The job outlook for political scientists is expected to grow by 5% from 2018 to 2028 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Political science majors enjoy a wealth of employment opportunities after earning their degree including working as political consultants, policy analysts, or in public relations. A bachelor’s degree in political science is also a great choice for students planning to pursue a law degree or another related advanced area of study.

Who Are Political Scientists?

Political scientists study the creation, development and ongoing operation of different political systems throughout the world. They usually work in an office setting, researching political trends and policies. Some political scientists conduct research in their area of expertise and publish their findings and present at conferences.

What Does a Bachelor’s Degree Mean for Political Scientists?

While the standard level of education for a political scientist is a master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree can help pave the way for a career in politics, government, or even law. Political science majors develop strong critical thinking skills as well as analytics skills that are especially important for graduate school or in the workplace.

What Are the Best Online Bachelors in Political Science?

Online College Plan uses data from the National Center for Education Statistics to determine the best programs. We factor in academic reputation, affordability, and student satisfaction.

  1. MERIT: 219
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,617

    The online political science bachelor of arts program offered by UCF Online is a high-quality program that prepares students to take the next step in their career. Students study areas like international relations, political theory, and politics in a flexible online format. This 120 credit hour program includes limited internship opportunities for students who need real-world experience. Graduates are prepared for career opportunities that include lobbyist, intelligence officer, and paralegal.

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  2. MERIT: 194
    View Profile Average Cost: $9,888

    The Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University offers one of the most affordable online bachelor’s degrees in political science to make our ranking. Students can learn from anywhere at any time by using a state of the art online learning platform to view lectures, get real-time feedback from their teachers, and work closely with peers on projects. Courses include:

    • International Politics
    • American Politics
    • Political Theory

    Online students are matched with a success coach to help stay on track and work through challenges. New students are admitted during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

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  3. MERIT: 183
    View Profile Average Cost: $24,724

    Penn State World Campus has created a high quality online political science bachelor’s degree program that prepares students for a variety of careers in business and government. Political science students can take advantage of course offerings like:

    • The Politics of Terrorism
    • International Political Economy
    • Politics and the Media

    Students will also gain practical knowledge in areas like statistics and computer science which they can use immediately in their current role. Courses are taught by faculty from the College of Liberal Arts, world renown for their excellence in liberal arts education.

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  4. MERIT: 180
    View Profile Average Cost: $12,167

    The political science major at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse is a comprehensive bachelor of science program focused on American government and politics, international relations, comparative politics, and political theory. An extensive list of courses in each of these areas of inquiry allow students to customize the program to meet their professional goals. All courses are available online through an integrated online learning platform. Full time students can complete their political science bachelor’s degree in four years.

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  5. MERIT: 179
    View Profile Average Cost: $16,463

    The College of Arts and Sciences at Texas Tech University offers a top-value online bachelor’s in political science. The political science program is a great choice for students with an interest in areas like politics, journalism, and civil service. Courses include:

    • International Bargaining and Security
    • Environmental Politics and Policy
    • Constitutional Law

    Courses are taught by the same faculty who teach face-to-face courses.
    Students living out of state get a rate close to the low in-state tuition rate. Online students benefit from 24/7 support with financial aid, account balances, and IT support.

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  6. MERIT: 177
    View Profile Average Cost: $28,181

    Liberty University features a top affordable online bachelor’s in political science taught from a Christian worldview. Students will learn the skills needed to become a Christ-centered political leader. Courses are available entirely online and can be accessed 24/7. Professors have experience working in a variety of political roles, brining their real-world experience to the online classroom. The comprehensive curriculum includes political science courses like:

    • American Political Processes
    • International Relations
    • American Foreign Policy

    Political science courses are eight weeks long and there are eight different program start dates throughout the year. As an added bonus, electronic textbooks are provided free of charge to all undergraduate students.

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  7. MERIT: 175
    View Profile Average Cost: $17,008

    The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa offers a best-value online political science BA that can be complete from anywhere in the world. The University of Iowa is committed to quality in online education. Courses are taught by on-campus faculty and students have access to academic advising and instructor hours through web meetings. Introductory courses are offered in areas like:

    • American Foreign Policy
    • Social Media and Politics
    • International Relations

    Graduates are prepared to work in public, private, and non-profit sectors both in the US and abroad.

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  8. MERIT: 173
    View Profile Average Cost: $18,346

    The Department of Political Science at Northern Illinois University features an online BA in political science for students who have completed their associate’s degree or general education requirements. Students can earn their degree with an emphasis in politics by completing online courses through NIU. Courses include:

    • Introduction to Comparative Politics
    • Introduction to International Relations
    • Introduction to Public Policy

    Two advisors work with students to to ensure successful completion of the program. Graduates are successful in a variety of careers in areas like insurance, government, and corporate public relations.

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  9. MERIT: 170
    View Profile Average Cost: $19,273

    With a flexible online curriculum and four start terms per year, Oregon State University is a great choice for a top online bachelor’s in political science. Students will study the current political climate and learn to think critically about issues like international terrorism, campaign finance, and censorship. All courses are developed by the world renown faculty at OSU. Online students have access to resources like online coaching, tutoring, and career guidance…all designed with student success in mind.

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  10. MERIT: 165
    View Profile Average Cost: $15,266

    Central Michigan University Global Campus features a high-quality online bachelor of science with a major in political science. The comprehensive curriculum covers politics on a local, national, and international level. Students can complete a certificate in Citizen Engagement or Political Advocacy and Elections while earning their degree. Flexible course selections allow students to customize their degree to achieve their career goals. There are no on-campus residency requirements and most students can complete their degree in four years.

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  11. MERIT: 163
    View Profile Average Cost: $12,309

    The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater can help you open doors by unlocking your potential with their bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in political science. Students can learn at their own pace, on their own schedule. Online assignments and discussion boards allow students to build connections with faculty and peers. Both full and part-time students are welcome into the program and there are no on-campus residency requirements. Required courses include:

    • American Government and Politics
    • Political Science Research Methods
    • Introduction to Political Science
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  12. MERIT: 163
    View Profile Average Cost: $18,002

    The Global Campus at Washington State University offers a 100% online cost-effective political science bachelor’s degree program. Students can begin the program during the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Online students can gain valuable hands-on training and professional development through a variety of internship opportunities. Required courses include:

    • American National Government
    • International Politics
    • Introduction to Comparative Politics

    Courses are taught by experienced, nationally recognized faculty. Graduates are prepared to work in consulting, law enforcement, and government service.

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  13. MERIT: 156
    View Profile Average Cost: $11,534

    University of Illinois Springfield features an online political science bachelor’s degree for students who want to pursue a career in politics at any level. Students are taught by the same world-class professors who teach the traditional classroom courses. Courses include:

    • State of the State
    • Comparative State Politics
    • Statistics for Social Sciences

    Online students can complete an internship in their own community. UIS also offers the opportunity for online students to earn Department Honors in Political Science.

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  14. MERIT: 155
    View Profile Average Cost: $15,235

    The University of West Georgia is home to a top high-quality online bachelor’s in political science. Students can take courses in a variety of areas including policy analysis, data analytics, and law. Unique elective offerings include:

    • Public Opinion
    • Health Policy
    • State and Local Government Finance

    An optional internship is available for students who want to get hands-on experience. Out-of-state and in-state residents are charged the same low tuition rate.

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  15. MERIT: 154
    View Profile Average Cost: $18,662

    UMass Dartmouth offers a fully online bachelor’s in political science that includes an optional pre-law concentration. Students will gain critical skills that enable them to formulate and analyze arguments. They will also gain knowledge and understanding of critical concepts in political science. There are no on-campus residency requirements. The flexible schedule allows students to work full-time while earning their degree.

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  16. MERIT: 151
    View Profile Average Cost: $17,175

    The School of Government and International Affairs at Kennesaw State University features a top affordable bachelor of science in political science. Courses include:

    • Campaigns and Elections
    • American Foreign Policy
    • American Political Thought

    Graduates are well prepared to attend law school, graduate school, or begin a career in an areas like business, journalism, or campaign management.

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  17. MERIT: 146
    View Profile Average Cost: $13,481

    The University of Memphis Global features a flexible online bachelor of political science focused on political institutions and processes in the US and abroad. Students can complete the program fully online or through a mix of online and seated courses. Courses fall into four different subfields including:

    • American Government and Politics
    • Comparative Politics
    • International Relations
    • Political Theory

    Online students can apply for admission into the Honors Program where they can complete an optional Senior Thesis in political science. Students planning to attend law school can take advantage of pre-law advising.

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  18. MERIT: 146
    View Profile Average Cost: $14,879

    The bachelor of political science online from Southern Utah University is a comprehensive program that prepares students for law school, graduate school, or a successful career in political science. This 100% online program requires no on-campus residencies. Online courses include:

    • State and Local Government
    • Introduction to Political Thought
    • American Legislative Process and Behavior

    Students can complete an internship and all students complete a capstone seminar in political science, focusing on a contemporary issue in political science.

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  19. MERIT: 144
    View Profile Average Cost: $16,681

    The online political science program from Old Dominion University is taught by internationally recognized staff. Courses include:

    • Introduction to American Politics
    • Introduction to Public Law
    • Introduction to International Politics

    Students can earn internship and practicum credit during their junior year, gaining valuable professional experience. Graduates are prepared for admission to law or graduate school or to take on a variety of roles in politics.

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  20. MERIT: 143
    View Profile Average Cost: $14,822

    The top online bachelor’s in political science from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee is a great choice for individuals looking for balance in their schedule. Courses follow a semester schedule and most have traditional weekly deadlines. Elective course offerings include:

    • Party Politics in America
    • Administrative Law
    • Politics and the Bureaucracy

    UWM faculty teach both online and traditional students. Online students can complete a Law Studies Option, earn Honors or High Honors in political science, and join Pi Sigma Alpha.

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  21. MERIT: 141
    View Profile Average Cost: $12,899

    The online affordable political science BMS program at the University of Nebraska Omaha is a fully online program focused on political systems and public policy. Students can tailor the program to meet their professional goals. Transfer credits and non-traditional credit from specific training experiences can save students time and money. Courses include:

    • State Government and Politics
    • Contemporary Political Theory
    • Introduction to Political Inquiry

    Courses are primarily asynchronous, allowing students to work while earning their degree. Graduates are prepared for a variety of career paths including politics, nonprofit administration, government, and public relations.

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  22. MERIT: 141
    View Profile Average Cost: $18,002

    UMaineOnline features a 120 credit hour online bachelor’s degree in political science taught by professors engaged in cutting edge research. In addition to online classes, students and faculty come together to discuss politics, watch debates, and talk about political films.
    Political science courses cover four key areas including:

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

    Students participate in activities like internships, policy research, and community activism.

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  23. MERIT: 140
    View Profile Average Cost: $7,110

    Are you looking for an online political science bachelor’s degree completion program with no on-campus residency requirements, Indiana University East is worth a look. This 60 credit hour program can be completed in two calendar years of full-time study. Courses include:

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

    Elective course offerings allow students to tailor the program to meet their personal and professional goals. Political science graduates are successful in social activism, community organization, and even non-profit administration.

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  24. MERIT: 135
    View Profile Average Cost: $14,033

    The University of North Alabama offers an innovative online undergraduate political science program with minors available in international political studies, legal studies, and public administration. The major is comprised of six required courses that include:

    • United States Government and Politics
    • Public Policy and Administration
    • Comparative Politics

    Students can choose from a variety of elective course offerings that fit their interests and professional goals. Graduates are successful working in various levels of government and in the non-profit and private sectors.

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  25. MERIT: 134
    View Profile Average Cost: $12,951

    For those passionate about current events, world affairs, or elections, the online bachelor’s in political science from Troy University may be the right choice. Students can choose from two different concentrations including international politics and American politics and public administration. The Ambassador-in Residence program allows students to spend a week with a retired American diplomat, gaining valuable real-world knowledge and experience. Students planning to attend law school can apply to the accelerated law program offered in conjunction with Thomas Goode Jones and Cumberland law schools. This exclusive program is an option for students in their junior year to complete their bachelor’s and JD degrees in just six years.

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  26. MERIT: 126
    View Profile Average Cost: $12,108

    Fort Hays State University offers an online bachelor of arts in political science with built in hands-on learning opportunities. Students can choose a concentration in pre-law or public administration. Core courses include:

    • Political Philosophy
    • Introduction to International Relations
    • American Government

    Students benefit from hands-on experience through an internship in political science and a senior capstone project. Online students can participate in the online political science group called the Onliners. Study abroad abroad opportunities and field trips are also available to students.

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  27. MERIT: 126
    View Profile Average Cost: $14,674

    The political science bachelor’s degree online from EKU Online is a 120 credit hour program that provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in a variety of political and government roles. There are three areas of emphasis for students to choose from including:

    • Public Administration/Public Policy
    • International Relations and Comparative Politics
    • American Institutions/Law

    Courses are offered in accelerated eight-week terms and new courses begin six times a year. There are no campus visits required. Online students benefit from free online tutoring and career services assistance.

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  28. MERIT: 121
    View Profile Average Cost: $39,743

    Southern New Hampshire University is well known for offering quality and affordable online degree programs and their online bachelor’s in political science is one of the best. Courses are taught by experienced faculty who bring their relevant insights to the online classroom. There’s no application fee or SAT/ACT scores required for admission. Courses cover areas like:

    • International Relations
    • The Legal System in America
    • Analysis and Research in Political Science

    Students can save time and money by earning up to 12 math credits through Pathways to Math Success assessments. Online students also gain access to cloud based virtual environments to access field related technology that they may encounter in the workplace.

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  29. MERIT: 115
    View Profile Average Cost: $9,769

    The University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers an exciting online political science bachelor of arts that prepares students for graduate study, law school, or leadership roles. Students can transfer in up to 90 credit hours toward their degree. Upper level course options include:

    • Presidential Politics
    • Comparative Politics
    • International Relations

    There are no on-campus residence requirements, making this a great choice for working students. Six convenient start dates give students additional flexibility. The accelerated option allows students to take more courses and finish their degree quickly to get out into the workforce or into graduate school.

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  30. MERIT: 114
    View Profile Average Cost: $14,568

    The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University Skysong features an online bachelor’s in political science with multiple start dates throughout the year. Courses include:

    • Comparative Government
    • Global Politics
    • Political Ideologies

    Courses are taught by renowned faculty who help students develop their analytical thinking abilities and persuasive communication skills. Graduates of the program have found success working in areas like politics, education, and journalism. Graduates are also prepared to apply to top law schools like Harvard and Columbia.

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