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Jean Besson giving a lecture with text Jean Besson '14

Political Science Degree Online Bachelor of Arts (BA)

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Register By: June 24 Classes Start: June 26

Earn a Political Science Degree Online

  • $320/credit (120 total credits)
  • Transfer up to 90 credits
  • 24/7 online access to the classroom
  • No application fee or SAT/ACT scores
  • Experiential-learning opportunities
  • Learn from faculty with real-world experience

Online Political Science Degree Program Overview

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." 

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.

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What You'll Learn

  • Political system components
  • Political analysis
  • Research skills
  • Effective communication
  • Ethical civic engagement

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How You'll Learn

At SNHU, you'll get support from day 1 to graduation and beyond. And with no set class times, 24/7 access to the online classroom, and helpful learning resources along the way, you'll have everything you need to reach your goals.

Career Outlook

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:

Public Relations Specialist

Manage the public image of people, businesses, government and nonprofit organizations. You'll interact with the media, craft speeches, organize events and build social media campaigns.

Market Research Analyst

Study consumer preferences and business conditions to assess potential sales of a product. You'll help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.

Campaign Manager

United by a common cause, you'll manage the people and operations necessary to win a candidate an election or pass legislation your organization believes in.

Legislative Assistant

Assist legislators by providing administrative, communication and research support. You'll help create policy drafts, track legislation and conduct research on legislative issues.


Use your knowledge – and charisma – to persuade legislators in support or opposition of bills. From local civic groups to massive worldwide corporations, lobbyists are used to promote organizations' agendas.

Political Scientist

Study the origin, development, and operation of political systems. You'll research political ideas and analyze governments, policies, and more. This role typically requires at least a master's degree.

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:
  • City councilor
  • County commissioner
  • School board member
  • State assembly person
  • State senator

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.

Jeremy Pedigo with text Jeremy Pedigo“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.

Steven Garofano with the text Steven Garofano

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.

Job Growth and Salary

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Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for public relations specialists is expected to grow 8% through 2031, while the need for market research analysts is projected to increase by a whopping 19%.1

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In 2021, public relations specialists and market research analysts earned median annual salaries of $62,800 and $63,920, respectively.1

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Political Science Degree

Jocelyn Torres

Courses to Prepare You for Your Career

Jocelyn Torres, PhD, adjunct faculty member

"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. You become an expert in power relationships applicable to any number of professional arenas."

Courses & Curriculum

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:

  • International Relations
  • American State and Local Government
  • The Legal System in America
  • Globalization and World Politics
  • Analysis and Research in Political Science
  • Public Administration

Your curriculum will incorporate 33 credits of political science major courses intended to give you a comprehensive understanding of the field. Additionally, you'll have 12 credits (4 courses) in major electives to tailor your degree to your interests in areas like communication, history, public administration and, of course, political science. You could also use these credits to pursue valuable experiential-learning and internship opportunities.

Furthermore, you'll have 24 free elective credits to explore everything from business to environmental science. This makes our online political science degree program a great option for anyone with a significant amount of transfer credits.

At the end of the bachelor's in political science program, you'll be able to demonstrate your gained expertise through a capstone course experience.

Curriculum Requirements & Resources

General Education

All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.

Technology Resources

We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.

Earn Math Credits

Save time and tuition with our Pathways to Math Success assessments. Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment. For additional information, or to register for a Pathways to Math Success assessment, contact your admission counselor or academic advisor today.

University Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education 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.

Tuition & Fees

As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.

We also 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.

Online Undergraduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 30 credits 
Degree/Certificates $960 $320 $9,600
Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)* $675 $225 $6,750

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

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