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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: December 31 Classes Start: January 02

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."

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:

  • Understand major components of political systems
  • Analyze a wide range of current and historical political issues
  • Apply effective research skills using primary and secondary resources
  • Communicate to various audiences effectively
  • Promote active citizenship and engagement in public service using civic discourse

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.

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:

  • 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.
  • Fundraising coordinator. Raise money for a cause you believe in. You'll help plan and direct campaigns while gaining supporters and funds to help spread awareness and make legislative change.
  • 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.
  • Lobbyist. 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.
  • 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.

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.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Political Science Degree

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

Dr. Jocelyn Torres with the text Dr. Jocelyn Torres"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

  • General education courses: All online bachelor's students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
  • Major courses and electives: Your curriculum will include 33 credits of political science major courses intended to give you a comprehensive understanding of the field. You'll also 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.
  • Free electives: In the BA in Political Science program, you'll have 24 free elective credits to explore everything from business to environmental science. This also means our online political science degree program is a great option for anyone with a significant amount of transfer credits.
  • 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 for what you already know: 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.

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

University Accreditation

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.

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