Every four years, presidential candidates descend on New Hampshire for the first-in-the-nation primary. And every four years, Southern New Hampshire University plays host to these political hopefuls as they shape policies and test their campaigns.
SNHU's online Master of Science in Political Science draws on New Hampshire's rich political legacy while applying a critical, contemporary eye to where politics is headed. You'll get a front-row seat to the political process and exposure to many different perspectives from students and faculty across the country. Learn how to research and analyze data to promote positive changes to policy and gain an understanding of political systems and ideologies.
The 12-course, 36-credit master's in political science online program combines the history of politics with contemporary research. The curriculum aligns with the American Political Science Association's (APSA) Principles for Graduate Education in Political Science. The APSA places equal importance on rigorous analysis and how politics can explain the human experience. You'll study how contemporary political thought, ethical public policy and governmental institutions intersect.
The political science MS program offers opportunities to study American politics, comparative politics, international relations, public law, public policy and political theory. You'll learn how to:
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission - to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your master's in political science online at SNHU include:
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our five graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options. Your counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application ($40 fee) and providing undergraduate transcripts.
According to the American Political Science Association, political science graduate programs can prepare you for many career paths. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that about 55% of political scientists work for the federal government, but there are also opportunities in the business world and at state and local levels. The current median annual salary for political scientists with a master’s degree is $114,290.*
The online MS program prepares you to seek employment in various roles, including:
The master's in political science online curriculum follows the American Political Science Association's Principles for Graduate Education in Political Science. After completing seven core courses that combine the history of politics with contemporary research skills, you'll choose four electives covering areas such as campaign management, strategic messaging and judicial politics. The capstone course allows you to apply everything you've learned to a contemporary political issue.
This course is an introduction to the public policy process. Students will develop an understanding of what "political" and "public policy" mean. Topics discussed include why some problems reach the public agenda, why some solutions are adopted, why others are rejected, why some policies appear to succeed while others appear to fail. The course also examines the complexity of policymaking at the national, state, and local levels.
Political science emphasizes the use of research and data to propose and promote positive changes to public policy. In this course, students will examine a variety of contemporary political challenges and issues through the lens of the public good. Students will be asked to conduct research on and propose solutions for common issues that effectively address the issue in a non-partisan manner while using various research methods and tools used across the field of political science.
This course introduces students to graduate-level study of political science including foundational concepts and approaches to the discipline. Students will explore the contemporary role of political science in the United States, common theoretical lenses and methodologies used to study political science, and use of empirical data and research to address problems across the various domains relevant to political science and public policy.
This course focuses on the analysis of key actors in U.S. politics including the presidency, Congress, the judiciary, interest groups, and political parties. Emphasis is also placed on the interaction among the various institutional actors and the influence that internal and external processes, the electorate, and governmental and nongovernmental organizations have on the political system. The course takes a case-study approach to the study of American institutions by examining critical historical developments that have influenced and are reflected by modern governance in the United States.
Contemporary political thought is heavily informed by specific philosophies and ideologies. In this course, students will discern how various political platforms and policies reflect specific political philosophies, as well as the effects of competing philosophies on public processes, policies, and dialogue. Topics covered include pluralism, the role of national and state government, the role of the individual in a democratic society, extremism, justice, and power.
This course examines the functions, behaviors, policies, and roles of various global political systems at the national, international, and transnational levels. Students will analyze the goals of foreign policies, internal conflicts and their reflection on national and international interests, geopolitics and environmental protections, the efficacy of international organizations and diplomacy, and the bearing of these elements on contemporary issues on the international stage.
Political parties, interest groups, and the mass media have been characterized as the "transmission belts" that connect politicians to the public, as well as a vehicle for achieving political objectives. In this course, students will examine how these groups differ in their role and approaches and how they affect public opinion and political decision making. Topics include the history and development of political parties and interest groups, their relationship with governmental and non-governmental institutions, and how they have influenced and are influenced by an ever-changing political landscape.
This capstone course is the culminating experience for the M.S. in Political Science program. The aim of the capstone is to assess students' ability to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout their coursework, rather than introducing new concepts. This course is structured to support student success in fulfilling program requirements.
Choose four 500- or 600- level, non-capstone, courses from the following areas:
CJ, COM, OL, MGT, PAD, PSY, or POL
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25 percent 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.
$40 Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies. More...