The face of the American student is changing, and whether it be a military veteran, a stay at home mom, or a full-time working student, distance education allows for the merge of convenience and flexibility with a busy life. Students no longer have to choose between attending university and pursuing other life paths. The following list is a compilation of the top 5 Best Online Schools for a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. It was common for most of these Bachelor’s in political science online programs to include a Bachelor of Arts focused more on the foreign language component or a Bachelor of Science focused more on social sciences and mathematics. Our editors only considered nationally ranked programs and used the methodology listed below.
Rating and Ranking Methodology
- Under $20,000—1 point
- Under $15,000—2 points
- Under $10,000—3 points
- Under $5,000—4 points
- Under $10,000—5 points
- Under $7,500—6 points
- Under $5,000—7 points
- Under $2,500—8 points
US News and World Report Recognition as a Top Online School for Bachelor’s in Political Science Programs:
- Top 25 —8 points
- Top 50 —7 points
- Top 75 —6 points
- Top 100—5 points
- Top 125—4 points
- Top 150—3 points
- Top 175—2 points
- Top 200—1 point
- Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, Degree Completion, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
- Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option (5-point cap)
- 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us
Ranking the Top Bachelor’s in Political Degrees Online
Featured Online Schools
To compile this ranking, our editors began with an initial pool of 58 online Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science programs offered by colleges and universities across the US. We then narrowed the pool to include only those schools that ranked in the top 260 (according to US News & World Report) and below $30,000 (out-of-state) tuition per year. Finally, we applied the rating and ranking methodology above, and the result was the ranking you see below of the top 5 online programs for a BA/BS degree in Political Science. We used affordability to break any ties, listing the more affordable program higher in the ranking.
#1 Penn State University World Campus
Bachelor’s Degree (B.A. or B.S.) in Political Science Online
Penn State’s exclusivelyonline Bachelor’s in political scienceallows students flexibility with work, travel, or life while pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. While a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science focuses more on the analysis of political theory or domestic and foreign politics, a Bachelor’s of Science incorporates more focused coursework on computer science, statistics, and mathematics. Both paths allow students to prepare for the real-life application of skills through research-based projects, research practicum, and/or internships. Courses for the program include Intro to American National Government, International Relations, Analysis of Elections, and the Politics of Terrorism. Students in this degree program also have the opportunity to apply for the National Political Science Honor Society—Alpha Omega Iota World Campus chapter—where members have access to grants, networking opportunities, awards, and scholarships.
#2 Arizona State University
Online Bachelor’s Degree (B.A. or B.S.) in Political Science
The Arizona State University online Bachelor’s degree in political scienceprepares students for real-world skills needed to develop careers in the field of democratic government such as Political Analysts, Social Services, Urban or City Planners, and News Reporting. Students can choose to focus on the foreign language component to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science or focus more on science and society for a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. The coursework in this degree program combines theory with real-world problem solving and includes classes such as Contemporary Global Controversies, Politics and Film, Political Theory, and American Foreign Policy. Courses are 7.5 weeks long, and the average degree is composed of around 40 courses, totaling 120 credits. Arizona State University was ranked the #1 most innovative university in the U.S.
Tuition: in-state $9,222 and out-of-state $15,691
#3 Columbia College (Missouri)
Online BA in Political Science
The online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Missouri’s Columbia College offers 120 credit hour program focusing on examining government from theoretical and practical perspectives. Students may use electives to select a minor, and the program requires six semester hours of foreign language. Sample course topics include Classical and Modern Political Philosophy, State and Local Government, European Politics, and Public Administration and Policy. Each credit hour is $375, and the total approximate annual tuition is $9,150, cheaper than in-state tuition, and making this program one of the cheapest Bachelor’sdegrees in political science online.Classes last eight weeks and have six start times per year, allowing students to complete their BA in as little as 3 years and 5 months. One amenity to note is lifetime free support for all students, traditional or online, in the following areas: academic advice, career help, military services.
#4 Fort Hays State University Virtual College
Bachelor’s Degree of Political Science Online
The Political Science online degree program at Fort Hays State is fixed around the central idea that its students want to change the world, whether abroad or at home. Through this virtual college, students are provided with a network of skills preparing them for their chosen career path in government, politics, or law. The degree program offers two areas of specialty: Pre-Law or Public Administration and can prepare students for a higher education Master’s Degree in 4 fields: Global Studies, Political Leadership and Public Service, Public Administration, and Political Science. The program allows students to customize their curriculum to fit their goals and support students in their search for the right career.
Tuition: in-state $5,009 and out-of-state $14,832
#5 University of Wisconsin Whitewater
Online Bachelor’s Degree (B.A. or B.S.) in Political Science
The University of Wisconsin Whitewater offers a fully online or hybrid Political Science Bachelor’s degree program. While the degree must be accompanied by a minor, students can pursue a path to a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts. Course topics include: Research Methods, American Government and Politics, Public Policy and Administration, Comparative Government and Politics, and International Relations. Once students complete general education requirements, they can begin courses in several areas of concentration within the major. Internships are available at congressional or legislative offices, law firms, and other state agencies. Online courses may incur additional fees, but one positive feature to note is that textbook rental fees are included in tuition.
Tuition: in-state $9,565 and out-of-state $20,844