Top 30 Online Political Science Degree Programs (Bachelor’s) 2016

Best Degree Programs - Top Online Bachelors Degrees 2016
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In this article, we profile the top 30 online political science degree programs at the bachelor’s level for 2016.

An online political science degree program is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to lead in political and governmental institutions, or non-profit agencies. Accredited online political science programs incorporate theory and application to provide students with the training needed to succeed in facing real world challenges and problems. Most online bachelor’s degree options adhere to the same standards and curriculum found at traditional on-campus programs. The only difference? You won’t be expected to travel to class or attend on-campus seminars.

Methodology

We examined 76 regionally and nationally ranked institutions that offered an online bachelor’s degree program in political science, politics, social sciences, or related discipline. From our pool of schools, we reviewed institutional rankings from major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. We then selected the most affordable institutions based on the most recent undergraduate tuition rate published by NCES College Navigator. The schools we found are listed in order of affordability.

Below are the resulting schools for our top 30 best online bachelor’s degrees in political science.

#30 – Brescia University

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Owensboro, Kentucky

Website

Brescia University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Brescia University’s online bachelor’s in political science degree may be completed in just two years.

Undergraduate tuition: $20,440

Brescia University offers an online political science degree for students who want to gain an understanding of politics that may transition into a viable career. The program is accredited and offers flexible courses that are designed with the busy student in mind. Students may complete the online political science program in as little as two years. Required courses include American government, current political issues, introduction to the American legal system, politics and social issues, and public administration. Brescia University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 50th best regional college in the South.

#29 – Liberty University

Online Bachelor’s in Government – Politics and Policy

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Liberty University’s online political science degree program emphasizes government, politics, and policy.

Undergraduate tuition: $20,109

Liberty University offers a variation to the typical online bachelor’s in political science degree with its online bachelor’s in government program. Although administered entirely online, students graduate with a BS in government – politics and policy. The program is designed to equip students for careers in local, national, and state governments, as well as nonprofit organizations. Course requirements include American constitutional history, American foreign policy, introduction to comparative politics, political theory, and state and local government. The university is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the school as the 80th best regional university in the South. The online bachelor’s programs rank #100 out of 1,200 similar programs.

#28 – Ohio Christian University

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Circleville, Ohio

Website

Ohio Christian - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Graduating from a political justice degree online may open the door to graduate school.

Undergraduate tuition: $18,840

Ohio Christian University offers an online political science program that integrates Christian principles with analysis and theory found in the political science field. The program prepares students for work in politics or nonprofit agencies, or to enter graduate school. Required courses include international relations, introduction to political science, political theory, and U.S. politics and law. Theology and leadership courses are also required and include ethics and transformed worldview. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution as a top regional college. The 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the school as the 62nd best regional college in the Midwest.

#27 – Keiser University

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Website

Keiser University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Keiser University’s bachelor’s in political science online degree is designed for busy and working students.

Undergraduate tuition: $17,664

For students in search of accredited online political science programs, Keiser University offers a BA in political science that is designed for busy adults seeking flexible study options. The degree is research and liberal arts focused and designed to train students for entry-level work or graduate school. Required courses for the major include immigration law, issues in international policy, mass media and politics, middle east foreign policy, religion and politics, and urban government social policy. Ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report, Keiser University is listed as the 36th best regional college in the South. The school’s online programs are also ranked.

#26 – Regent University

Online Bachelor’s in Politics and History

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Website

Regent University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Students may earn an online bachelor’s in politics and history from Regent University.

Undergraduate tuition: $16,478

Regent University offers unique options for students seeking online political science programs. Students may earn a bachelor’s in politics and history online, while working at their own pace. The program is designed for law school prep, entry into government agencies, and other employment options. Required courses include American government and politics, international relations, introduction to the study of government, U.S. history, and western civilization. Regent is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a best national university. The school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #17 out of 1,200 in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges.

#25 – Northeastern University Global

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Boston, Massachusetts

Website

Northeastern - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Northeastern’s online political science degree ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

Undergraduate tuition: $16,470

As far as the top accredited political science programs online, Northeastern University ranks 25th on our list. The school offers an online bachelor’s in political science degree that is designed for students interested in government, journalism, law, and politics. Required courses associated with the major include introduction to American government, introduction to comparative politics, introduction to political theory, research methods (generating and investigating research problems), and senior research seminar and project. Students must also complete six political science electives, which may include topics in American foreign polity, comparative politics, or state and local government. Northeastern is a nationally ranked institution, according to Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. The school offers one of the top-ranked law schools and is the 204th best global university in the world.

#24 – Northern Illinois University

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

DeKalb, Illinois

Website

Northern Illinois - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Students may earn a BA or BS in political science degree online from Northern Illinois University.

Undergraduate tuition: $14,295

Northern Illinois University offers online political science programs for undergraduates wanting to pursue employment in political or governmental agencies. Students may earn a bachelor’s in political science entirely online through the school’s department of political science. Available degrees include the online BA or BS in political science. Both degree programs offer five areas of emphasis. Concentration areas include international politics, justice and democracy, politics, public administration and service, and public law. The school also offers access to graduate programs that sync with the online bachelor’s in political science degree. U.S. News and World Report lists the school as a nationally ranked institution and the 444th best global university in the world.

#23 – Pennsylvania State World Campus

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

University Park, Pennsylvania

Website

Penn State University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
The political science degree online program at Penn State is designed for working and adult students.

Undergraduate tuition: $13,516

Students in search of flexible online political science programs may find the options at Pennsylvania State World Campus both flexible and convenient. The online poly sci program is designed for busy professionals and students who must balance life obligations while attending school. Required courses include contemporary political ideologies, introduction to American national government, introduction to comparative politics, international relations, and rights in America. Penn State is a nationally ranked institution by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News lists the school as the 47th best national university and the 14th top public school.

#22 – National University

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

La Jolla, California

Website

National University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
National University’s online bachelor’s in political science degree program explores international relations and politics in social movements.

Undergraduate tuition: $12,744

The political science programs found online at National University include the bachelor’s in political science, which is designed for busy students who want to pursue employment in politics and government. Core requirements include classes in comparative politics, international relations, political theory, politics of social movements, and public polity. Upper division electives may include cultural diversity, global civic culture, government relations, the global economy, or power and social change. National University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as having the 114th best online bachelor’s programs in the country. Rankings are included in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges and based on the survey of approximately 1,200 similar programs.

#21 – University of Massachusetts

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

North Dartmouth, Massachusetts

Website

University of Massachusetts - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
University of Massachusetts offers an accredited online bachelor’s in political science degree.

Undergraduate tuition: $12,588

Students interested in government and pre-law may enroll as an online political science major at the University of Massachusetts. The program is offered entirely online with a pre-law concentration for students who want to pursue law school. The program emphasizes the building of strong communication skills and independent thinking. The institution is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the online political science program has earned recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News lists the school as the 83rd best regional university in the North. Additional rankings include #24 for top public schools and #70 out of 1,200 for best online bachelor’s programs.

#20 – Walden University

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science and Public Administration

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Website

Walden University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Walden University’s online political science programs are designed to prepare students for public service careers.

Undergraduate tuition: $12,075

Walden University offers political science programs online that are designed to prepare students for careers in public service or the private sector. Successful graduates of the program earn a BS in political science and public administration. To further focus personal interests, students may choose from five concentrations: general program, global issues and social justice, law and legal studies, managing in the public environment, public service through civic engagement, and social entrepreneurship. Core courses, no matter the concentration, include American government, global issues in politics, and political controversies. Several of the university’s graduate schools have earned recognition from U.S. News and World Report’s recent publication of Best Colleges.

#19 – Washington State University

Online Bachelor’s in Social Sciences

Pullman, Washington

Website

Washington State University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Washington State University offers an accredited online bachelor’s in political science degree program designed to prepare working adults.

Undergraduate tuition: $11,967

Washington State University offers a social sciences degree program online that is designed for students who want flexible concentrations in specific areas of interest. Students may major in social sciences and concentrate their studies in political science, as well as eleven other areas of interest. The online bachelor’s in social sciences is accredited and considered to be one of the more affordable options available via distance learning. The program prepares students for graduate school or career opportunities in government, law enforcement, or public service. WSU is a nationally ranked institution by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. The school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #34 out of 1,200.

#18 – Central Michigan University

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Website

Central Michigan University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Central Michigan University allows students to customize their online political science degree.

Undergraduate tuition: $11,850

Central Michigan University offers a political science program online that is designed for students who are interested in political theory, public administration, and government. Successful graduates may earn an online BS in political science. The program is flexible and allows students to customize concentrations that appeal to personal interests. Concentration areas include American national political institutions and processes, American state and local government, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Central Michigan as a best national university and top public school. The institution’s online bachelor’s degree programs rank #43 out of 1,200.

#17 – University of Illinois

Online Political Science Bachelor’s

Springfield, Illinois

Website

University of Illinois - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Flexible concentrations are available in the online political science degree program at University of Illinois.

Undergraduate tuition: $11,413

The University of Illinois offers an accredited political science degree online for undergraduates interested in political life, law, and government. The program is delivered entirely online and follows the same curriculum as is administered on campus. Required courses include empirical political analysis, introduction to the American political system, introduction to international relations, and political philosophy. The university is ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the school as the 42nd best regional university in the Midwest and the 9th top public institution. The school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #30 out of 1,200.

#16 – Ashford University

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science and Government

San Diego, California

Website

Ashford University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
A capstone course is required to complete the online political science degree program at Ashford.

Undergraduate tuition: $10,720

Ashford University offers an affordable political science online degree program that is designed to prepare students with the knowledge needed to work in government and non-profit agencies. The program focuses on political behavior, theory, and conflict resolution as seen in the field of politics. Major course requirements include American national government, comparative politics, congress and the presidency, political behavior, and statistics for the behavioral and social sciences. Students are required to take research methods and satisfy the political science capstone by enrolling in a final course specifically designed to showcase demonstration and mastery of outcomes in political science and government. Students take the capstone course during their senior year.

#15 – University of Maine

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Orono, Maine

Website

University of Maine - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Not only does the University of Maine offer online political science degree programs, it is highly ranked, too.

Undergraduate tuition: $10,610

The University of Maine offers an accredited political science degree online that is designed to prepare students for careers in politics and government. Students are required to earn 36 credit hours in the major, including 6 credits each in American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. According to the program website, a number of graduates enter directly into government-related careers, while others pursue master’s degree programs at some of the top-ranked institutions in the country. The University of Maine is a nationally ranked institution, according to U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News lists the school as the 168th best national university and the 91st top public school.

#14 – Arizona State University

Online BS in Political Science

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Arizona State University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
ASU offers one of the best online bachelor’s in political science degrees.

Undergraduate tuition: $10,158

Arizona State University offers an online political science bachelor’s degree designed to equip students for graduate school or entry-level employment in political or government agencies. Course requirements include comparative government, empirical political inquiry, global politics, government and politics, and political statistics. The school boasts that graduates of the political science program often pursue law school at some of the most prestigious universities in the world, including Duke, Harvard, and Oxford. Arizona State University is a nationally ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 129th best national university and the #1 most innovative school. The online bachelor’s programs rank #11 out of 1,200 similar programs.

#13 – Oregon State University

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Corvallis, Oregon

Website

Oregon State University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Oregon State University’s political science bachelor’s degree is offered entirely online.

Undergraduate tuition: $10,107

Oregon State University offers an online political science bachelor’s degree that may be completed entirely in a distance-learning format. According to the program website, online students receive the same degree as on-campus students. All classes are developed and taught by OSU’s distinguished faculty. Required courses include American politics and government, comparative politics, current issues in rural policies, international relations, political analysis, and politics and the media. Students also have the option of adding a minor to their degree program. OSU is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and other publications. In the 2016 edition of Best Colleges, OSU ranked #135 among the best national universities. The school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #7 out of 1,200.

#12 – Eastern Kentucky University

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Richmond, Kentucky

Website

Eastern Kentucky University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Eastern Kentucky University’s political science degree online may be completed at an accelerated pace.

Undergraduate tuition: $8,150

Eastern Kentucky University offers a bachelor’s in political science degree online that may be completed at an accelerated pace. The program is designed to equip students with an understanding of U.S. and global politics and prepare them for employment or graduate school. Required courses for the online political science major include American government, comparative politics, political philosophy, public administration, and research and writing in political science. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the university. In the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the school as the 76th best regional university in the South. The online bachelor’s programs rank #63 out of 1,200.

#11 – University of North Dakota

Online Bachelor’s in Social Science

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Website

University of North Dakota - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
The online bachelor’s in political science degree program at University of North Dakota is offered 100% online.

Undergraduate tuition: $7,965

The University of North Dakota offers a bachelor’s in social science degree program that is 100% online. The online degree focuses on various areas of social science, including political science. The program allows students to achieve moderate concentration to complement studies. Courses include anthropology, basic economics, and the introduction to American government. For students who choose to concentrate their studies in political science, specific electives are available. The University of North Dakota is a nationally ranked institution, according to U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the school ranks #180 in the most recent publication of Best Colleges. The school’s online bachelor’s degree programs rank #208 out of 1,200.

#10 – University of North Alabama

Online Bachelor’s in History and Political Science

Florence, Alabama

Website

University of North Alabama - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Not only does University of North Alabama offer online political science degrees but the school is ranked as the #32 top public school in the nation.

Undergraduate tuition: $7,774

The University of North Alabama offers an online bachelor’s in history and political science degree program designed for students who want to attend graduate school, enter leadership roles in government, or work in nonprofit agencies. Online courses allow freedom for students who are unable to commute to campus. Required courses include introductory history courses, U.S. government, and world politics. Political science courses such as theory and comparative policies are also required. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 71st best regional university in the South and the 32nd top public school in the country.

#9 – University of Wisconsin

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Whitewater, Wisconsin

Website

University of Wisconsin - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
University of Wisconsin offers an affordable online political science degree.

Undergraduate tuition: $7,637

The University of Wisconsin offers an online political science bachelor’s degree program that is designed for busy students who want to balance life obligations while attending school. A wide range of required courses are offered, including American government and politics, comparative government and politics, international relations, political theory, and public policy. The program encourages students to complete an internship and participate in research projects in a geographic area of choice. According to U.S. News and World Report, University of Wisconsin ranks #41 among the best national universities and the political science graduate school ranks #15 in the nation.

#8 – University of Hawaii – West Oahu

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Kapolei, Hawaii

Website

University of Hawaii - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
The University of Hawaii offers beautiful island scenery and online political science degree options.

Undergraduate tuition: $7,152

The University of Hawaii at West Oahu offers a bachelor’s in political science online degree program designed to prepare students for work in government and politics. The program’s goal is to provide students with the skill set needed to succeed and lead at all levels of public service, from government agencies to non-profit organizations. Students who have completed all lower level course credits may complete the bachelor’s degree entirely online. Required courses include environmental politics, global issues, Hawaii politics, and politics of food. Students are encouraged to participate in area internships with organizations like the Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center and the Department of Education.

#7 – University of Maryland

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Adelphi, Maryland

Website

University of Maryland - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Students find affordable online political science degree programs at University of Maryland.

Undergraduate tuition: $7,056

The University of Maryland offers an accredited online bachelor’s in political science degree that is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of global politics and the American government. Required classes include American foreign relations, American government, comparative politics and government, global terrorism, introduction to political theory, and introduction to statistics. Students may also minor in an area of interest like African American studies, communication studies, diversity awareness, homeland security, or philosophy. The University of Maryland is a nationally ranked institution, according to U.S. News and World Report. Additional rankings include #41 among best global universities.

#6 – Indiana University East

Online BS in Political Science

Richmond, Indiana

Website

Indiana University East - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Students save money by fast-tracking their online political science degree from Indiana University East.

Undergraduate tuition: $6,930

The online political science degree program at Indiana University East is designed for students who have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours of transferable credits or have an earned associate’s degree. The program equips students with the knowledge needed to work in entry-level political science jobs. Course requirements include American politics, analyzing politics, comparative politics and international relations, political theory, and world history. Students must complete a minimum of 15 hours in a concentration area. The university is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional college in the Midwest.

#5 – University of Nebraska

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Omaha, Nebraska

Website

University of Nebrasa Omaha - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Affordable online political science degree options are available from University of Nebraska.

Undergraduate tuition: $6,898

The University of Nebraska’s online political science degree program is designed for students looking for a career in fields of government, journalism, law, or public service. The online degree may be obtained with or without a concentration. Available concentrations include foreign and national security affairs, government affairs and civic engagement, law and the courts, or political theory. Required courses include American national government, comparative politics, international relations, political analysis, political theory, and the senior capstone in political science. The University of Nebraska is a nationally ranked institution. According to U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 edition of Best Colleges, the school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #17 out of 1,200.

#4 – University of Central Florida

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Orlando, Florida

Website

University of Central Florida - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
One of the best online political science degree programs is found at University of Central Florida.

Undergraduate tuition: $6,368

The College of Sciences at University of Central Florida offers an online political science bachelor’s degree program that is designed to prepare students for work in various areas of politics or entry into graduate school. There are three study tracks available, depending on the student’s interest. These tracks include American politics, international relations, and pre-law. Core requirements include classes in American national government, international relations, political theory, and scope and methods of political science. The University of Central Florida is a nationally ranked institution. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #168 for best national universities and the 13th most innovative school. The online bachelor’s programs rank #20 out of 1,200.

#3 – University of Alaska Southeast

Online Bachelor’s in Social Science

Juneau, Alaska

Website

University of Alaska Southeast - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
University of Alaska Southeast is one of our top-ranked schools that offer an online bachelor’s in political science.

Undergraduate tuition: $6,132

The University of Alaska Southeast offers an online bachelor’s in social science degree program with six available areas of concentration, including government and political science. Required social science courses include data analysis in the social sciences, elementary statistics, ethnohistory, methods and theories in archaeology, and research methods in the social sciences. Students concentrating their studies in government and political science may take classes such as introduction to American government and introduction to political science. The program and school emphasize internship opportunities for students to work with local, regional, and national organizations. Many of the internships are paid positions. Students interested in an internship may work directly with a faculty member to assist with planning.

#2 – Troy University

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Troy, Alabama

Website

Troy University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Troy University ranked #2 on our list of top affordable political science online degrees.

Undergraduate tuition: $6,000

Troy University offers a political science degree program online that is designed for students who want to pursue employment in government or politics, or attend law school. The online program provides students with the opportunity to attend school while maintaining life obligations. Required courses include American national government, foundations of political science, international relations, U.S. government, women in politics, and world politics. Troy University is regionally ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the publication lists the school as the 65th best regional university in the South. The school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #100 out of 1,200.

#1 – Fort Hays State University

Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Hays, Kansas

Website

Fort Hays State University - 30 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science
Fort Hays State University is our top pick for best online political science bachelor’s degrees. It’s affordable, too!

Undergraduate tuition: $4,654

Fort Hays State University offers a political science degree program online that’s designed for busy students who want to attend school without traveling to campus. The program prepares students for graduate school or work in government and non-profit agencies. Students may choose from two areas of concentration, including pre-law or public administration. A minor in political science is also available for online students. Required courses, no matter the concentration area, include American government, introduction to international relations, introduction to public policy, orientation to political science, and political philosophy. According to U.S. News and World Report, Fort Hays State’s online bachelor’s degree programs rank #24 out of 1,200. The school earns a top spot on our list of best online bachelor’s degrees in political science.

May 2016