Earn a Political Science Degree Online
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Politically charged and civically engaged, New Hampshire has a seat at the head of the election table with the first-in-the-nation primary. From this position, Southern New Hampshire University's Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science can give you a unique perspective on the relationship between the U.S. political system, public perception and the policies that shape government.
The online political science degree program takes a practical approach to politics, analyzing events in real time and applying solutions to local, national and international scenarios. You'll explore political questions, tactics and strategies from many perspectives while you develop the critical thinking and communication skills you need to succeed in the political arena.
“Southern New Hampshire University’s online political science program is not just for those seeking a career in politics," said Rob Mellen Jr., PhD, political science faculty at SNHU. "It is a program designed to help students think critically about the issues facing them in contemporary society through the consideration and analysis of multiple policy options."
In the online political science BA program, you’ll develop a pragmatic and comprehensive understanding of the U.S. political system with a special emphasis on ethical and empathetic civic engagement.
Learn how to:
Earn credits for what you already know: Did you know certain work and life experience – like industry-recognized certifications, law enforcement training and math knowledge – could save you time and money at SNHU? Learn how you could get credit for work or life experience.
In the online political science degree program, you'll learn to analyze policy and politics on local, national and global scales. By building and refining analysis and communication skills, you can plan for a career in advocacy, campaign strategy and development, government, public policy, statistical analysis and beyond.
Here are a few roles you might seek upon graduating from the political science degree program:
Political involvement on the local level is important, but often lacking. If you have good ideas and a strong network in your area, running for local or state representation could be worth pursuing. Some options include:
If campaigning isn't really your cup of tea, there are plenty of other ways you can get involved to help improve your community. Whether that's with the local chamber of commerce, government departments like economic development and parks and recreation, local nonprofit organizations or charitable social clubs, there are many opportunities to put your political science degree to work.
“A degree in political science provided me with a rewarding 20-year career in local government," said Jeremy Pedigo, SNHU adjunct political science professor, "first in an entry-level position after graduating from college and eventually being promoted as director of a department."
And if you're thinking local government might not be exciting enough, Pedigo was quick to add how fulfilling his career was. He was able to help families in his community, meet government officials, promote ideas for improving existing policies, participate in professional conferences and provide expertise in creating new programs. While he found so much value in his work, he also found stability in government employment.
"A career in government provided sound job security, formidable benefits – insurance, retirement, vacation/sick time – and a work-life balance that met my needs," he added.
Whether your goals involve running for office or running a nonprofit, earning your political science degree can open doors to an array of opportunities. In fact, many political science graduates enter fields outside of politics and policymaking, such as business or law.
"The political science program is unique in that its courses, and the associated material, help to prepare you to be a leader in whatever career you choose – not simply within the political sphere," said Steven R. Garofano, adjunct faculty of political science at Southern New Hampshire University.
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 90 credits for a bachelor's degree and 45 credits for an associate degree from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.1 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
The online political science degree program includes an extensive overview of politics, from organization of political parties and campaigns to fundraising and finance. Here's a sample of just a few of the courses you may take:
"A degree in political science means you learn and understand how power, in all its various forms, influences the way people think, what they say, and what they do," said Jocelyn Torres, PhD, an adjunct faculty member at SNHU. "You become an expert in power relationships applicable to any number of professional arenas."
And at the end of the bachelor's in political science program, you'll see just how true this can be. Synthesizing and integrating the knowledge and skills you've developed throughout your coursework, you'll demonstrate your expertise through a capstone course experience.
Curriculum Requirements & Resources
Total Credits: 120
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Are you interested in changing the world? Would you like to know more about our nation’s political process and be a part of improving it? If you are interested in a career in government and policy, a political science degree is the credential that can help prepare you for a rewarding career.
You could focus on domestic and international politics, public policy, civil rights or even policy to protect the environment. Or, your studies could take you in a completely unexpected direction.
"Political science requires analytic thinking that can be applied to any number of careers, including but not limited to government, law, nonprofit work, political campaigns, public policy and academia," said Andy Tuholski, PhD, political science adjunct faculty at SNHU.
Political science is the study of government, public policy and all facets of political behavior. A deep understanding of human behavior, the legal system and even media can prepare you for careers like:
Whichever career path you ultimately choose, with a BA in Political Science, you can contribute to changing the world.
Not only can you earn an online political science degree, you can do so at your own pace. Even better, you can earn that online degree from a highly regarded, fully accredited university.
A bachelor's in political science offers an overview of politics and political parties plus instruction on the legal, financial and media related elements of the political field. All of this, plus a foundation in general education courses that includes writing, history and statistics, can be done in an exclusively online format. This allows you to complete your degree at your pace and on your schedule.
With Southern New Hampshire University, you can earn credit for what you already know. Our academic advisors can help you receive transfer credit for courses already completed, as well as possible credit for work and life experience.
You'll also have 12 major elective credits as part of the degree program. You can use these credits for a wide range of courses in areas like communication, sociology and criminal justice. You can also choose to apply some of your elective credits toward experiential-learning opportunities or a hands-on internship right where you live.
The beauty of a bachelor of political science degree is that you study a little bit of everything. The degree is grounded in general education courses, including instruction in statistics, writing, sociology and history. From there, you'll study courses in your major, which usually include political theory, analysis and research, international relations and government and politics.
With Southern New Hampshire University, you'll also have 12 credits of free electives to use toward specializing in the areas that most interest you. You may wish to focus on communication, or perhaps criminal justice or public administration. You may also wish to apply some of your free electives to an experiential-learning opportunity or a hands-on internship that you can complete right where you live.
No matter which area you choose as your focus, a political science degree can help prepare you for a rich and rewarding career that lets you put your writing, research and analytical thinking skills to work for the greater good.
Either degree can help you reach your goals. The key difference between a BA or BS in political science has to do with the focus. If you are more interested in political theory, history and philosophy, a BA might be best for you. If you prefer to focus on economics, math and quantitative methods of research and analysis, then you might wish to consider a BS.
Either way, you could come away with a solid overview of politics in America and abroad, including what it means to run a campaign and manage the financial, legislative and justice-related aspects of public policy.
With Southern New Hampshire University, our BA in Political Science offers opportunities to learn campaign fundraising and finance as well as research methods. You may take courses in statistics and global politics, and every student completes a capstone course. This course is structured to allow you to synthesize all of your knowledge and skills and may result in material for your professional portfolio.
We also offer experiential learning opportunities and an internship as part of your free electives. These courses will provide hands-on, professional learning opportunities. You may also be able to receive credit for prior work or life experiences. There are many ways to customize your degree program to work best for you.
A political science degree is grounded in many vital and transferable skills. Oral and written communication, research and analytical thinking can all help you excel in the career of your choice.
"At its core, political science is the search for explanations about the things we hear, see, and do in the political world every single day," said Rob Mellen Jr., PhD, political science faculty at SNHU. "Whether you seek a career in politics, civil service, the law, teaching or business, developing a strong ability to critically examine the world around you will help you achieve your goals.”
With a bachelor's in political science, you will be prepared for careers like:
A bachelor’s degree in political science is also excellent preparation for a legal career.
With a median salary of $122,220 per year in 2019, career prospects for political scientists are excellent, but you'll likely need at least a master's degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.2
Employment for political scientists is predicted to grow at the national average of 5% from 2018 to 2028.2 While there will be strong competition in this career field, the opportunities to use your political science degree are many.
You can put your degree to use in one of these exciting careers:
With every year that goes by, national interest in politics increases. More than ever, residents across the country and the world are interested in being a part of the political process. Becoming an expert in politics positions you to be at the forefront of this new national interest.
Thanks to the wide-ranging courses you can take to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, you will be ready for a career in many areas, such as law, economics, education, sociology and urban planning. No matter which area you choose, you can be ready to help change the world.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
1According to a survey responses from over 9,200 SNHU online students conducted in the fall of 2019.
2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/political-scientists.htm (viewed June 11, 2020). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.