Online bachelor's programs in political science teach students to identify, compare and contrast different forms of government and different schools of political thought. These fully online programs help students gain a thorough understanding of the opinions, behaviors and rhetoric of elected officials and constituents alike. Students also learn to apply this knowledge to campaign strategy or election research. Some programs require an internship.
Bachelor's Degree in Political Science
These programs are available from a number of public four-year institutions as well as some private schools catering to distance education. They typically can be completed in around four years of full-time study and often involve fully online learning, although some programs require an internship.
Program Information and Requirements
Online bachelor's programs may include a political science capstone course that involves seminars, projects or other research activities. Internships may be a possibility for distance learners as well, although these are more commonly available to campus-based students.
All course materials are delivered through interactive online teaching and learning programs, which allow professors and students to view, submit and download any readings, lecture notes, assignments, examinations and group discussion notes.
List of Common Political Science Courses
The required coursework in online political science bachelor's programs is generally identical to that of on-campus programs. The exact requirements for earning an online Bachelor of Political Science differ from one institution to the next; however, most programs mandate completion of at least 120 credit hours. Students can expect to study topics that include:
- U.S. history
- American federal government
- International politics
- Political communications
- Political systems in developing countries
- Discourse analysis
- Foundations of democracy
- Political research science
- Philosophy of ideology
While graduate-level education is often required for supervisory or academic positions in political science, a bachelor's degree can serve as adequate preparation for entry-level employment, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the American Political Science Association (APSA), a networking and continuing education organization for political science professionals, bachelor's degree holders in political science can pursue careers in the following areas:
- Community development
- Policy analysis
- Campaign research and planning
- Political journalism
- Public administration
- City planning
Students who are enrolled in an online bachelor's degree program in political science receive an education almost identical to on-campus programs. While standard coursework is offered completely online, students may be asked to attend on-campus seminars. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that political scientists made a median annual salary of $122,220 as of May 2019. Their employment outlook is projected at 5%, which is about average against all other occupations, for the decade of 2018-2028.