Best Online Bachelor’s in Political Science: Students Before Profits Award

The Students Before Profits Awards were created to recognize nonprofit colleges and universities offering degrees that put students before profits and education before the bottom-line.  For our ranking of the 2017 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science winners, we chose online Political Science degree programs from nonprofit colleges and universities, accredited by independent and trusted accreditation boards, with lower than average tuition costs, and have ranked them by affordability.

When looking to pursue an undergraduate degree, students consider many different factors when deciding the program that is right for them.  Some of the key aspects of a program that students are considering more and more these days are the cost and flexibility of the program.  As college costs soar, many students are looking for ways to control costs.  Couple that with the nature of the job market, and many students are looking for programs that are flexible enough to allow them to work a job or an internship while pursuing their studies.  That’s why more and more students are choosing to take their studies online.  Colleges are more frequently than ever providing their courses and degree programs online to help cut costs and to allow students to create more flexible schedules.  By studying online, students are able to create a schedule that serves them best while saving money.

Students deciding to enter into a Bachelor’s of Political Science program are primarily looking at positions within government agencies and consulting firms.  The Political Science degree is rather broad and prepares students for a career path that often leads into entry-level government work.  Often times students will work in jobs conducting budget analysis, public relations, political research and more.  This degree typically has students entering into local, state, federal government, or working for non-profits.  If you are somebody who wants to enter into government to influence public policy and shape tomorrow, a Bachelor’s in Political Science is a great entry-point into this field.  A Bachelor’s in Political Science also sets up students nicely for continuing their education in pursuit of a Master’s degree.

Note that tuition rates listed below are based on cost per credit and individual programs may have additional fees.

#1. Fort Hays State University

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The Western Branch of Kansas State Normal School was established in 1902 as an expansion to accommodate growth at the Kansas State Normal School.  On the site of a former frontier military outpost, the Western Branch of Kansas State Normal School was built upon the abandoned remains of Fort Hays. However, the school had to begin construction of a new campus closer to the city of Hays, after the school had begun to outgrow the confines of the Fort Hays facility.  Still incorporating the original Fort Hays campus as part of the current school’s campus, the majority of Fort Hays State University is located in Hays, Kansas.  Now the third-largest public university in the state of Kansas, Fort Hays State University has a student body of over 11,200 students and offers over sixty different programs of study.  Fort Hays State University is a public institution.

Program Overview

Students at Fort Hays State University are able to enroll in a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree.  Through this program of study, students will learn of events that have shaped the way government works while understanding key aspects of government and political operations.  This program is available in two concentrations: Pre-law and Public Administration.  Fort Hays State University offers this program entirely online and does not require any visits to the Fort Hays State University campus for its completion.  Transfer credits are accepted but are not required.  A minimum of 124 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Fort Hays State University’s Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $25,668

#2. University of Maryland University College

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During the 1920s, the University of Maryland began offering students evening programs to help accommodate students who were interested in taking college-level courses but were unable to attend class during the day.  These evening programs led to the makings of the University of Maryland University College.  From the beginning, the University of Maryland University College had always been about offering flexible education options.  Operating for two decades out of the University of Maryland, the school eventually spun-off its evening programs into a separate college called the College of Special and Continuation Studies.  After gaining popularity and growing in size, the school was renamed in 1959 to the University of Maryland University College.  With its main campus located in Adelphi, Maryland, and additional campuses located through the state, the University of Maryland University College enrolls 90,000 students.  University of Maryland University College is a public institution.

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Science in Political Science degree is offered to students at the University of Maryland University College.  Students in this program will receive a comprehensive education in the operations and mechanics of American government and global politics.  This program will have students examine political structures theory, and problems.  The University of Maryland University College offers this program entirely online and does not require any visits to to their main campus for its completion.  Transfer credits are accepted but not required for this program.  A minimum of 120 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: University of Maryland University College’s Bachelor of Science in Political Science degree is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Tuition: $34,080

#3. Southern New Hampshire University

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Enrolling over 3,000 students at its Manchester/Hooksett campus, Southern New Hampshire University enrolls an additional 60,000 students online.  Founded in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire University was established in 1932.  Established by husband and wife Harry A. B. Shapiro and Gertrude Crockett Shapiro, Southern New Hampshire University has been part of New Hampshire’s higher education options since the early 1930s.  Operating originally under the name of the New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science, the name was changed to the New Hampshire College of Accounting and Commerce to reflect growth in its curriculum.  Eventually outgrowing its original campus along the Merrimack River, the school moved its campus to its current location on the border of Manchester and Hooksett.  In 2001, the school was renamed to Southern New Hampshire University.  Southern New Hampshire University is a private institution.  

Program Overview

Southern New Hampshire University offers its students a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree.  Students in this program of study will gain an understanding of the relationship between political systems in the United States, public perception, and the policies that shape our government.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Southern New Hampshire University campus for its completion.  Transfer credits are accepted but not required by this program. A minimum of 120 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Southern New Hampshire University’s Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Tuition: $38,400

#4. Oregon State University

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One of the largest public research universities in the entirety of the northwestern United States, Oregon State University is classified as engaging in the “Highest research activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.  Established in 1856, Oregon State University was originally a community college by the name of Corvallis College.  The school was eventually renamed to the Corvallis State Agricultural College after it had received federal funding and land through the Morill Act which allowed the school to start offering degrees.  In 1961, the school was renamed Oregon State University.  Still located in its founding city of Corvallis, Oregon, Oregon State University now enrolls almost 26,000 students and offers over two-hundred different degree programs.  Oregon State University is a public institution. 

Program Overview

Students at Oregon State University are able to enroll in a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree.   This program of study has students gaining on understand go the politics of law.  Students will learn how to think critically, write clearly and effectively, and persuade public opinions in regards to major issues of public policy.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Oregon State University campus.  Transfer credits are accepted but not required.  A minimum of 180 quarter units are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Oregon State University’s Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Tuition: $50,400

#5. Austin Peay State University

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When the Clarksville Masonic Lodge No. 89 convened in Clarksville, Tennessee, they called for the creation of an all-male academy for students located within Montgomery County in the early 1840s.  Founded a few years later in 1845, the Montgomery County Male Academy would eventually merge with the nearby Masonic College to form the Montgomery Masonic College and Male Academy.  This would eventually become Austin Peay State University.  Named after the sitting Governor of Tennessee at the time, the Montgomery Masonic College and Male Academy was renamed the Austin Peay Normal School.  Now known as Austin Peay State University, the school enrolls a students body of over 10,000 students in Clarksville, Tennessee.  Austin Peay State University is a public institution.

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Science – Political Science degree is offered to students at Austin Peay State University.  Through this program of study students will learn how to work in campaigns and government, teach government and history in school, and gain an understanding of the political and government machinations that move our society.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Austin Peay State University campus.  Transfer credits are accepted but not required.  A minimum of 123 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Austin Peay State University’s Bachelor of Science – Political Science degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $59,040

#6. Arizona State University

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Established in 1885 in Tempe, Arizona, the Territorial Normal School was the precursor to Arizona State University.  Undergoing rapid growth from the beginning, the Arizona State University’s main campus in Tempe, Arizona has grown tremendously and has also called for the creation of additional campuses.  Arizona State University currently operates out of Tempe as well as an additional five different campuses located throughout the Phoenix metro area.  In 2014, Arizona State University adopted a new mission statement known as the “New American University” charter.  Arizona State University would not focus on exclusionary practices, but would rather try to accept as many students as possible in order to find their personal strengths and help to foster them.  This has led to a surge in student population.  Now, the school is one of the largest in the country with a student body of 82,000.  Arizona State University is a public institution.

Program Overview

Student at Arizona State University are able to enroll in a Bachelor of Science – Political Science degree. This program of study has students learning about contemporary geopolitics, economics, and events.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Arizona State University campus for its completion.  Transfer credits are accepted but not required. A minimum of 120 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Arizona State University’s Bachelor of Science – Political Science degree is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $60,000

#7. Regent University

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Pat Robertson founded the Christian Broadcast Network University in 1977 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, creating the underpinnings of what would eventually become Regent University.  Operating under the name of the Christian Broadcast Network University until 1990, the school was renamed that year to Regent University.  Closely affiliated with the Christian Church, Regent University is committed to maintaining an inclusionary campus that is accepting of all creeds, culture, and religions.  In 1997, Regent University began offering its Master of Arts in Business and Leadership degree entirely online making the school one of the first to offer a graduate degree online.  Now, Regent University enrolls over 6,100 students and offers seventy different courses. Regent University is a private institution.

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Arts Historical and Political Studies degree is offered to students at Regent University.  Students in this program will learn how to evaluate social and political systems.  They will gain an understanding of the moral and philosophical underpinnings of current government systems.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Regent University campus.  Transfer credits are accepted but are not required. A minimum of 120 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Regent University’s Bachelor of Arts Historical and Political Studies degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $62,400

#8. Pennsylvania State University

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Most commonly known as Penn State, Pennsylvania State University was established in 1855.  Originally, the school was established under the name of the Farmer’s High School of Pennsylvania, but after receiving a 200-acre parcel of land,  the school was renamed to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania to reflect its increase in size and scope.  A few years after this, the school became a recipient of federal funding through the Morill Act.  This resulted in another name change for the school.  In 1874, the school was renamed to Pennsylvania State College.  After achieving university status in 1953, the school was finally renamed to Pennsylvania State University.  Located in State College, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University enrolls over 100,000 students.  Pennsylvania State University is a public institution.

Program Overview

Pennsylvania State University offers students a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree.  This program of study has students gaining a deeper understanding of domestic politics, the politics of other nations, and political theory.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Pennsylvania State University campus.  Transfer credits are accepted into this program but are not required.  A minimum of 123 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Pennsylvania State University’s Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Tuition: $66,666

#9. National University

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From its earliest days, National University has always strived to offer students alternative, flexible opportunities for education.  National University has always offered night and weekend programs to its students, and eventually added online programs as soon as the technology was readily available.  Founded in 1972, National University was established by David Chigos, Former Lieutenant Commander of the United States Navy.  Originally established in the city of San Diego, California, National University outgrew its original campus and relocated to its current campus in La Jolla, California.  National University also operates campuses in Georgia, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia.  National University is a private institution.

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree is offered to students at National University.  This program of study has students studying politics and government to understand the systems and rules that govern the function of these systems.  This program is available entirely online.  Students are not required to visit the National University campus to complete their studies.  Transfer credits are accepted but not required for completion. A minimum of 180 quarter units are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: National University’s Bachelor of Arts in Political Science degree is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Tuition: $74,880

#10. Chaminade University of Honolulu

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Named after Father William Joseph Chaminade, a prominent French Catholic Priest who escaped religious persecution during the French Revolution, Chaminade University of Honolulu is founded on Marianist traditions.  Founder of the Marianists, Father William Joseph Chaminade sent Marianist missionaries over to the United States and by 1883 they had arrived in Honolulu and established the Saint Louis School.  In 1955, the Saint Louis School had been transformed to the Saint Louis Junior College and then two years later it had been changed to Chaminade College after being granted the ability to offer Bachelor’s degrees.  The school added graduate programs in 1977 and was renamed to Chaminade University of Honolulu.  Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, Chaminade University of Honolulu enrolls a student body of just under 3,000 students.  Chaminade University of Honolulu is a private institution.  

Program Overview

Students at Chaminade University of Honolulu are able to enroll in a Bachelor of Arts in Historical and Political Studies degree.  Through this program of study students will learn about past events regarding societies, governments, and institutions.  By engaging in this program students will be prepared for graduate studies or to enter into careers involving research, education, law, and public service.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Chaminade University of Honolulu campus.  Transfer credits are accepted but not required for completion.  A minimum of 120 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Chaminade University of Honolulu’s Bachelor of Arts in Historical and Political Studies degree is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Tuition: $133,200