Political Science


    An online bachelor’s degree in political science is designed to give students a strong foundation in the governmental policies that regulate the United States and other countries. The best online degrees in political science will cover all aspects of government, ranging from local politics to international policies. Students will learn how to analyze the economic and social forces that influence laws and political decisions, while also honing their communication skills. In addition, they will conduct research and use what they have learned to develop an understanding of public policy, the media, and international disputes.

    Course Work

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), political scientists “study the origin, development, and operation of political systems.” This includes researching political ideas, analyzing government structure and operations, and evaluating the effects of policies and laws.

    Once enrolled, students will take a series of classes in local, national, and foreign politics. They will also study economics, history, and law. Specifically, students will take classes like politics and the media, international relations, world politics, United States foreign policy, and national defense. Some programs also include classes on climate control, natural resource regulations, and the role of technology in politics. Most online programs will require students to complete courses in social research and statistics as well. In addition, as with most bachelor’s degree programs, students will also take general classes in math, science, English, and history.

    Example Courses

    • Introduction to Political Science
    • American Political Theory
    • Congress and the Presidency
    • American Foreign Policy
    • Government and Politics of East Asia

    Job Outlook

    The BLS predicts employment of political scientists will increase by 8% from 2010 to 2020. While employment is slated to increase slightly in response to heightened interest in global public policy and politics, that increase may be countered by a growing number of political science graduates entering the job market. Competition may be intense, but for those with an exemplary academic record, impeccable research skills and a passion for the subject material, employment is certainly attainable.

    Median Salaries*

    • Journalist: $38,000
    • Legislative Analyst: $50,000
    • Policy Analyst: $55,000
    • Campaign Manager: $59,000
    • Government Program Analyst: $65,000
    • Intelligence Officer: $89,000
    • Foreign Service Officer: $90,000

    *per the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook

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