Online Political Science Degrees

By Brandon Mario D`Souza

Updated March 15, 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 is the study of political philosophy and practice, as well as the analysis and interpretation of the political system and political behavior. Studying national and international democratic structures is part of an online political science degree. The program deals with power and governance systems and analyzes political activities, behavior, and thoughts. After completing a political science degree online, one can work in federal governments, educational services in state and private organizations, professional and scientific services, and other settings. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median pay of $122,510 for political scientists and related employment.

Online Political Science Degrees

Best Online Bachelor’s in Political
Science Degree

If students are serious about dedicating their careers to the functioning and development of governments and society, they must pursue a political science degree from a top university. Prospective students must determine whether the institution of choice is accredited, has qualified faculty, and has adequate infrastructure. Based on these and other considerations, the following are the best online political science degrees: .*

The University of Central Florida (UCF), part of the State University System of Florida, is a public research university founded in 1963. Through its 13 colleges at 10 regional campuses, the university offers more than 230 degrees to over 70,000 students.
Univ Address Tuition Grad Rate
University of Central Florida 4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, Florida 32816 $6,368 75%

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 Online Political Science
Degree Programs

A political science degree online is a 120-credit undergraduate program that typically requires four years to complete. Students can complete the degree online, off-campus, and in hybrid learning formats. The degree studies the meaning, utilization, and distribution of political and economic power, and one discovers how different individuals and groups influence international affairs and governmental decisions. Focus is on also on equality, justice, liberty, and understanding how societies will govern and organize themselves.

Some required major courses students pursuing a political science online degree can expect in the program include:

American Government and Politics

In this course, students understand the different powers, governmental structures, and political systems of America. They focus on the growth of U.S. politics and compare the historical implications of politics in the U.S. and its effect on contemporary politics. The course also analyses the governance and working of important governmental institutions.

International Relations

In this course, students examine the scientific study of interactions between sovereign states. They look at the different activities which concern the state, like war, trade, foreign policy, and diplomacy. and study international relations in the context of multiple existing theories, seeking to explain how states operate in international systems.

Current Events in Politics

In this course, students understand the different political events occurring in recent times. They study critical contemporary issues like geopolitics that explain the earth’s geography’s effect on international relations and politics.

Political Ethics

In this course, students learn about making different moral judgments about political agents and political action. It helps students understand the various struggles and ethical dilemmas that politicians go through daily. They also look into the different sets of codes that exist in politics.

Social Analysis

In this course, students understand the practice of examining social problems systematically. They learn about social problems or trends and make changes in the analyzed situations. The various issues related to social characteristics are also examined, as are the general life quality, social justice, and social services in the context of the societies in which we live.

Some of the other courses one can find in the political science online degree are:

  • Global Issues
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Introduction to Political Science
  • Introduction to Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Comparative Politics
  • International Affairs
  • American Constitutional Law
  • State Government
  • American Legislative Process
  • Civil Liberties and Rights
  • American Chief Executives
  • International Politics

Read the guide to bachelor programs to understand more about bachelor’s degrees.

Degree Types for Online Political
Science Programs

There are two types of bachelor of political science online offered in the United States – The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science or BA Political Science and the Bachelor of Science in Political Science or BS Political Science.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science or BA in political science degree offers students the opportunity to study different dimensions of politics, power, and government. It focuses on the broader representation of the discipline of political science. It also includes more humanities and liberal arts courses, like art, history, religion, philosophy, and writing.

Bachelor of Science in Political Science

The Bachelor of Science in Political Science or BS in political science degree focuses on the political science discipline from a scientific perspective. Students gain advanced research knowledge, and the curriculum prepares students for a career or graduate studies in political science. The degree will help students build a technical understanding of the subject.

Areas of Specialization for Online Political
Science Programs

Specializing is an excellent way to gain in-depth knowledge on a specific area within the subject. Gaining expertise and skills in these concentrated areas can lead to niche jobs in the market. Some specializations students pursuing online political science could consider taking up are:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
American PoliticsIn this specialization, students learn how the politics in the country functions within certain frameworks. They look at the presidential system and the federal constitutional republic within the distinct branches that share powers.Niche roles as political scientists
Comparative PoliticsIn this specialization, students understand topics related to political behavior, conflict, political institutions, and the consequences and causes of the economic development of different countries.Niche roles as political scientists
Political TheoryIn this concentration, students focus on the different sets of observations or ideas that explain the state’s social, political, and economic conditions. It helps students understand rights and duties under political theory.Niche roles as political scientists
International RelationsIn this specialization, students study many schools of thought on concepts like liberalism, constructivism, and realism. It is one of the major subfields of political science.Niche roles as political scientists
Political BehaviorThis concentration helps students understand the political field better. It interlinks with economics, sociology, and psychology. Students learn experimental design as part of this specialization.Niche roles as political scientists
Political MethodologyIn this specialization, students learn many cutting-edge tools that help them study the determinants of corruption in bureaucracies. They also study the consequence of experiences with the criminal justice system and migrant flows. Students also learn different approaches to empirical research.Niche roles as political scientists
Social and Political TheoryIn this specialization, students recognize that no concept or idea exists on its own. They understand society’s basic notions and intersubjectivity and look at all the ideas, concepts, and symbols in society.Niche roles as political scientists

Why should I do a Bachelor’s Degree in
Political Science Online?

Through the online degree in political science, students understand the global collaborations between nations and the different concepts of diplomacy, war, peace, security, and human rights. The program will help them study public policy, the political behavior of individuals and groups, and the study of government. The bachelor’s program specializes in politics and related concepts in the context of the United States and other countries. By studying these topics, one can analyze the different political scenarios within the U.S. and the countries with whom the U.S. has geopolitical connections.

The program will also help develop in-depth knowledge about public opinion, interest groups, administrative behavior, public law, international law and organizations, national security, political behaviors, and more. Knowledge in these areas will lead to various careers as journalists, city planners, analysts, nonprofit managers, etc.

There are various skills that students studying a political science online degree can acquire and transfer to their academic or professional careers. Some of these skills include the ability to:

  • analyze critically then given political information about the different issues that exist in modern American society;
  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge of theoretical, historical, scientific, and structural dimensions which exist in politics;
  • effectively communicate in writing and exhibit excellent oral skills;
  • show sensitivity and tolerance towards the difference cultural, racial, and varied differences in humans;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the political institutions and processes which help in forming public policies that will impact citizens;
  • understand the basics of the American political system and governmental institutions which exist around the globe;
  • demonstrate a basic understanding of foundational theories, methodologies, and concepts used in different studies of political science;
  • show efficient writing and research skills relevant to the field; and
  • demonstrate critical thinking about different political issues and develop proficiency in developing essential arguments in written or oral formats.

Read the guide to bachelor programs to understand more about a bachelor’s degree.

Free Courses for Political Science
Online Students

Free courses contain information in the form of videos, articles, recorded seminars, research papers, and more. Such free lessons will help students get an opportunity to discuss new trends, information, concerns, and data in the political science field. The information from these courses can help them gain new insights into their domain. Here are a few examples online degree political science students can explore:

Area of SpecializationDescriptionCareer Options
Public Leadership Credential[2]In this course, students learn about the different roles and responsibilities individuals would play in being construction managers. They will be able to distinguish characteristics that define construction management organizations.edX
Moral Foundations of Politics[3]In this course, students learn about the conditions influencing a structure or object subjected to time-invariant forces in equilibrium. They look at the conditions under which an object moves or remains stationary.Coursera
Contemporary Issues in World Politics[4]In this course, students learn how technology, climate change, and regulation are altering the designs of buildings and professional practice in the construction field. They also explore trends and problems in this field.FutureLearn

How to get into Online Political Science
Degree Programs?

The bachelor’s degree admission requirements might differ according to the institution, program, and specialization. Usually, no minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) or standardized test score is required for a bachelor’s in political science. However, a student with excellent academic standing will be preferred for admission. Some of the political science degree admissions requirements common with most universities across the United States are:

  • Completed application form with fee
  • Minimum of 2.5 GPA in the previous degree is generally required
  • ACT and SAT (optional at some colleges)
  • Official high school transcripts
  • Personal Statement (should be written well as it highlights the writing ability of the student)
  • Letters of Recommendation (some colleges typically require two or three letters of recommendation)

How Long does it take to complete an Online
Political Science Degree?

It takes about four years to complete an online degree in political science if taken full-time. The program duration depends on how many credits are completed in a semester, program delivery mode, specializations, projects, etc. Here is a quick summary of the duration of a political science degree:

  • Time to complete a full-time political science bachelor’s degree: about 4 years
  • Time to complete a part-time political science bachelor’s degree: 4 to 6 years

Accelerated Online Political
Science Degrees

Accelerated programs help students complete and earn their degrees faster than four years. Students can take more classes in an accelerated program as they are not limited to following a cohort. With an accelerated degree, one takes up the same course content as traditional degrees. However, students may have fewer holidays, so the program can be finished more quickly. Examples of universities that offer accelerated online political science degrees are Arizona State University[6] and Central Michigan University[7]. The American Military University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science that students can complete in 8 to 16 weeks online[5].

Accreditations for Online Political
Science Programs

Accreditation is a rigorous process that ensures educational institutions continuously meet set quality standards. Students, employers, and others can rest assured that a degree from an accredited university is of quality and value. The Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs [8] and the Council for Higher Education[9] provide tools to check whether a college is accredited. Colleges offering an accredited online political science degree can be accredited nationally or regionally, with the latter being more common. The six authorized regional accrediting agencies 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)

The guide to college accreditation is an excellent place to start to understand accreditation.

How to Pay for Online Political
Science Degree?

Financial Aid goes a long way in ensuring that students are not burdened with the high cost of undergraduate education. Although online students do not have to spend on transportation, gas, parking, meals, or accommodation, the tuition fees alone could still be prohibitively expensive. Here are some funding mechanisms online degree in political science students can explore to pay for college:


Scholarships are typically given to academically deserving students to help them further their education. Aside from academic scholarships, some are awarded based on criteria such as diversity and inclusion, financial need, athletic ability, and so on.

Federal Grants

The federal government offers grants to students who want to attend college or pursue specific programs. These grants are funded by both the federal and state governments and do not have to be repaid. To apply for this financial aid, one must meet certain criteria; some common grant requirements are outlined in the Federal Student Aid Guide.


Banks and other financial institutions provide loans to those looking to further their education. When taking out loans, interest rates are determined by the financial market and can lead to debt if the principal and interest are not paid back on time.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA is a form students can fill out and submit to understand whether they are eligible for federal financial aid.

Scholarships for Online Political
Science Students

Scholarships are an excellent way to offset the high cost of education. They are awarded to undergraduate students based on merit or financial need. The amount awarded by a scholarship will differ and cover different needs like tuition, books, or research. Here are a few scholarships for those pursuing a political science online degree:

Scholarship Description Amount/AwardApplication Deadline
Dr. Antonio Jorge Political Economy Scholarship[10]The Dr. Antonio Jorge Foundation offers two qualified students a scholarship to help fund their undergraduate education in a field related to political economy, an interdisciplinary branch of the social sciences that focuses on the interrelationships between individuals, governments, and public policy.$500Opens in Fall | Currently open
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program[11]The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program provides scholarships to students from underrepresented communities studying social science and law. Individuals should be committed to diversity concerning their religious affiliation, ethnicity, etc.$6,000TBA
Boren Scholarship[12]The Boren Scholarship is awarded to U.S. undergraduate students interested in working in different capacities with the federal government. Awardees are offered work in the federal government in exchange for the funding they receive.$12,000 to $25,000February 1, 2024

FAQs Related to Online Political Science
Degree Programs

What is political science?

Political science is a branch of social science that deals with the systems of government and state. It scientifically analyzes political behavior and activity.

What are the subfields in political science?

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

Is a bachelor’s degree in political science worth it?

How many credits is a bachelor’s degree in political science?

Can you get a political science degree online?

How long is a political science degree online?

Career Opportunities and Salaries after an Online
Political Science Degree

A career in political science will equip students to undertake policymaking changes, analyze data, and work as academicians in this field. They will be able to pursue careers that make a difference in society. Examples of occupations those pursuing a political science degree online can consider include:

OccupationJob DescriptionSkills RequiredMedian Annual SalaryJob Growth (up to 2031)
Political Reporters[14]Political reporters are individuals who report on politics. They are specialists in political news, cover different aspects of politics, and gather and analyze data about current events in politics and governments.Communication skills, technological skills, interpersonal skills, stamina, persistence$48,370-9% (decline)
Political Market Research Analysts[15]Political market research analysts usually explore different ways to use political market research. They use market research to inform about a range of various activities in politics. They convert data and findings into tables, charts, graphs, and written reports.Critical-thinking skills, communication skills, analytical skills, detail-oriented$122,5106% (as fast as average)
Government Service Executives[16]Top-level government executives direct an organization and administer and monitor its activities to ensure that goals are met. They also ensure that all work is going on in compliance with regulations.Leadership skills, time-management skills, decision-making skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills$98,9806% (as fast as average)
Political Cartoonists[17]Political cartoonists are also known as editorial cartoonists. They are artists who draw editorial cartoons containing social or political commentary. They express their personal or public opinion through pictures.Customer-service skills, interpersonal skills, business skills, artistic ability, creativity, dexterity$49,9606% (as fast as average)
Political Financial Managers[18]Political finance managers are individuals who raise and spend funds for politics-related purposes. These could include election campaigns and various public offices that candidates and parties run.Organizational skills, analytical skills, communication skills, math skills, detail-oriented$131,71017% (much faster than average)

Certifications and Licensing for Online
Political Science Students

Through certifications, students can develop a competitive edge, gain industry skills, and develop ways to maximize their earning potential. They help in expanding one’s career opportunities.

However, in fields like political science, certifications are scarcely available. Those who have acquired a political science online degree do not need state licensure to work as a political scientist or in related roles.

Additional Resources for Online Political
Science Students

Students pursuing online political science degrees should get involved in professional organizations, which provide numerous opportunities. One can network with prominent professionals and organization members working in a variety of fields to gain insights into how politics can influence or affect them. Members can also access journals, webinars, seminars, and research reports, which can be immensely useful in one’s studies or career. Here are a few professional associations to explore:

American Political Science Association[19]The American Political Science Association provides resources in various political science subfields and engages its members in research. They assemble political panels for discussions on urban political issues and publish journals. They also offer research grants to students.
Southern Political Science Association[20]The Southern Political Science Association promotes interest and research in practical and theoretical political problems. They sponsor annual conferences where research in all dimensions and subfields of political science is presented.
Midwest Political Science Association[21]The Midwest Political Science Association aims to facilitate communications between members engaged in political studies and develop standards to encourage research in practical and theoretical political problems. It is a nonpartisan association.
International Political Science Association[22]International Political Science Association aims to create a global and inclusive political science community in which everyone can participate. They promote collaboration between political science scholars and support the field’s development.
Northeastern Political Science Association[23]The Northeastern Political Science Association is an academic association that promotes the study of government and politics. The organization focuses on the professional development of its members in the field of politics and is committed to the highest research standards.

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.


The average tuition (based on degree type for in-state students), average graduation rates, and rankings are based on data from various sources, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and are variable over time. All rankings and statistics are subject to change. The rankings are solely the opinion of Find Best Degrees (FBD) and are based on our proprietary methodology. They do not represent the views of the institutions or organizations mentioned, nor do they represent any official government census or survey. Furthermore, any views or opinions expressed on this page are of FBD’s researchers and teams. Unless otherwise specified, they do not represent the thoughts and opinions of the individuals, institutions, or organizations mentioned. This page’s content is provided solely for informational purposes, with data drawn from various sources, including IPEDS. FBD and its employees make no guarantees regarding the accuracy or completeness of any information found on this page or by following any link. FBD will not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this material nor any losses, injuries, or damages resulting from the exposure or use of this information. Although the information on this page is/was correct at the time of publication, readers should exercise caution because some or all of the provided information may have changed over time, potentially resulting in inaccuracies. For more information, please read our Terms of Service. Trademarks and logos are the property of their registered owners.