Online political science degrees explore the political process in the U.S. and the workings of its government. Political science degrees also expose students to comparative politics so that students have an understanding of how U.S. politics differ from and are similar to those of other countries. Students learn skills in shaping public policy, effective debating and argumentation, lobbying, campaigning, grant writing, communication, and research that can be applied to a variety of careers. Students may also gain skills in survey research and statistical analysis.
Political science is related to criminal justice and legal studies in that it discusses the influence of politics on public law and the legal system, and because both are broad interdisciplinary fields that incorporate studies in social and behavioral science. However, political science sets itself apart by focusing on politics as a whole, incorporating studies in political theory, public administration, and international relations.
Course work in an online political science degree will thoroughly cover American government, including, the legislative and judicial process, constitutional law, political parties and elections, interest group politics, and civil rights. Contemporary political thought and political sociology are also common topics. The best online programs in political science will require or encourage an internship.
Graduates of political science programs may pursue careers as activists, community organizers, lobbyists, campaign managers, Foreign Service Officers and U.S. diplomats, public affairs specialists, and political journalists and writers. Others may pursue work at political polling companies, state and local government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and with nonprofits. Political science is also excellent undergraduate preparation for those who wish to pursue careers in law or library science. Finally, an online graduate degree in political science may even lead to careers as political scientists.