The social science 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 offering the cheapest online political science degree options. 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 2023.

Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

2024 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Political Science Degrees

RankSchoolAverage Net Price
# 1The University of West Florida$8,152
# 2Northeastern State University$9,769
# 3American Public University System$11,144
# 4University of Illinois at Springfield$12,065
# 5Rutgers University-Camden$12,755
# 6Eastern Illinois University$12,872
# 7University of Nebraska at Omaha$13,452
# 8Fort Hays State University$13,515
# 9Western New Mexico University$14,023
# 10Sul Ross State University$15,192
# 11Sam Houston State University$15,446
# 12Bellevue University$15,794
# 13Regent University Online$17,120
# 14Jacksonville State University$18,336
# 15Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University$20,927
# 16George Washington University$26,272
# 17Liberty University$28,561

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Political Science Degrees

1. The University of West Florida

Average Net Price: $8,152
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 53%

The University of West Florida (UWF) offers two online political science degrees: a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Master of Arts (MA).

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The BA in Political Science at UWF is a fully online program that provides students with a broad understanding of government, politics, and public policy. The program covers a wide range of topics, including American politics, international relations, comparative politics, political theory, and research methods.

Students in the online BA in Political Science program have the option to specialize in one of three areas:

  • Political Science
  • Political Science Pre-Law
  • International Studies

The Political Science specialization prepares students for a variety of careers in government, public policy, and law. The Political Science Pre-Law specialization is designed for students who plan to attend law school after graduation. The International Studies specialization prepares students for careers in international relations, diplomacy, and foreign affairs.

Master of Arts in Political Science

The MA in Political Science at UWF is also a fully online program. The program is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a career in government, academia, or the private sector. The program covers a wide range of topics, including American politics, international relations, comparative politics, political theory, and research methods.

Students in the online MA in Political Science program have the option to complete a thesis or a non-thesis option. The thesis option requires students to complete a research project and write a thesis under the supervision of a faculty member. The non-thesis option requires students to complete a comprehensive examination.

Why Study Political Science at UWF?

The political science programs at UWF are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Reubin O’D. Askew Department of Government at UWF has a strong reputation for excellence in teaching and research. The department’s faculty are experts in a wide range of subfields of political science.

2. Northeastern State University

Average Net Price: $9,769
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 99%

Northeastern State University (NSU) beckons you to embark on an intellectual journey through its online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science program. This immersive program beckons students into the intricate world of politics, nurturing their understanding of the political process, both within national borders and across the globe. Unveil the inner workings of government branches, the pivotal roles of political parties and interest groups, and the dynamic forces shaping public policies. Dive into subjects like American foreign policy, comparative politics, and political theory, honing your expertise.

Rest assured, the NSU online political science program boasts accreditation from the prestigious Higher Learning Commission and stands tall among the nation’s elite online political science programs, a recognition proudly endorsed by U.S. News & World Report. Seasoned faculty, eminent in their domains, lead the charge, ensuring you receive the highest quality education. You’ll find yourself supported by a gamut of resources and services, mirroring those available to on-campus peers. From online tutoring to academic guidance and career counseling, NSU leaves no scholar behind.

The gateway to this enriching program is open to high school graduates or their equivalents, their path illuminated by a GPA of at least 2.0. Take the plunge into the admission process, armed with your essay and letters of recommendation as your allies.

This journey comprises a fulfilling 120-credit hour curriculum, navigable within four intense years of full-time dedication. Brace yourself for a curriculum spanning these riveting domains:

  1. American government
  2. Comparative politics
  3. International relations
  4. Political theory
  5. Political behavior
  6. Political research

But wait, there’s more! You’re also free to venture into the realm of elective courses, tantalizing options like public policy, environmental politics, and constitutional law await, allowing you to tailor your educational odyssey to your specific interests.

3. American Public University System

Average Net Price: $11,144
School Type: Private, For-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, Distance Education Accrediting Commission
Acceptance Rate: 100%

American Public University System (APUS) offers online political science degrees at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Both programs are designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of government, politics, and public policy.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The APUS Bachelor of Arts in Political Science program covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • American government and politics
  • Comparative politics
  • International relations
  • Political philosophy
  • Public policy
  • Research methods

Students also have the opportunity to choose from a variety of elective courses to focus on their specific interests, such as American foreign policy, public opinion, or political parties.

Master of Arts in Political Science

The APUS Master of Arts in Political Science program is designed for students who want to deepen their understanding of political science and develop the research and analytical skills needed for a successful career in academia, government, or the non-profit sector.

The program offers a variety of specializations, including:

  • American government and politics
  • Comparative politics
  • International relations
  • Political philosophy
  • Public policy

Students also have the opportunity to complete a capstone project, which allows them to apply their knowledge and skills to a real-world political issue.

4. University of Illinois at Springfield

Average Net Price: $12,065
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 79%

The University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) presents two dynamic online programs in political science: the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science and the Master of Arts (MA) in Political Science.

For the Online Political Science BA program, UIS aims to empower students with a robust understanding of government, politics, and public policy. This program delves into a wide array of subjects, encompassing American government, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. Moreover, students can specialize in specific areas within political science, such as public policy, public administration, or political campaigns.

The Online Political Science BA program operates entirely in an asynchronous format, granting students the flexibility to navigate their coursework at their own pace.

Shifting our focus to the Online Political Science MA program, UIS intends to equip students for impactful careers in government, public policy, and academia. This program offers an extensive selection of courses spanning American government, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. Additionally, students have the unique opportunity to engage in independent research, closely guided by a dedicated faculty member.

Both the Online Political Science BA and MA programs at UIS boast accreditation by the esteemed Higher Learning Commission. This accreditation underscores the assurance of a top-tier education for all students.

5. Rutgers University-Camden

Average Net Price: $12,755
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Acceptance Rate: 79%

Rutgers University-Camden offers a fully online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. The program is designed for working adults and students who need the flexibility of online learning.

The online political science degree program covers the same core courses as the traditional on-campus program, including:

  • The Study of Politics
  • American Politics and Public Policy
  • International Politics
  • Political Theory and Methodology

In addition to their core studies, students actively pick elective courses from a range of subfields like comparative politics, public administration, and law and society.

The online political science program is taught by the same experienced faculty who teach the on-campus program. Students have access to the same resources as on-campus students, including the library, writing center, and career center.

6. Eastern Illinois University

Average Net Price: $12,872
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation:Higher Learning Commission and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness
Acceptance Rate: 72%

Eastern Illinois University (EIU) offers an online Master of Arts in Political Science with an Option in Public Administration and Public Policy. The program is designed for working professionals who want to advance their careers in government, non-profit, or private sector organizations.

The program covers a wide range of topics in political science, including American government, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and public policy. Students in the online program have access to the same high-quality instruction and resources as traditional on-campus students.

In addition to the core political science courses, students in the online MA program must complete a capstone project. The capstone project is a research paper or applied project that allows students to demonstrate their mastery of the course material.

The online MA in Political Science at EIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. This accreditation means that the program meets high standards of academic quality.

7. University of Nebraska at Omaha

Average Net Price: $13,452
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 87%

The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) offers online political science degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at UNO is a 120-credit-hour program that can be completed in four years. The program provides a broad foundation in political science, including courses in American government, international relations, comparative politics, and political theory. Students also have the opportunity to specialize in a particular area of political science, such as public policy, law, or international development.

Online Master of Science in Political Science

The online Master of Science in Political Science at UNO is a 30-credit-hour program that can be completed in two years. The program is designed for students who want to deepen their understanding of political science and prepare for a career in government, academia, or the non-profit sector. Students can choose to focus on a particular area of political science, such as American politics, international relations, or comparative politics.

8. Fort Hays State University

Average Net Price: $13,515
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 90%

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) extends a diverse array of online political science degrees:

  1. Bachelor of Arts in Political Science: Immerse yourself in the political realm, both at home and abroad. Gain insight into government branches, the pivotal role of political parties, and the myriad influences shaping public policy. You also have the opportunity to specialize in American politics, comparative politics, international relations, or political theory.FHSU’s online B.A. in Political Science accommodates working adults and those seeking the convenience of online learning. You dictate your pace, with the flexibility to attend classes during evenings or weekends.
  2. Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) in Political Science: Hone your expertise in political science, global studies, political leadership and public service, or public administration. Tailor your studies to align with your unique interests.The online MLS in Political Science program at FHSU caters to busy individuals, providing them the liberty of self-paced learning and the option to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends.
  3. Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Political Management: Prepare for a career in political campaigns, lobbying, or public affairs. Delve into political management, encompassing campaign strategy, fundraising, and media relations. Practical experience through internships and real-world projects is an integral part of the curriculum.FHSU’s online MPS in Political Management program, designed for working professionals and others seeking flexibility, offers self-paced learning and evening or weekend class options.
  4. Certificates in Political Science: FHSU extends a range of online certificates to refine your political science acumen:
    • Pre-Law/Legal Studies
    • Public Administration
    • International Relations/Comparative Politics
    • American Politics
    • Political Theory
    • Democratic Engagement
    These certificates serve as a springboard for specialized knowledge acquisition in various political science niches, elevating your career prospects.

9. 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 (WNMU) offers students the chance to earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Political Science, entirely online. The BA program immerses students in a wide-ranging political science education, encompassing American government, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory. The BS program, on the other hand, primes students for public service or legal careers.

Both programs demand students to complete a core curriculum of political science courses and electives tailored to their specialties. For BA students, a capstone project, comprising a thesis, research paper, or internship, is mandatory. Meanwhile, BS students must undertake a capstone course that channels their political science acumen into solving real-world issues.

At WNMU, seasoned and qualified faculty members instruct these online political science programs. Students enrolled here enjoy access to a rich assortment of resources and support, mirroring what’s available to on-campus peers: online tutoring, academic advising, and career counseling.

10. Sul Ross State University

Average Net Price: $15,192
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 100%

Sul Ross State University provides accredited online pathways to earn a Bachelor of Arts or Master of Arts in Political Science. Both programs hold accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The online Bachelor of Arts in Political Science delivers comprehensive knowledge spanning American government, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and public policy. Students develop in-demand skills while conducting research, presenting on topics, and gaining real-world experience through internships.

At the graduate level, the online Master of Arts in Political Science readies students for careers in education, research, government, and the non-profit sector. With thesis and non-thesis options, the program enables students to customize their studies to individual interests and goals.

Sul Ross State’s online political science degrees blend rigorous academics with practical knowledge and skills mastery. Students graduate prepared to excel and lead in civic-focused roles.

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