Best 8 Online Master’s in Political Science in 2021

July 14, 2021 | Staff Writers

Degree Finder
BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

In a changing world, there will always be the need for those who have studied political science. There are a variety of career paths open to those who have completed their online Master’s in Political Science. The job outlook is good, with growth expected and more jobs being added each year.

What Types of Jobs are Available to Those with a Master’s in Political Science?

Some who finish their online Master’s in Political Science will continue their education to earn a doctorate or law degree. Others will choose to continue with research and teach at an institution of higher learning. Other potential jobs include working as a policy or data analyst, a policy researcher, information or intelligence analyst, advisor or strategist, a non-profit organizer, a strategic planner, political staffer, military leader, or government official. 

What Will an Online Master’s in Political Science be Like?

Each online program is a little different. Some deliver the same program online as they do in person, while others may have a separate online program for political science. In many cases, the same professors deliver the material online as do on campus. Some programs require students to login at certain times for live lectures, while others have strictly asynchronous classes. Be sure to do your research to choose the program that will best fit your needs. Keep in mind that a full-time student will have different needs than a working professional. 

Which School Has the Best Online Master’s in Political Science?

We’ve put together a list of schools that offer an online Master’s in Political Science and ranked the top eight schools. We used tuition cost for the program (lowest is best), enrollment (highest is best), and program length (shortest is best) to rank the schools. Take a look at our rankings of the best online Master’s in Political Science below. 

The Best 8 Online Master’s in Political Science

1. University of Nebraska Omaha – Omaha, NE

The same faculty teaches both on campus and online courses in the online Master of Science in Political Science at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Several concentrations or certificates can be added to the master’s program. These include a Graduate Certificate in Intelligence and National Security, a Certificate in Government, American Government Concentration, or International Affairs Concentration. 

  • In-State Program Tuition: $11,250
  • Out-of-State Program Tuition: $18,510
  • Enrollment: 15,153
  • Program Length: 30 credit hours

2. Sam Houston State University – Huntsville, TX

The Master of Arts in Political Science at Sam Houston State University offers both a thesis and non-thesis option. Those with a master’s degree in another field can also enroll in an 18-hour certification program for credentialing. The program is great for recent college graduates or those who are looking to advance their current career.

  • Program Tuition: $12,360
  • Enrollment: 21,558
  • Program Length: 30-36 credit hours

3. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University – Blacksburg, VA

The online Master of Arts in Political Science at Virginia Tech is the same as the residential program. The courses are conducted asynchronously. This program was established in 1969 and usually enrolls 60-70 students in the online program each year. There is a required thesis and research element to this degree. 

  • In-State Program Tuition: $25,275
  • Out-of-State Program Tuition: $49,268
  • Enrollment: 36,383
  • Program Length: 30 credit hours

4. Eastern Illinois University – Charleston, IL

Students can take advantage of flexible program options at Eastern Illinois University. Their online program offers an M.A. in Political Science with an Option in Public Administration and Public Policy. Courses can be completed in two semesters and one summer or students can also take just one course per semester. Mentoring is available from staff and independent studies and internships are encouraged.

  • In-State Program Tuition: $10,204
  • Out-of-State Program Tuition: $24,010
  • Enrollment: 7,806
  • Program Length: 32 credit hours

5. Liberty University – Lynchburg, VA

Take online 8-week courses to obtain a Master of Science in Political Science from Liberty University. This degree takes 1.5 years on average and Liberty University is accredited by SACSCOC. This is a private, Christian institution. Program topics include past political philosophers, markets and market failures, American foreign policy, international governments, and the effects of public policy on economics.

  • Program Tuition: $20,340
  • Enrollment: 85,586
  • Program Length: 36 credit hours

6. Sul Ross State University – Alpine, TX

The Master of Arts in Political Science at Sul Ross State University can meet many career goals. These include those interested in teaching and researching at the college level, those who hope to enter administrative careers in governmental or public service, or those who hope to teach secondary education. There is a thesis and non-thesis option.

  • In-State Program Tuition: $8,324
  • Out-of-State Program Tuition: $23,048
  • Enrollment: 2,406
  • Program Length: 36 credit hours

7. University of West Florida – Pensacola, FL

Choose a thesis or non-thesis option in the M.A. in Political Science from the University of West Florida. Students are required to attend lectures in real-time. Students learn to analyze governments and societies by studying current events, politics, public policy, and international governments. All students will be able to present and defend their work orally. The estimated program length is 24 months.

  • In-State Program Tuition: $12,692
  • Out-of-State Program Tuition: $34,460
  • Enrollment: 12,557
  • Program Length: 33 credit hours

8. University of Illinois Springfield – Springfield, IL

The online Master’s Degree in Political Science available at the University of Illinois Springfield works well for students who hope to go into politics, wish to teach, or want to further their education with an advanced degree in law or political science. Students can choose an area of emphasis from several areas. These include Political Theory, Public Law, American, National, and State Politics, and Comparative Politics / International Relations.

  • Program Tuition: $14,630
  • Enrollment: 4,275
  • Program Length: 40 credit hours

Still unsure about which online Master’s in Political Science is the best fit for you? Use our degree finder tool, and we can help you find the best school for you.

Our Ranking Methodology

We found graduate tuition rates and program lengths from each school’s website and enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics. We used in-state tuition costs when applicable and used the shortest program length when there was more than one option. Where tuition was listed by credit, we multiplied by the program length to get the total tuition. 

We first sorted by tuition, then enrollment, and then program length. We assigned points to each school in each category, with a maximum of eight points in each category. We added these three scores together to get a final score for ranking.

Error in Your Ranking?

If you are an employee with one of the schools we ranked and you notice a mistake in the information we used to rank you, please get in touch with us and let us know so that we can make a correction.  

Scroll to Top