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For many, “political science” can only mean or be associated with political parties, presidential campaigns, or policy analysis. However, political science covers many topics, such as climate change, political behavior, terrorism, civil rights, diplomacy, globalization, and terrorism.
Political Science is a field that intersects with many other branches, including Anthropology, Economics, History, and Sociology. Political Science degrees typically have core coursework that covers key subjects, including the state and local government, congressional politics, judicial process, and presidential politics. Students will also learn about American history and how current parties rose to dominance in the United States.
Through a Political Science degree online, students gain valuable skills, such as research, writing, problem-solving, analytical, and critical thinking, that prepare them for various professional and academic opportunities.
The Labor Statistics Bureau predicts that the employment demand for political scientists will rise to 7% from 2022 to 2032. This figure is equivalent to 400 job openings annually within the decade.
On-Campus option: Best In-Person Schools for Political Science
With an online Bachelor of Political Science, graduates can gain a competitive edge and be more than qualified to enter various careers within and beyond the government and political realm. Graduates can work in business, civil service, and nonprofit organizations. They develop transferable skills to prepare for high-paying positions as journalists, consultants, intelligence officers, campaign managers, diplomats, politicians, political analysts, lawyers, and political scientists.
To help students select a college or university that best suits their needs and preferences, we ranked schools with online Political Science programs using the criteria below. Each bachelor’s degree stands out with these attributes:
- Delivered as online or hybrid classes to accommodate online learners,
- Features government, law, public opinion, elections, war, welfare, and international relations in its rigorous undergraduate coursework, among general education courses and core subjects concerning the Political Science scope,
- Shapes Political Science students into becoming critical thinkers, communicators, and problem-solvers that excel in various fields,
- Facilitated thru a virtual learning platform that offers accessibility to online coursework, convenient class discussions, and easy communication with professors and fellow Political Science majors,
- Features knowledgeable and skilled professors with terminal degrees in Political Science and years of experience in the field,
- Offers financial assistance through federal aid, grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study opportunities, to reduce the total cost of tuition for online students,
- Obtained proper accreditation from academic agencies that uphold academic standards, particularly the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and organizations.
Read our Methodology for a closer look at our online bachelor’s program selection process.
14 Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Southern New Hampshire University
The web-based Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree at Southern New Hampshire University underscores the relationship between the US political system, public perception, and the policies that influence the government. Using a practical approach to politics, this program helps understand events in real-time and apply the appropriate solutions to local, national, and global issues.
With this BA in Political Science program, undergraduates get to explore political tactics, strategies, and questions from various perspectives while developing valuable skills, such as communication and critical thinking, to succeed in the field. This degree trains students to think critically about pressing issues they encounter in contemporary society by analyzing and considering various policies.
BA in Political Science will teach students about political analysis, political system components, research, effective communication, and ethical civic engagement. They will learn to analyze politics and policies on local, national, and international scales. They will establish analytical and communication skills to help them plan rewarding careers in advocacy, government, public policy, campaign strategy and development, and statistical analysis.
One of the reasons SNHU is one of the best schools that offer an online bachelor’s in Political Science is that this school is committed to making higher education more accessible for everyone. Aside from having some of the lowest tuition rates in the state, it also has a transfer policy that enables students to transfer up to 90 college credits, saving them up to 75% of the total cost of tuition.
SNHU’s Political Science students are required to take the following subjects:
- Introduction to Statistical Analysis
- United States History
- Introduction to Philosophy
- American State and Local Government
- Analysis and Research in Political Science
Northern Illinois University
The Northern Illinois University, through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, offers the online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. This degree program is for students who want to pursue an undergraduate degree in the field with various curricular and co-curricular opportunities that will provide them with a competitive edge.
Through NIU’s BA in Political Science, students will gain a broad liberal arts education, evaluating questions about democracy and justice and, at the same time, exploring various issues of global concern. This program has coursework and instruction that will help build their communication, critical thinking, research, and writing skills applicable to various roles.
Political Science students can access special academic opportunities, including study abroad, mentorship, internship, and independent studies programs. Students can also choose from these areas of study for their degree emphasis: International Politics, Justice and Democracy, Politics and Governance, Public Administration and Service, and Public Law.
These are the course requirements for NIU’s Political Science program:
- Democracy in America
- Introduction to Law and Courts
- Introduction to Political Philosophy
- African-American Political Thought
- Political Parties and Elections
University of North Dakota
The University of North Dakota is known for its online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree program. The only online Political Science program in the region, it is 100% online, and students are guaranteed the same affordable tuition as those who attend on-campus classes.
The aim of UND’s BA in Political Science degree is to pave the way for students to succeed in different careers in law, journalism, politics, and public policy, to name a few. Through this program, students get to explore various political systems worldwide. They will better understand the nation’s democratic processes and the relationship between states and their citizens. They will also gain leadership, communication, and analytical skills, making them valuable candidates for various jobs upon graduation.
Studying Political Science provides students with useful insights into the economic and social forces that influence the decisions that governments around the world make. They will tackle a spectrum of liberal arts courses that develop independent and critical thinking skills. Plus, its curriculum can be tailored to the student’s career goals, allowing them to focus on international relations, pre-law, public policy, or political activism.
Political Science majors must take internships to obtain hands-on learning experiences from congressional delegations, law firms, judges, or federal, state, and local government agencies. Additionally, they get to travel to conferences or academic events.
At UND, Political Science majors can earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees faster with its accelerated program. With its combined degree program, students can earn an MPA in just one additional year. This means they can graduate with a Master’s in Political Science degree in five years. Similarly, UND offers an accelerated program that shaves a year off in law school, allowing students to complete their undergraduate study and law degree in just six years.
Below are some of the course requirements that UND Political Science majors must complete:
- American Government
- International Politics
- Introduction to Public Administration
- Public Policy-Making Process
- Introduction Research Methods
University of Arizona
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Arizona offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Through this program, students will develop an independent perspective on the nature of politics and its influence on society and the government.
At The University of Arizona, Political Science students get to explore how political processes and institutions form government policies and their different consequences. They will have the chance to evaluate individual, group, and mass behaviors in political settings through both scientific and humanistic perspectives. It helps build their writing and critical thinking skills, preparing them to pursue graduate study and successful careers in law, business, journalism, international organizations, finance, interest groups, and state, local, and federal governments.
Political Science majors can tell the difference between politics’ structural, theoretical, scientific, and historical dimensions. They learn how to evaluate political information critically and whether an issue is important to modern American society. Students are taught to communicate effectively, whether in writing or verbally. They will demonstrate tolerance and sensitivity to cultural, racial, and other human differences.
This online Political Science degree program will train students to apply what they understand about foundational theories, methodologies, and concepts used in studying the discipline. They will be taught to apply critical thinking when analyzing political issues by evaluating competing arguments and establishing proficiency in communicating arguments in both oral and written formats.
Here are some of the subjects included in The University of Arizona’s Political Science degree:
- Introduction to Statistics for the Social Sciences
- American National Government
- International Relations
- Comparative Politics
- US – Latin America Relations: Trade, Security, and Power
University of Central Florida
Those who want to build a rewarding career in the government and political arena should enroll in the University of Central Florida’s online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. This degree program helps students develop critical reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical skills through coursework covering politics, political theory, public policy, government, and international relations.
Through UCF’s BA in Political Science degree, students can evaluate the complexities of policy formulation, power, decision-making, and governance in the political context. They research, gather, interpret political information and engage in evidence-based arguments. Plus, they become adept at analyzing interactions between states, delving into the complexities of contemporary global affairs and evaluating the implications of political events.
The following are some of the courses included in the program of study for UCF’s BA in Political Science:
- Public Opinion
- Political Parties and Processes
- Civic Engagement
University of Maryland Global Campus
The University of Maryland Global Campus offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science to train students to analyze complex political issues and find appropriate solutions in both the private and public sectors. With this program, students will better understand politics in the United States and other countries.
In this program, Political Science students will be taught to analyze political theories and structures. They will be taught to propose potential solutions to some of the most complex political problems. They will gain knowledge and valuable skills through coursework from UMGC’s faculty’s experience and expertise.
Political Science undergraduates will learn to identify the unique characteristics of political science and distinguish between major theories, concepts, and research methods. They will study major domestic and international systems, organizations, and institutions, including their functions, impacts, and purposes on local and global politics and policies.
Students also research political ethics and promote diversity. They can discuss the importance of equity, identity, and diversity within economic, cultural, and sociopolitical contexts, both locally and internationally.
BA in Political Science majors will learn to apply new research, terminology, and data in political science and other similar fields. They will analyze quantitatively and qualitatively based articles and reports for applicability, conclusions, methodology, and validity. Students can produce evidence-based research within major conceptual frameworks of political science, using the right research skills, like statistical methods, if necessary.
Moreover, they can communicate effectively, expressing themselves accurately, critically, cohesively, clearly, and logically regarding political issues using solid analytical writing and critical thinking skills.
Below are some of the required major courses for UMGC’s Political Science program:
- Introduction to Political Science
- Introduction to Political Theory
- American Government
- Comparative Politics and Government
- Global Political Economy
University of Massachusetts
At the University of Massachusetts, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science students can develop a deeper understanding of political processes and institutions in an international community. This online degree program prepares students for successful careers in business, international associations, law, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies.
At UMass Dartmouth, students must complete 120 credits to earn an online bachelor’s degree in Political Science. This degree allows undergraduates to gain research skills, formulate and analyze arguments, and organize ideas into focused presentations. Students will also access, analyze, and synthesize professional writing on public affairs and evaluate the weight and relevance of evidence. Moreover, they will learn to write, communicate effectively, and read critically through analysis, exposition, argument, and oral presentation.
The Political Science degree at UMass Dartmouth offers students a concentration designed to prepare them for law school. With this program, undergraduates will focus on courses that emphasize law and the courts in the US and international political systems.
These are some of the course offerings for UMass Dartmouth’s BA in Political Science program:
- Intro Political Theory
- Introduction to Comparative Politics
- Politics of the Social Safety Net
- African American Politics
- Political Parties and Interest Groups
Pennsylvania State University
Those enrolled in the online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science offered by The Pennsylvania State University will focus on political theory and reason to analyze domestic and international politics. Students become prepared for high-paying careers in political science and graduate studies through this degree.
PennState World Campus helps students maximize their potential, allowing them to tailor their degrees to suit their professional and personal goals. Through this online BA in Political Science program, students engage in the analysis of local and international politics and political theory. The extensive curriculum builds students’ reasoning and critical thinking skills as they develop knowledge in one or more areas of political science.
This Political Science program has upper-level courses focusing on research-based writing projects that help students enhance highly sought-after skills for employment in various fields, such as business, journalism, the nonprofit sector, law, and government. Aside from that, it also provides students with a good foundation for graduate work in political science, public administration, public policy, and law. This degree can also provide military students an avenue to expand their knowledge and refine their skills to transition as civilians in the government or within the military.
At PennState World Campus, Political Science undergraduates can join the Alpha Iota Omega World Campus Chapter, a national Political Science Honor Society that promotes excellence in political science, international and public affairs, and the government. One of the benefits of being a member is that they can access grants, scholarships, awards, and networking opportunities.
The following courses are included in the 123-credit requirement for this Political Science degree:
- Strategy and Politics
- International Political Economy
- The Politics of Terrorism
- Analysis of Public Opinion and Political Attitudes
- Politics and Media
At Indiana University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science students prepare for exciting careers in local, federal, and state governments. This program can also open doors to other career opportunities in business, law, nonprofit organizations, international organizations, electoral politics, education, research, and journalism.
At IU, BS in Political Science undergraduates will study courses in Indiana politics, constitutional law, contemporary revolutions, judicial politics, urban politics, political philosophy, political participation, public opinion, and political analysis, to name a few. They develop an in-depth understanding of politics and the government, have the skill to argue persuasively, locate and assess information skills, write articulately, and think analytically and logically, which are all highly valued by employers.
This Political Science degree requires students to complete 120 credit hours to graduate. They must take courses at 300 or higher with a minimum of 36 credit hours and at least 18 in the major. Students can complete this degree faster if they transfer as many as 64 credit hours from a regionally accredited two-year college or up to 90 credit hours from a four-year college or university.
Some of the courses Political Science students must take include:
- American Politics
- Comparative Politics/International Relations
- Political Theory
- Analyzing Politics
Arizona State University
Arizona State University delivers an online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree that hones students’ critical thinking and reasoning skills through its curriculum focusing on public issues, citizens’ interactions with the government, and policies. This program will also teach them the valuable skills necessary to succeed in political science.
Political Science undergraduates will gain transferable skills, such as research and communication, and their application to contemporary political issues nationwide and worldwide. This program focuses on policy creation, review, and processes and builds talents, including reasoning, argumentation, and empirical analysis.
Students can find the connection between theory and practical issues through a Political Science degree from ASU. They can determine whether such links are valuable in the operation of government agencies. Upon completing this degree program, students will be more than prepared to pursue careers in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors because of the valuable skills they can gain, including research and writing skills.
Once they complete this degree, Political Science students will be prepared for various graduate programs that feature studies in political psychology, international affairs, public policy, and global security, among others. What’s great about pursuing a master’s degree at ASU is that students can take advantage of the university’s accelerated master’s program, which allows them to earn a master’s in just one year after completing an undergraduate degree.
Here are some of the course requirements for ASU’s BA in Political Science:
- American Government and Politics
- Political Ideologies
- Empirical Political Inquiry
- Literacy and Critical Inquiry
- Global Politics
Oregon State University
Oregon State University offers a web-based Bachelor of Arts in Political Science program that investigates the stories behind news headlines and trains students to make up their minds about the politics of laws that impact everyday issues. Aside from that, this degree also trains students to write clearly, speak convincingly, and think critically on various issues, including international terrorism, government involvement in health care and censorship, and campaign finance, to name a few.
OSU’s Political Science program covers topics beyond the United States’ law and politics. This degree features courses that tackle Western Europe politics, international relations, politics of climate change, politics of sports, environmental politics, and how the US is viewed internationally.
Political Science students of OSU graduated and held jobs as legal assistants, elections coordinators, journalists, and intelligence analysts, among others. Many students have also gone on to pursue graduate studies or law school. With OSU’s Accelerated Master’s Program, Political Science majors can enroll in graduate-level courses online and earn credits that can be transferred to the Master of Public Policy program.
At Oregon State University, Political Science students learn from world-class professors known for their expertise, innovation, and research. Plus, they can take advantage of the university’s vital resources, including library services, career guidance, online tutoring, and success coaching. They can also benefit from studying in a school institutionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). OSU has also consistently ranked among the top 10 online education providers in the United States.
Here are some sample course topics for OSU’s Political Science degree program:
- Comparative politics
- Gender and law
- Eastern and Central European politics
- Political analysis
- Sustainable living: practices and policies
Liberty University Online offers a Bachelor of Science in Political Science degree program that trains students to become effective political leaders in the future. This degree also helps students realize their full potential in crafting public policies and influencing political decisions.
With Liberty University’s online Political Science degree, undergraduates will be more than prepared to take the next step in their academic and professional journeys. This program equips students with the knowledge and skills to serve as Champions for Christ in public service. They can also have ethical training to help them fulfill their calling as Christ-centered politicians, policymakers, and scholars.
This Political Science degree features a comprehensive curriculum that teaches students to positively impact other people’s lives by protecting their rights, justice, and freedom. They will learn about political science’s philosophical and historical underpinnings and develop a deeper understanding of practical methods for conducting political affairs. Plus, it can help them understand the government’s practical and theoretical aspects, training them for various career paths.
LU’s Political Science program students will learn about American political processes, foreign policy, exceptionalism, and constitutional history. They will be taught about topics that apply politics on an international scale, including resilient nations, comparative politics, international relations, and contemporary political issues. Additionally, they explore how Christian values affect Western political theory and why limited government is crucial.
Some of the featured courses for LU’s Political Science program include:
- Introduction to Political Science
- American Political Processes
- International Relations
- Introduction to Theology Survey
- Constitutional Government & Free Enterprise
American Public University
The American Public University’s School of Security & Global Studies offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science program that empowers students with the knowledge to assess political systems and probe issues that affect ordinary citizens to make informed decisions. This program also prepares them to be global citizens by evaluating economics, government, and civil society’s relation to modern political systems.
This BA in Political Science is designed to develop students’ research, communication, and critical thinking skills. They assess the fundamental concepts of governance, civil society, economy, and government. They will compare representative democracy with other political systems around the world. They will analyze the impact of political parties on local, federal, and state governments. They will develop a deep understanding of how the federal system evolved and how it operates, as well as study how American interest groups have influenced past and current democratic processes.
Political Science majors must choose a concentration for this program: International Relations, Political Theory, and American Government. At the end of the program, students will conduct academic research in their chosen area of interest as part of their capstone experience.
The following are some of the major courses required for this BA in Political Science degree:
- Comparative Political Systems
- Political Theory
- Ethics in Politics
- State, Local, and Community Politics
- Political Sociology
Florida International University
Individuals interested in a political, political theory, public policy, and international affairs career should enroll in Florida International University’s Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree. This program develops students’ skills to prepare them for careers in the private sector or government and graduate studies.
FIU’s BA in Political Science features a curriculum covering topics about analyzing political theories, processes, and institutions. It helps build students’ understanding of comparative politics, international politics, political theory, and the American government and politics. This also allows undergraduates to tailor their degrees for general or specialized knowledge within the political science realm.
With a Political Science degree, undergraduates will learn to think analytically, communicate clearly and persuasively, and collaborate. They will be exposed to various methodologies, including statistical analysis and public opinion surveys. This prepares them for successful careers in political research, public policy analysis, journalism, campaign management, business consulting, advocacy, and government service.
Here are some of the course requirements Political Science students need to complete:
- American Government
- Introduction to Comparative Politics
- Introduction to Political Theory
- Introduction to International Relations
Take a look at this: Best Schools with Online Bachelor’s in Social Science
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should one major in Political Science?
Those interested in government, international relations, ethics, law, and public policy would surely benefit from a Political Science degree. This program will help establish valuable skills, such as communication, critical thinking, and research, which are all crucial for roles as political scientists, lobbyists, lawyers, or broadcast new analysts. This program is an excellent way to prepare for graduate studies or law school.
How much does a graduate with a Bachelor’s in Political Science make?
Graduates with a Bachelor’s in Political Science can qualify for various jobs in foreign policy, international relations, government, and non-government organizations. They can also work in public and private sectors, such as market analysts, lobbyists,
The latest data from the Labor Statistics Bureau show that Political Science graduates can earn an annual median salary of $128,020. Other similar careers may earn the following amounts:
- Lawyers – $135,740
- Public Relations and Fundraising Managers – $125,620
- Economists – $113,940
- Public Relations Specialists – $61,178
- Market Research Analysts – $68,230
- High School Teachers – $64,900
- Paralegals or Legal Assistants – $50,357
- Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts – $55,960
Key Points to Ponder
- An online Bachelor’s in Political Science is a discipline that covers topics such as how government and politics work on local, federal, and state levels.
- Students enrolled in an online bachelor’s in Political Science degree must study courses such as Introduction to Political Science, American Government, and Political Theory.
- Completing an online degree in Political Science can pave the way for students to pursue graduate studies or a law degree.
Additional Information: Most Lucrative Political Science Jobs and Careers