Online Associate Political Science Degree

By Brandon Mario D`Souza

Updated March 21, 2024

Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.

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Political science systematically evaluates governance structures by applying empirical and general scientific evaluation methods. An online associate degree in political science teaches students how to develop and sustain their lifelong interest in national, local, and global civic engagement through active participation. After a political science associate degree online, one can find work in various positions in political science. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an annual median salary of $122,510 for political scientists [1], and associate degree holders can expect a median annual wage of $55,000[2] for entry-level jobs.


Best Online Political Science Associate’s
Degree Programs

Students must pursue the best political science associate’s degree online if they are serious about dedicating their careers to the functioning and development of governments and society. They must check if the institution of choice is accredited, has competent faculty, and provides good infrastructure. Based on these and other factors, here are the best online political science associate’s degree: *

Foothill College, founded in 1957, is a public community college in Los Altos Hills, California. Part of the Foothill–De Anza Community College District, the college offers over 75 associate degree and 100 certificate programs.
Univ Address
Foothill College 12345 El Monte Rd, Los Altos Hills, California 94022

Universities and programs are ranked by various factors, such as affordability, curriculum and coursework, reputation and availability, program length, statistics, the potential of employment, and return on investment for the students. For a more in-depth analysis, please read about our rankings methodology page

What to Expect from the Online Associate in
Political Science Program

Colleges that offer associates in political science degree usually provide flexible schedules with options for distance or online programs. Online learning is usually preferred as it balances education with other obligations like employment. The curriculum of the associate in political science gives students an understanding of fundamental political science topics at the associate’s level and learning about governing bodies’ rules and regulations. Students learn how people influence one another and the workings and political systems other countries follow. After completing the program, they will learn how democracy evolved and got integrated into the modern practices of today’s contemporary world.

The political science curriculum also includes studies of topics like global politics, conflict resolution, and political theory. Some of the other common courses found in this degree are:

  • American National Government
  • World Politics
  • Political Ethics
  • General Psychology
  • Comparative Politics
  • Women in Politics
  • Quantitative Literacy
  • Comparative Government
  • Humanities, Fine Arts, and Design
  • Critical Reading and Critical Thinking
  • Public Speaking
  • Introduction to Politics
  • U.S. Native American Relations
  • Environmental Politics
  • Statistical Methods
  • Political Ideologies
  • Computer/Statistics/Quantitative Application
  • Introduction to Government
  • Political Philosophy

Degree Types for Online Associate Degree in
Political Science Programs

A political science associate’s degree online covers many topics like comparative politics, international relations, political philosophy, American politics, and more. Only one online associate political science degree is generally available in the United States: the Associate of Arts or AA in Political Science. The Master of Science or MS problems are very rare to find.

Associates of Arts or AA in Political Science

The Associates of Arts or AA in Political Science helps students think critically about politics and related fields. The degree constitutes learning about the different behaviors of civil society and intelligent thinking about multi-level politics. It investigates political systems and structures and governmental agencies. Current affairs and recent political debates are also examined.

Areas of Specialization for Online Associate’s Degree in
Political Science Programs

When students specialize in a field, they narrow their focus to gain further expertise in a sub-area of the discipline. Although political science specializations lead to niche roles, in most instances, the job title remains the same – Political Scientist. Aspirants of political science associate degrees can consider some of these concentrations:

Area of Specialization Description Career Options
American PoliticsIn this specialization, the focus is on studying various institutions and behaviors within American politics. Intricacies of institutions like congress, bureaucracy, courts, and the presidency are learned along with various aspects of public law.Niche roles as political scientists
Comparative PoliticsThis specialization takes on the systematic investigation of diverse political systems worldwide. Students learn why there are different political systems and their differences or similarities. Dependency theory and political culture are also studied.Niche roles as political scientists
Political TheoryIn this specialization, several approaches are taken to examine individuals’ thought processes toward the societies where they belong.Niche roles as political scientists
International RelationsIn this concentration, topics like global politics, world history, economics, and law are elaborated. The concentration focuses on diplomacy, security, and political connections between states.Niche roles as political scientists
Political BehaviorThis concentration teaches the various theories related to political science. It explores several topics under political behavior, like influences that define the person’s ideology, level of political participation, and political view of a person.Niche roles as political scientists
Political MethodologyThis concentration applies distinct methods to study the link between voting behavior and the implicit attitudes of voters. It explores the relationship between stable political regimes, land reforms, the consequences of the criminal justice system, etc.Niche roles as political scientists

Why should I do an Online Political Science
Associate Degree?

Associate degrees are a good option for those who want a feasible job or a career switch. They will have a flexible schedule for attending classes. Professionals working full-time or individuals caring for their families while studying will also benefit from the online associate political science degree.

The associate political science degree facilitates understanding functions and the role of politics within society. Through the program’s curriculum, students understand crucial topics like political systems, political theory, the nature of the state, and international relations. After completing the associate’s degree, many career prospects are available. One can pursue political science for further study at the bachelor’s level or gain entry-level positions in the field. Political science degree holders can fill an important role in not just governmental organizations but also non-governmental organizations, businesses, and public think tanks. Some possible job opportunities include working as college professors, high school teachers, legislative attorneys, agency specialists, state legislators, campaign managers, legislative aides, lobbyists, press secretaries, and so on.

A student will gain highly by pursuing political science associate’s as they develop skills like communication, writing, and statistics. Some of the other skills they develop would include the ability to:

  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge in topics like American politics, international relations, comparative politics, and political philosophy;
  • understand the procedures and organizations covering political behaviors and theories of civil society;
  • critically think about politics, and the subjects related to political science, and participate intelligently in governance and politics at all levels;
  • investigate government structures, political systems, agencies, and organizations and understand the roles they play in the society;
  • examine current affairs and critical political trends from a different perspective and come up with possible solutions;
  • make others understand about functions citizens play in their own communities, become civic teachers, and government employees or officials who are elected;
  • understand practice and ideas of government and work professionally in esteemed political organizations.

The Guide to Associate Programs provides ample information for those who want to understand more about the associate’s program.

Free Courses for Political Science Online
Associate Students

Free political science courses can help students progress in the field of political science by providing them with knowledge outside of their degree programs. These courses are often designed to help interested people get an overview of the field and understand how professionals in political science work. Here are a few:

Course Description Provided by
Public Leadership Credential[4]This course helps develop the skills necessary for moral leadership. It instills lasting changes and the development of transferable skills in individuals that help them facilitate change in their communities.Harvard University
Moral Foundations of Politics[5]This course explores the theoretical explanations of historical and contemporary political science. It aims to discuss concrete problems, economic inequality, distribution of health care, affirmative action, the state’s limited power in regulating religion and speech, and more.Coursera
Contemporary Issues in World Politics[6]This course examines the driving forces of international politics and delves into controversial issues in contemporary world politics. Students learn to reflect critically on the major political issues affecting today’s world.edX

How to get into the Online Associate in Political
Science Program?

Institutions across the United States have different requirements for entry into the program. Colleges list certain basic requirements which must be fulfilled to be accepted by them. In some colleges, submission of short essays outlining the applicant’s goals for pursuing the subject or completion of prerequisite topics before starting the online associate political science degree is required. Some of the common requirements for a political science associate’s degree are:

  • Application form with prescribed fee
  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Official academic transcripts
  • Grade point average or GPA of 2.5 or more (some colleges accept a lesser GPA)
  • English language proficiency (not required by all colleges)
  • Statement of purpose or personal statement
  • ACT and SAT scores (requirements differ by the college)
  • PSAT scores (usually if ACT or SAT are not submitted)

How Long does it take to complete the Online Associate
Political Science Degree Program

Depending on the curriculum, the associates in political science degree will be 35 to 60 credits. On average, it takes two years to complete the program when taken up full-time. Students working part-time or full-time can opt for part-time programs and complete their classes at their own pace. However, part-time learning would require two to four years to finish the degree.

Accreditations for Online Political Science
Associate Degree Programs

Accreditation is a process of an in-depth evaluation of the quality of programs that colleges offer. It shows to the public, students, and employers that the institution is of repute and that the education one receives from it is of good quality. Accreditation is granted by competent, independent agencies, which are national or regional. Most colleges and universities are accredited regionally by one of six accrediting bodies, which are:

  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

To understand more about accreditation, read the Guide to College Accreditation.

How to Pay for an Online Associate Political
Science Degree?

Financial Aid is different kinds of monetary aid like grants, scholarships, and low-interest loans, which will allow people to pursue their education, and lead to more fulfilling and exciting careers without being burdened with college expenses. Political science associate degree students can consider the following funding options to pay for their education:


Scholarships are generally awarded to academically deserving students for furthering their education. Apart from academically-oriented scholarships, some are based on criteria like diversity and inclusion, financial need, athletic skill, etc.

Federal Grants

The Federal Government provides students with grants for attending colleges or pursuing specific programs. These grants are provided by both federal and state governments and need not be repaid. One must meet certain requirements to apply for this financial aid; some common grant requirements are outlined in the Federal Student Aid Guide.


Banks and other financial institutions offer loans to those who want to pursue higher education. The interest rates depend on the financial market when taking up loans and could lead to debt if the principal and interest are not paid back in time.


FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is an application form students must fill out to check if they are eligible for federal financial aid. Students must apply with information about themselves and their parents’ details and understand which aids they qualify for.

FAQs Related to the Online Associate Political
Science Degree Program

What is Political Science?

Political Science is a discipline that deals with the scientific study of politics. It investigates the systems in political science, like the systems of power and governance, analysis of political activities, political behavior, associated laws and constitutions, and so on.

Is political science and social science the same?

What can you do with an online political science associate’s degree?

Is an associate in political science worth it?

Are there accelerated online associate political science degrees?

How much time does it take to complete an associate’s degree in political science?

How much does an associate degree in political science cost?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after an Online
Associate’s in Political Science Degree

Students pursuing a political science associate’s degree would understand how to work in political science, history, public policy, sociology, geography, international relations, economics, etc. After completing an associate’s degree, they can look forward to entry-level positions in a host of settings, such as:

Occupation Job DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2031)
Political CartoonistPolitical cartoonists make cartoons to convey comments on politicians, current events, and politics, and the role that different political discourses play in society.Customer-service skills, interpersonal skills, business skills, artistic ability, creativity, dexterity$49,9606% (as fast as average)
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing ManagersAdvertising, marketing, and promotions managers plan programs that can generate interest in services or products. They are accountable to voluntary, regulatory, or other individuals related to politics for the accuracy of their claims. (An associate degree holder could find an entry-level position in this field, as a bachelor’s degree is required to work in high-paying positions.)Decision-making skills, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, analytical skills, communication skills, creativity$133,38010% (faster than average)
Political ReporterPolitical reporters typically work for radio, newspaper, or television stations. They cover politics which keeps people informed, and report on political developments to help residents understand what is happening in their relevant governments.Communication skills, technological skills, interpersonal skills, stamina, persistence$48,370-9% (decline)
Political Market Research AnalystsPolitical market research analysts examine the different aspects of voter behavior. They try to understand factors like economic prosperity, a safe society, personal freedom, and other factors influencing voters.Critical-thinking skills, communication skills, analytical skills, detail-oriented$122,5106% (as fast as the average)

Certifications and Licensing for Political Science
Online Associate Students

Certifications help attest that the individual has proficiency and knowledge in certain professions or industries. Many of these certifications can be time bound and expire after a stipulated period. Therefore, professionals will have to renew their certifications periodically. It is not mandatory for students who have completed an online associate political science degree to complete any professional certifications, as it is an entry-level degree.

As for licensure, associate-level students do not require any license to work.

Additional Resources for Political Science Online
Associate Students

Students pursuing online associate political science degrees should join student organizations that present many opportunities. Interested students can build networks with prominent professionals and organization members working in diverse fields of political science. They could meet people with the same interests; therefore, the connections made through such organizations are valuable and lifelong. Here are some examples:

American Political Science Association [8]The American Political Science Association promotes programs and publications aiming at civic engagements across the United States. The organization has been active for over five decades, and its members interact with political scientists and participate in research opportunities.
Southern Political Science Association [9]The Southern Political Science Association is one of the largest and oldest political science organizations in the United States. Its primary purposes are publishing professional journals, improving teaching, and encouraging communication.
Midwest Political Science Association [10]The Midwest Political Science Association is dedicated to advancing studies by providing scholarships in diverse areas of political science. It promotes professional research and teaching in areas of political science.
International Political Science Association [11]The International Political Science Association was founded in collaboration with the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. They support the development of the political science field globally and aim at building an academic network linking North and South, East and West regions.
Northeastern Political Science Association [12]The Northeastern Political Science Association is a regional professional organization leading the study of politics in the United States. The organization holds annual conferences which bring many global political scientists together. The purpose of the organization is to expand knowledge in politics.

Author Bio:

Brandon Mario D’Souza

Brandon is a registered social worker with Social Work England. He obtained his master’s in social work (personnel management & industrial relations) and used it in fields such as water treatment, construction, software, and education. Then he transitioned to the health and social care sector with an M.Sc. in health psychology. Brandon loves to write, cook, and play musical instruments (piano, guitar, melodica, ukulele, and kazoo) and enjoys the calmness and serenity of nature.


Master of Social Work, Master of Health Psychology

Areas of Expertise & Credentials

None to disclose in particular; the basics are covered in the short bio.


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