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List of Free Online Political Science Courses and Learning Materials

Learn about political science with these online courses and learning materials. See the full list of available political science courses and find the course that's right for you.

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Online Political Science Courses for Academic Credit

Free online courses don't provide college credit, but Study.com offers inexpensive political science video lessons that help you study to earn credit-by-exam. Try these political science learning materials today:

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • American Government
  • International Relations, General

Free Online Non-Credited Political Science Courses

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Through OpenCourseWare, MIT provides free access to materials from most of its courses; use of the course materials is on a non-credit basis. While self-directed learners don't receive all the materials provided in the original courses, they typically can access the syllabus, reading list, assignment descriptions and lecture notes.

  • American Political Thought originally offered as both an undergrad and graduate course, traces the development of political thought from the colonial era through the present. Students may read American political theorists, activists and politicians on topics that include national identity, religion and politics and federalism.
  • Foundations of Political Science examines both comparative and American politics through the study of a few influential articles and books in modern political science. Lecture notes aren't available; students may access the text list and reading assignments related to key themes.
  • Introduction to Political Thought is an undergraduate course that provides a historical overview of the topic through the study of key texts by political thinkers, such as Hobbes, Marx and Rousseau.
  • Political Science Laboratory introduces undergraduate students to quantitative methods used in political research, which may be applied to study voting behavior or public opinion. Students can access lecture notes, assignments and problem sets in .pdf format, as well as a list of relevant political data sites.
  • Political Science Scope and Methods, provides materials that include lecture notes, readings and assignments.
  • Quantitative Research in Political Science and Public Policy is a graduate- level class based heavily in statistics. Most examples are derived from the field of political science. In addition to lecture notes and problem sets, students have access to the midterm and final exams.
  • Special Graduate Topic in Political Science: Political Behavior looks at topics like voting behavior, elections and political organizations. Lecture notes aren't available for this course, but students may access a list of readings and discussion questions.

University of California - Irvine (UCI)

Through its OpenCourseWare initiative, UCI makes materials for many of its courses available for free. The university doesn't offer a means to earn credit through accessing these learning materials; however, these course titles are available through UCI Extension, which doesn't require formal admission.

  • Mexican Americans and Politics offers a historical and political context for understanding the development of Mexican American political organization and influence. Students can access lectures in the form of PowerPoint presentations, a reading list and essay assignments.
  • U.S. Immigration Policy addresses the politics, challenges and goals of immigration reform in America, with a focus on recent legislation. Additional topics include guest worker programs, the point system and naturalization. In addition to PowerPoint lectures and a bibliography, students may access several links to readings.
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