Most Affordable Online Political Science Degrees

The field of political science is undoubtedly a turbulent and ever-changing one, aspired to by individuals with ambitions to improve the state of the nation and perfect the democratic process. These degrees foster future presidents, congressmen and women, judicial bodies, lawmakers, and the kind of people that dedicate their lives to leading and improving society.

A degree in political science can earn you a spot in the FBI, CIA, or even Homeland Security. You could go into political science, campaign management, or public relations. The possibilities are endless, and that’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the most affordable schools to offer online political science degrees. These schools will get you where you want to go professionally and are able to do so without completely breaking your bank.

Methodology

All schools considered for these rankings

  • Are regionally or nationally accredited
  • Offer at least one fully online political science degree (with no more than two weeks of required in-person work)
  • Were collected from official accrediting agency websites.

Schools are ranked solely by the average net price as released in the most recent IPEDs database collected in July of 2022.

2023 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Political Science Degrees

RankSchoolAverage Net Price
# 1The University of West Florida$7,089
# 2Northeastern State University$10,094
# 3American Public University System$10,563
# 4Sul Ross State University$11,644
# 5University of Illinois at Springfield$12,034
# 6Eastern Illinois University$13,098
# 7Fort Hays State University$13,189
# 8Western New Mexico University$13,679
# 9University of Nebraska at Omaha$13,914
# 10Sam Houston State University$15,035
# 11Rutgers University-Camden$16,369
# 12Bellevue University$17,288
# 13Jacksonville State University$17,523
# 14Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University$21,301
# 15Regent University Online$24,888
# 16Liberty University$29,382
# 17George Washington University$32,563

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Political Science Degrees

1. The University of West Florida

Average Net Price: $7,089
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 58%

Located in Ferry Pass, about ten miles from downtown Pensacola, the undergraduate student enrollment of The University of West Florida is 9,319. Their graduation rate is 52%. For those interested in earning a degree in Political Science, UWF offers five Master’s Degree programs, including MA in Political Science; MA in Political Science – General; MA in Political Science – Non-Thesis; MA in Political Science – Security and Diplomacy; and MA in Political Science – Thesis. Students wishing to earn their Master’s at home will benefit from their online program. UWF is ranked #10 in Top Public Schools by US News as well as #9 in Best Colleges for Veterans. They have a student-faculty ratio of 21:1.

2. Northeastern State University

Average Net Price: $10,094
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 99%

A small, university in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Northeastern State University is home to 5,523 undergraduate students. With an 17:1 student-faculty ratio, this university has a graduation rate of 44%. Northeastern State University offers one Political Science Master’s Degree, which is the Master of Arts in American Studies – American Politics. This is an interdisciplinary study drawing from a variety of fields such as criminal justice, sociology, and history. For those seeking an online political science degree, it is possible through Northeastern State University. Online students can still access some of the school’s important services, such as their Advising Center, tutoring services, and disability services.

3. American Public University System

Average Net Price: $10,563
School Type: Private, For-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, Distance Education Accrediting Commission
Acceptance Rate: 100%

A 100% online university, American Public University is a proprietary school that offers programs beginning monthly. They also do not require an entrance exam and 97% of their students receive financial aid. As far as online colleges’ political science degrees go, APUS offers five Master’s Degree options in Political Science. They include Master of Arts in Political Science; Master of Arts in Political Science – American Politics and Government; Master of Arts in Political Science – Comparative Government and Development; Master of Arts in Political Science – International Relations; and Master of Arts in Political Science – Public Policy. It is ranked #1 in Best Value Colleges in West Virginia by Niche.com. APU offers no-cost textbooks and e-books for all military-tuition-grant-eligible master’s-level students. Of the nearly 84,000 students attending American Public University, 87% are working adults.

4. Sul Ross State University

Average Net Price: $11,644
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 81%

Positioned in the Davis Mountains in Alpine, Texas, Sul Ross State University is a small institution with an undergraduate student enrollment of only 1,608 and a graduate student enrollment of 492. The graduation rate is 37% with a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. The average class size at SRSU is 20 students. The school’s Behavioral and Social Sciences department offers a Master of Arts in Political Science degree that can be completed entirely through online courses. Some notable memberships that the university holds are with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Association of Texas Graduate Schools, and the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools.

5. University of Illinois at Springfield

Average Net Price: $12,034
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 77%

The University of Illinois at Springfield is located about 200 miles southwest of Chicago with a graduation rate of 54%. A small school, the undergraduate student enrollment is 2,503 and the graduate student enrollment is 1,441. The student-faculty ratio is 12:1. For those looking to attain an online political science degree, UIS offers a Master of Arts in Political Science which is a 40-hour program. For the past 13 years, The University of Illinois at Springfield ranks 3rd in Top Public Schools in the nation according to US News & World Report. They are #1 in Illinois and #4 in the Midwest for in the 2020 rankings. Niche.com ranked UIS #5 for Top Public Schools in Illinois.

6. Eastern Illinois University

Average Net Price: $10,689
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation:Higher Learning Commission and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness
Acceptance Rate: 56%

Eastern Illinois University (EIU) is a state university in Charleston, Illinois. EIU is one of twelve state universities in Illinois. It was founded in 1895 as a Normal School and became Eastern Illinois University in 1957. EIU is a member of the University System of Illinois and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. Niche grades the school at a B and as the 6th best public school in Illinois. EIU offers over 30 online bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs. A bonus of their online programs is that most of EIU’s online programs are available at an affordable in-state tuition rate.

7. Fort Hays State University

Average Net Price: $13,189
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 91%

Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas is a medium-sized university with an enrollment of 14,102 students and a 15:1 student-faculty ratio. They have a graduation rate of 57%. Their most popular graduate school programs include Liberal Arts and Humanities. Fort Hays State University offers one Master’s Degree in Political Science: Master of Liberal Studies – Political Science, which is offered online. Part of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, The Master of Liberal Studies program was named 2020’s Best Masters in Liberal Arts program by Intelligent.com. The program’s study consists of 10 credit hours of core courses and 21 credit hours in the area of concentration for a total of 31 credit hours. Niche.com ranked FHSU #36 Best Online Colleges in America and #5 Top Public Universities in Kansas.

8. Western New Mexico University

Average Net Price: $13,679
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, New Mexico State Board of Education
Acceptance Rate: 100%

Western New Mexico University is located in Silver City, New Mexico, situated approximately 88 miles from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, and 154 miles from El Paso, Texas. WNMU is a small school with an undergraduate student enrollment of 1,982. They have a graduation rate of 32%. Western New Mexico University offers two online colleges political science degree options: Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies – Political Science and Master of Arts in Teaching – Specialization (Political Science). The MAT-Specialization program is 9 credit hours of Master’s core curriculum and 27 hours of material in the specialization field. This school has a student-faculty ratio of 12:1 and is ranked #4 for Best Value Colleges in New Mexico by Niche.com. WNMU is also designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

9. University of Nebraska at Omaha

Average Net Price: $13,914
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 82%

The University of Nebraska at Omaha is ranked #3 in Top Public Universities in Nebraska. A mid-sized school, they have 12,197 undergraduate students with a student-faculty ratio of 15:1. UNO’s graduation rate is 51%. Their Master of Science in Political Science degree can be earned entirely online and can be taken either on a thesis or non-thesis track. Those studying for this degree have options to add an American Government Concentration or an International Affairs Concentration. They may also choose to earn a Graduate Certificate in Intelligence and National Security for their Master’s degree. The Master of Science in Political Science degree takes two years; however, full-time students that take year-round courses have the option to finish sooner. UNO is ranked #6 Most Affordable Political Science Master’s Degrees by online.com.

10. Sam Houston State University

Average Net Price: $15,035
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 93%

Located in Huntsville, Texas, Sam Houston State University is named for the state’s greatest hero. A large university, Sam Houston State has 18,288 undergraduate students with a student-faculty ratio of 20:1. They graduate 60% of their students and have an impressive US News ranking as 23rd in Top Performers on Social Mobility in the nation. Niche.com rates it #10 in Best Big Colleges in Texas. They also offer $1,000 scholarships for new 100% online students. A Master of Arts in Political Science can be obtained completely online at SHSU and offers two degree plans. There is a non-thesis option with 36 hours of coursework and written comprehensive exams. The thesis option requires 30 hours of coursework and a written thesis.

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6. niche.com, www.eiu.edu
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10. niche.com, usnews.com, shsu.edu

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