The most successful online bachelor in political science students are those who are goal-oriented, analytical, and professional. A good online bachelors of political science degree program helps students refine their natural skills and develop the knowledge and confidence they need when entering the job market.
Students considering enrolling in online bachelor degree programs in political science may find it helpful to consider the following questions first:
- Do I enjoy solving complex problems?
- Can I communicate comfortably with a wide variety of people?
- Do I enjoy finding patterns in data?
- Am I able to objectively analyze situations?
- Can I work independently and with little direction?
Some online bachelors of political science students choose to earn a two-year online associate’s degree in political science first; however, this is not a requirement.
Top online political science bachelor’s degree programs usually take four years to complete, although this can vary widely based on the number of classes a student takes at one time. The types of degrees available through the best online bachelor in Political Science programs include:
- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (BA in Political Science)
- Bachelor of Science in Political Science (BS in Political Science)
Coursework in accredited online political science bachelor degree programs focuses on giving the student a solid foundation of analytical skills and political knowledge. The origins and purposes of world governments are studied at length while other courses help the online bachelor of political science student improve his or her communication skills.
These are some of the courses one might expect to see in top online bachelor’s of political science degree programs:
- American Government: This introductory online bachelor political science course examines the origins and history of the American government. The course emphasizes the powers, limitations, and structures of the federal government.
- International Relations: In this online political science bachelors course, students study issues present in contemporary world politics. Special focus is placed on the role of individual nation-states and their particular roles in the overall global political climate.
- Introduction to Political Theory: Political ideas of the Western world are examined in this online bachelor political science course. Political theorists from ancient to modern times are studied, as well as a comparison between the political theories of monarchy, democracy, socialism, and communism.
- American Constitutional Law: This online bachelor’s in political science course examines the role of the Supreme Court and the issues of civil liberties, presidential power, privacy rights, and equal protection.
- Comparative Politics: In this online political science bachelor’s course, students study the different political systems of the modern world: democratic, totalitarian, and authoritarian. Emphasis is placed on the structure and operation of various systems.
Specializations and Concentrations
The specialties and concentrations often available through good online bachelor of political science programs include:
- Political Philosophy
- American Politics
- World Politics
- Political Theory
Accredited online bachelor degrees in political science are typically thought of as prerequisites to law school. However, more and more students are entering the work force as political science graduates with no plans to become a lawyer or politician. These are just a few popular career choices of online bachelors in political science graduates:
- City Planner: City planners develop plans for the growth and/or revitalization of urban spaces, paying special attention to infrastructure and social needs. Salary varies based on location, but city planners can expect an average yearly salary of $64,600. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that this career will experience rapid growth of 19 percent between 2008 and 2018.
- Customs Officer: Customs officers enforce the laws that govern what may enter and leave the United States via baggage, cargo, or personal conveyance. The average yearly salary for a customs officer is $65,800. Job growth for this career should be faster than average at 17 percent in the next ten years.
- Foreign Service Officer: Foreign service officers with expertise in political science help to formulate and implement foreign policy. On average, the annual salary for someone in this position is $101,000. The projected growth for this career is 19 percent between 2008 and 2018.
- Intelligence Officer: An intelligence officer works with the federal government to investigate, prosecute and prevent a wide range of federal crimes. The average yearly income for this position is $65,800. Overall, this career should experience strong growth over the next several years.
- Legal Assistant: Legal assistants perform many of the same duties as lawyers (short of giving legal advice or presenting cases before a judge), including preparing documents, researching appropriate laws, and analyzing relevant information. A legal assistant can expect to earn an average yearly wage of $50,100. This job field is expected to grow very quickly, with a projected 28 percent growth between 2008 and 2018.
Career prospects are very promising for graduates with online bachelors degrees in political science. However, many graduates with an online bachelor degree in political science decide to continue their education and later go on to earn an online master’s degree in political science. No matter what the graduate chooses to do with his or her degree, a bachelor’s of political science is a valuable investment for a future career or future graduate study.