with the expected salary for its graduates are among the reasons that GWU made it to our ranking for the best online programs in political science.

They also offer a number of online degrees and professional certifications in the area of political science. Here’s a list: 

  • Budget and Public Finance Certificate 
  • Strategic Governance and Political Management Certifications
  • Master of International Policy and Practice
  • Master of Professional Studies in Political Communications and Government 
  • Master of Professional Studies in Political Management 

As you can see there’s a lot to choose from though some programs like the International Policy and Practice Master’s requires a number of years of professional experience before initiating the program The Master of Professional Studies in Political Communications and Governance is taught entirely in Spanish to students in Latin America and Spain. 


John Brown University

6. John Brown University

Premium Score: 85.75

Acceptance Rate: 9.9%

National Rank: 129

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John Brown University is a private Christian university located in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. It currently ranks as the 11th best school in the region according to US News as well as the 4th best college for veterans, and 15th best value school.

This is a small private school with just 2,416 students enrolled and a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. We ranking JBU for its high academic ranking and for the high salary its students receive upon graduation.

JBU offers an online Bachelor’s of Science in the Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Communication, Politics, and Ethics. Take a look at their concentrations: 

  • Communications
  • Politics and Ethics

The communications emphasis includes courses in business communication, public speaking, social movements, political communication, online advocacy, and principles of marketing.

The politics and ethics emphasis includes courses on leaders in history, American government and politics, political philosophy, and religion and politics. 


University of Iowa

7. University of Iowa

Premium Score: 83.75

Acceptance Rate: 86%

National Rank: 83

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The University of Iowa is a public university located in Iowa City, Iowa. There are 31,656 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. Carnegie ranks U Iowa as an R:1 university for having the highest level of research activity.

According to U.S. News U Iowa ranks as the 84th best university in the nation, 52nd best college for veterans, and 76th best value school. They made it to our ranking for their high graduation rate, and excellent academic ranking.

The College of Liberal Arts offers an online bachelor’s in political science. This Bachelor of Arts (BA) is an online course taught by on-campus faculty.

Take a look at some of the courses you will take with this program. 

  • Introduction to American Politics 
  • Political Behavior 
  • Comparative Politics 
  • International Relations
  • American Foreign Policy
  • Social Media and Politics 
  • Politics of Race
  • And Many More

Keep in mind, this is a hybrid degree and a number of the classes are required to be taken on campus. If you are looking for a high-value online bachelor’s in political science with a well-rounded curriculum then look no further than U Iowa. 

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Indiana University 

8. Indiana University

Premium Score: 81.25

Acceptance Rate: 85%

National Rank: 72

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Indiana University Bloomington is a highly ranked public university that enrolls 43,505 students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. US News ranks IU Bloomington as the 79th best school in the nation and highly for veterans as well as value.

They offer an online Bachelor of Science in Political Science that studies “government public policies and political processes” that open the doors to exciting careers in state and local governments as well as international organizations. Here’s a closer look at their core curriculum: 

  • American Politics 
  • Comparative Politics/ International Relations
  • Political Theory
  • Analyzing Politics 

This program requires students to fulfill 30 credit hours of their general education classes, 15 hours for their core political science classes and 21 credit hours of the advanced political science curriculum as well as general elective courses where possible. 


Arizona State University

9. Arizona State University

Premium Score: 80.75

Acceptance Rate: 88%

National Rank: 62

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Arizona State University is a large public research university located across the state of Arizona. It enrolls over 50,000 students and the student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1. 

According to the U.S. News ASU ranks as the 117th best school in the nation, 10th for best undergraduate teaching, 53rd for best public school and 1st for most innovative school.  In recent years ASU has made a name for itself in online education and their online bachelor of science in political science is among the best.

Their curriculum focuses on contemporary issues that face politics including geopolitics and economics. Take a look at a few of the courses: 

  • Political Ideologies
  • Empirical Political Injury
  • American Government and Politics
  • Political Statistics 
  • Comparative Government 

You will have the opportunity to study politics at the local as well as international level and this program also includes two courses in science and society such as courses like “women and health” “global health” and “technology and society.” 


Oregon State University

10. Oregon State University

Premium Score: 79.50

Acceptance Rate: 89%

National Rank: 151

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Oregon State University is a public 4-year research university located in Corvallis, Oregon. There are 30,986 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1.

According to the US News, Oregon State ranks as the 139th best school in the nation, 99th best college for veterans, and 76th for best undergraduate teaching.

Their online programs made it to our ranking for their academic ranking and for the high salary for its graduates. 

OSU offers both a bachelor of science in political science as well as a bachelor of arts. Here’s a list of some of the course topics: 

  • American politics and government
  • Comparative politics 
  • Constitutional law 
  • Current issues in rural politics 
  • Eastern and Central European politics 
  • Middle East politics
  • Sustainable living 

As you can see, students pursuing an online course through OSU have the opportunity to study local and global politics gaining perspective on how the US is viewed abroad. OSU approaches political science from a broad perspective.  If this is you, check out their programming today. 


Maybe you’re looking to learn how to research to keep in touch with political trends or maybe you are interested in becoming a mover and shaker in your local community and are looking for a broad undergraduate degree to help you grasp the overall basics of political science. No matter who you are, if you are interested in political science there are some fantastic options out there.

Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor