Best Online Bachelor's in Political Science

Updated November 3, 2022

Find the best online bachelor's in political science with our list of top-rated schools that offer accredited online programs.

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Political Science Degree Online

Online bachelor's degree programs in political science give students the flexibility to balance their studies with professional and personal obligations. Learners in these programs study political systems and behavior while strengthening critical thinking, analytical, and writing skills.

Graduates who earn a bachelor of political science online can work as policy analysts, political consultants, legislative assistants, and public relations specialists. Those who pursue a master's degree can become political scientists — a job with a median salary of over $122,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

An online bachelor’s in political science degree provides a foundation for many careers, preparing graduates for jobs in policy development, lobbying, journalism, and education. This is good, because political science is a rapidly evolving discipline that mirrors the current political climate of the United States. Furthermore, renewed interest in the field means there may be more students considering degrees in political science. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2019 and 2029, political science positions will increase by 6%.

Best Political Science Online Programs

Choosing an Online Bachelor’s in Political Science Program

Depending on whether your degree is a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science, it’s likely that some of the requirements may be a bit different, both in the general education and major curriculum. Regardless of which degree type you are earning, there will be some similar elements between them.

Students earning a political science degree online can pursue an emphasis or a minor in areas such as history, journalism, communications, and economics. Courses within the major often emphasize areas like international relations, political theory, and the justice system. Graduation requirements will vary from school to school, and may include thesis projects, internships, or capstone courses. The important thing to remember is that these programs are often highly customizable, allowing students to choose courses and academic paths that best suit their needs and career goals.

Graduation requirements will vary from school to school, and may include thesis projects, internships, or capstone courses.

What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor’s in Political Science Program?

Online political science programs offer similar courses. The sample curriculum below will give you an idea of what subjects you can expect to encounter while pursuing this degree.

Accreditation for Online Bachelor’s in Political Science Degrees

When looking into earning your political science degree online, one of the most important factors to consider is accreditation. When a program is accredited, it means an accrediting organization has verified the academic merit of the program. There are a few different types of accreditation to keep in mind. Colleges and universities are accredited either regionally or nationally. Regional accreditation is the more common and popular of the two types. Some regionally accredited programs will not accept credits from nationally accredited schools.

Some programs may also have program-specific accreditation. While institutional accreditation is adequate for things like federal student aid, program-specific accreditation is another way of ensuring the program you choose meets important field-related standards. Political science programs, for example, may be accredited by the American Political Science Association.

Online Bachelor's in Political Science Careers

Students in political science programs learn many skills, which prepare them for different careers. The jobs below are just a few examples of what graduates can pursue.

Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Median Salary: $51,740 Projected Job Growth: 10%

With the background in law provided by a political science online degree, graduates can work as paralegals or legal assistants. These professionals work alongside practicing lawyers to help maintain files, do research for cases, and even draft legal documents. They may work in private practices or within larger corporations.

Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts

Median Salary: $46,270 Projected Job Growth: -11%

An online political science degree provides preparation for careers in communication or journalism, particularly as news analysts or reporters. These professionals often report on politics on the local, national, and international levels.

High School Teachers

Median Salary: $61,660 Projected Job Growth: 4%

Many political science programs cover subjects in history and the social sciences, which help prepare graduates to become secondary school instructors. These teachers generally work in their area of interest, teaching students in grades 9–12. State licensure must be acquired prior to entering this field, which has additional requirements.

Top Political Science Online Programs

Best Online Bachelor's in Political Science Programs

#1 Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Florida International University, located in Miami, enables distance learning across 67 online degree programs. Undergraduate learners seeking flexible, remote study can choose from one of 36 online bachelor's degree programs. Students looking to advance in the political science field will find the school's bachelor of arts in political science program to be an attractive option. The political science program supports students from all walks of life through flexible enrollment options.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. These classes incorporate knowledge applicable to the political science field. Enrollees can customize their studies by working with their academic advisor to choose electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

Graduates often easily grow their earning potential with a bachelor's degree. The institution reports a median salary of $41,500 earned by graduates six years after completing their studies. The college reports that the average undergraduate pays $9,888 in tuition and fees yearly, after aid. Students interested in learning more about admission requirements and their eligibility for financial aid should connect with the political science department.

Florida International University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 39,863

Total Online Programs: 67

Online Bachelor's Programs: 36

Admission Rate: 58%

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,711
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Central Florida supports 41,097 distance learners across 47 fully online programs. Undergraduate students from around the globe can connect with the University of Central Florida through one of its 19 fully online bachelor's degree programs. The BA in political science prioritizes flexibility, making it an attractive option for working professionals and busy students. Learners in the political science program benefit from flexible study, with the option to enroll full or part time.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the political science field. These classes equip students with knowledge and skills applicable to a post-graduate career. Students can customize their degree through electives, minors, and concentrations.

A bachelor's degree often connects graduates with numerous job opportunities and a higher earning potential. The institution reports a median salary of $39,900 earned by graduates six years after completing their studies. Undergraduate students eligible for financial aid can expect to pay $11,617 in tuition and fees, on average. Prospective students can meet with the financial aid office to learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements.

University of Central Florida at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 41,097

Total Online Programs: 47

Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

Admission Rate: 44%

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,478
Out-of-state
$19,810
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
44%
Students Enrolled
69,402
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A leader in online education, Southern New Hampshire University facilitates distance learning across 84 online degree programs. Undergraduate students can choose from 35 online bachelor degree programs. From its campus in Manchester, the school offers an online bachelor of arts in political science. The political science program accommodates full- and part-time study.

Degree-seekers must satisfy the 120-credit requirement during their studies. Students complete general education and advanced coursework, gaining broad and specific skills. Enrollees can work with their academic advisor to individualize their degree by exploring electives, minors, and concentrations.

A bachelor's degree often enables graduates to access higher paying jobs and more employment opportunities. The college boasts a median salary of $43,300 for graduates six years after completing their studies. Prospective students should contact the political science department directly before applying, to discuss admission requirements, application materials, and other information.

Southern New Hampshire University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 106,762

Total Online Programs: 84

Online Bachelor's Programs: 35

Admission Rate: 88%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Accepted

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,756
Out-of-state
$30,756
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
113,514
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#4 Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Fort Hays State University

  • Hays, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Fort Hays State University supports 8,759 distance learners across 40 fully online programs. Undergraduate students seeking flexible, remote study can choose from one of 24 online bachelor's degree programs. For students looking to advance in the political science field, the school's online bachelor's degree in political science is a wise choice. Learners in the political science program benefit from flexible study, with the option to enroll full or part time.

Degree-seekers complete industry-relevant classes throughout their studies, gaining broad and specific knowledge of the political science field. The curriculum consists of general education and advanced coursework. Majors choose electives, minors, and concentrations to customize their course of study.

The value of a bachelor's degree is clear. Graduates often increase their job opportunities and earning potential. At the college, students can expect to earn a median salary of $36,800 six years after graduation. Undergraduate students eligible for financial aid can expect to pay $12,108 in tuition and fees, on average. Prospective learners can explore funding opportunities, eligibility requirements, and other opportunities by connecting with the Office of Financial Aid.

Fort Hays State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 8,759

Total Online Programs: 40

Online Bachelor's Programs: 24

Admission Rate: 91%

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,990
Out-of-state
$14,070
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
91%
Students Enrolled
15,908
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Arizona State University

  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Arizona State University enrolls distance learners in 126 programs. The college offers 54 fully online bachelor's degree programs to undergraduate students. Learners looking to advance in the political science field will find the school's bachelor of science in political science to be an attractive option. The political science program allows for full- or part-time study, making it a flexible choice for working professionals and busy students.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the political science field. These classes incorporate general and advanced knowledge applicable to the political science field. In consultation with their academic advisor, learners can customize their studies through electives, minors, and concentration areas.

The value of a bachelor's degree is clear. Many graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. Graduates who have completed their degree earn an average median salary of $42,200 after six years. Typically, undergraduate students pay $14,568 in tuition and fees each year. Students can meet with the political science department directly to inquire about admission requirements, application materials, and more.

Arizona State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 44,167

Total Online Programs: 126

Online Bachelor's Programs: 54

Admission Rate: 64%

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,867
Out-of-state
$19,282
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
64%
Students Enrolled
45,073
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Kennesaw State University

  • Kennesaw, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Kennesaw State University supports flexible distance learning opportunities across 56 online degree programs. The bachelor of science in political science program is one of 14 online bachelor's programs available through the college. Learners hoping to advance in the political science field can enroll in the college's political science program online. The political science program provides flexibility to learners from all walks of life through full- and part-time study options.

Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the political science field. The program curriculum prepares students for the demands of the political science field. Learners can work with their academic advisor to customize their studies through modified courses, electives, minors, and concentrations.

After earning their degree, graduates often benefit from greater access to employment opportunities and higher earning potential. Though educational costs vary, political science students can expect to pay an average of $17,175 in tuition and fees. Before applying, prospective students should connect with the political science department to learn more about admission requirements and application materials.

Kennesaw State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 18,360

Total Online Programs: 56

Online Bachelor's Programs: 14

Admission Rate: 75%

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,450
Out-of-state
$15,704
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
75%
Students Enrolled
37,807
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

University of Arizona

  • Tucson, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Arizona, located in Tucson, facilitates online learning throughout 95 online degree programs. Undergraduates choose from 24 online bachelor's programs at the public, four-year institution. From its campus, the school offers an online bachelor of arts in political science. The flexible program helps learners complete a college degree.

Political science students complete general education and advanced coursework, amounting to 120 credits throughout their studies. Learners gain knowledge and skills applicable to the political science field. Enrollees can customize their degree by choosing electives, minors, and concentrations.

The benefits of a bachelor's degree are varied, from increased job opportunities to higher earning potential. The median salary for graduates six years after their degree completion is $41,800, according to the college. Political science students can expect to pay an average of $16,580 per year for tuition and fees. Prospective enrollees can meet with the political science department directly to discuss admission requirements, application materials, and other relevant information.

University of Arizona at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 18,590

Total Online Programs: 95

Online Bachelor's Programs: 24

Admission Rate: 85%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Accepted

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,990
Out-of-state
$33,273
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
44,577
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Adelphi, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online

Students looking for a flexible bachelor's level education should consider the University of Maryland Global Campus. Located in Adelphi, the public institution boasts 31 online bachelor's degree programs. The online bachelor's in political science is an attractive option for students seeking to advance in the political science field.

The program curriculum enables flexible study. Learners work with academic advisors to create a course schedule meeting career and academic goals. Students can work with their academic advisor to modify their classes to suit their career interests.

Undergraduate political science students can expect to pay $11,976 in tuition. Learners can access numerous funding opportunities through the accredited institution. At the college, students receive an average of $4,484 in financial aid.

University of Maryland Global Campus at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 52,298

Total Online Programs: 84

Online Bachelor's Programs: 31

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,200
Out-of-state
$11,976
Retention Rate
52%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
58,281
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
90% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#9 Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Indiana University East

  • Richmond, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Indiana University East, a public, four-year college located in Richmond, offers premier bachelor's degree opportunities. The political science program is one of 13 online bachelor's programs available through the institution. The online bachelor of science in political science program supports distance learners.

The political science program connects students with a supportive online learning community, while enabling flexibility. Students can work with their academic advisor to modify their coursework to meet their academic and career goals. Enrollees can modify coursework, choose electives, and pursue other educational opportunities relevant to their career goals.

Undergraduate political science students can expect to pay $19,346 in tuition. Enrollees can benefit from scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid through the college. The college reports that students receive an average of $8,055 in financial aid.

Indiana University East at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 2,989

Total Online Programs: 19

Online Bachelor's Programs: 13

Admission Rate: 63%

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,895
Out-of-state
$19,346
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
3,766
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
79% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Penn State World Campus

  • University Park, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online

Learners looking for competitive online learning opportunities should consider Penn State World Campus's online bachelor's programs. Distance learners can choose from 67 fully online bachelor's degree programs. Distance learners can enroll in the bachelor of arts in political science program to complete a college degree online.

The political science program connects students with a supportive online learning community, while enabling flexibility. Students complete industry-specific classes, with the option to add electives and modify their coursework. Enrollees can explore other educational opportunities, such as minors and elective courses, to customize their studies.

Undergraduate political science students typically pay $13,484 in tuition. The accredited institution connects students with internal and external funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships.

Penn State World Campus at a Glance:

Total Online Programs: 207

Online Bachelor's Programs: 67

Admission Rate: 76%

Average Tuition
In-state
$13,484
Out-of-state
$13,484
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
76%
Students Enrolled
Not provided
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Online Bachelor's in Political Programs Ranking Guidelines

We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

The motto of TheBestSchools.org is Finding the best school for you. Here is how we do it:

The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.

To meet this challenge—and thereby provide you with the most useful and insightful educational rankings on the Internet — TheBestSchools.org formulates our rankings based on five informational categories (six, when considering online schools). The major metrics and qualities for which we rank are these (with expanded, detailed considerations and weights listed):

1. Academic excellence based on a school’s curriculum generally or within the selected discipline [weight = 25%]

  • Weighs school against known leading schools in that discipline
  • Weighs number of core curricula listed as advanced courses within that discipline and compares against introductory courses
  • Weighs school’s curriculum against known knowledge needs of major employers in that discipline
  • Considers number and types of specializations offered within that discipline
  • Considers faculty expertise in that discipline
  • Considers range of electives within that discipline
  • Considers quality of online environment offered to students (if applicable), particularly within that discipline

2. Strength of faculty scholarship [weight = 25%]

  • Considers education background of the faculty
  • Considers years of faculty experience both inside and outside of academia.
  • Considers faculty membership and leadership within relevant, prominent associations
  • Considers academic papers published by faculty in relevant, prominent periodicals
  • Considers awards and recognitions given to faculty members from prominent organizations and from other sources

3. Reputation [weight = 20%]

  • Considers a school’s reputation among academic peers and employers regarding the following:
    • Faculty
    • Curriculum
    • “Freshness” of academic knowledge
    • Adaptability to changes in employment sectors
    • Suitability of graduates for the workplace

4. Financial aid [weight = 10%]

  • Mandatory: Requires full accreditation from an agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education and listed on the federal register to accept student federal financial aid
  • Considers range of school-sponsored financial aid such as scholarships and grants

5. Range of degree programs [weight = 20%]

  • Considers range of degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral and professional
  • Considers range of degree subjects offered, such as art & design, computers & technology, education & teaching, criminal justice, and business

6. Strength of online instruction methodology (if applicable) [weight = 25%; subtract 5% from each of the above for online schools/programs]

  • Considers the following of the online classes:
    • Types of online technology used to deliver content
    • Pedagogy style: asynchronous, synchronous, or both (depending on the degree)
    • Extent and quality of the online, community learning environment, including options for communication, interactivity, and collaboration between students and also between students and instructors
    • Variety, breadth, and depth of coursework, and its support, including project options and online tutoring
  • Considers the following of instructors:
    • Extent of training for teaching within an online learning environment
    • Amount of timely, consistent feedback to students
    • Extent of collaboration with prospective employers to ensure suitability of instructional materials for achieving desired skills
    • Ratio to number of students in a class
  • Number and quality of internships in a student’s geographical area for applicable degrees

Because students tend to review a variety of information when choosing a school, the weight a student gives any one criterion will vary. For instance, it’s not enough to offer a carefully constructed ranking of great schools if many are too expensive or too difficult to get into.

To better serve the needs of prospective students, we are therefore increasingly offering filters that help you better use our rankings to find the schools that match your specific needs. These supplement our ranking criteria and include:

  • Accreditation
  • Public or private status
  • Acceptance rate
  • Retention rate
  • Graduation rate
  • ACT/SAT requirements
  • Cost in-state / out of state
  • Undergrad, grad, or both offered
  • Region
  • State
  • City

Get the best rankings here AND get them to suit your personal needs. That’s TheBestSchools.org advantage!

If you have any questions about our ranking methodology, please contact us.

Citations: For a broader account of our ranking methodology, especially as it relates to TheBestSchools.org's underlying educational philosophy and, in other ranking articles, looks beyond academic excellence (as here) to such factors as return on investment or incidental benefit, see our article "Ranking Methodology: How We Rank Schools at TBS." Reputation of schools and degree programs can at least in part be gauged through the school or department's publishing activity, citations, and desirability. At TheBestSchools.org, we keep track of such social and peer validation: "Making Sense of College Rankings." For nuts-and-bolts information about colleges and universities, we look to the National Center for Education Statistics and especially its College Navigator. Insofar as salary and inflation data are relevant to a ranking, we look to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Finally, nothing beats contacting schools and degree programs directly, which our researchers often do, with the result that all the entries in this article should be considered as belonging to this citation!

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