Individuals seeking to make an impact on the world might consider majoring in political science — which, according to the American Political Science Association (apsanet.org, 2013), is "the study of governments, public policies and political processes, systems, and political behavior." Political scientists can specialize in one of the many aspects of this wide-ranging profession, such as American politics or international relations, and may find themselves lobbying for the interests of their organizations in Washington, D.C.!
Political science majors aren't limited to becoming political scientists, either. An online degree in political science could serve as a solid foundation for becoming a teacher or tackling more advanced studies, such as law school.
Learning how to conduct thorough research is an integral part of a political science degree program. However, students should start basic research well before the first day of school... in order to find the best political science program to meet their needs.
The following Top 10 list was created to take some of the legwork out of finding the right school for your online political science studies. We analyzed several schools offering online political science degree programs to ascertain which schools are the best for distance and nontraditional students. Our data is pulled directly from the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), and details on our proprietary methodology can be found at the bottom of this page.
The goal of political science programs is to give students a deeper understanding of the current political climate while helping them develop key skills for a career in that climate. This page explores the curriculum that may be found in political science programs and the skills they foster.
From presidents to public policy to political theory, there are a wide range of courses that students enrolled in an online education for political science may want to take, based on their interests and career goals. The following are examples of possible subjects students will find in their political science departments.
Online political science degree programs work to foster a variety of skills needed in different areas of the political workforce. Students may want to take the opportunity to polish the following skills in their courses before they graduate from their programs.
Political science is a very popular career with a lot of hopefuls looking to break into it. Earn your degree and work to stand out from the crowd if you want to make a name for yourself in this exciting field!
Political scientists study political systems used around the world. They dive deeply into the origins, development, and operation of local and national governments, then use the patterns and trends they discover to advise politicians and design policies. These professionals have their finger on the pulse of the political scene, and they use their knowledge and observations to bring about improvements in governments, administrations, laws and protocol.
More than half of political scientists work for government agencies, while the remainder are spread across professional, scientific, technical and educational firms.
Economists research trends in the distribution of resources among citizens so they can make predictions about the future of our economy. After completing their research, they prepare reports that illustrate their results. They advise businesses and governments on economic problems, design policies that solve economic issues and write professional articles for newsletters and academic journals. While economists focus a lot of their energy on finances, their research also helps them offer expert advice on other fields, including health care, education and the environment.
Since many businesses need this type of expertise, economists are employed in a wide range of fields, including government entities, scientific and technical consulting, scientific research and development, finances and insurance. While most economist careers begin with a master's degree or Ph.D., the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that some entry-level careers are available for workers with a bachelor's degree.