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Education Reference Desk | Online Education Resources for Students and Teachers

Most Affordable Online Political Science Degrees

most_affordable_online_political_science_degreesThe 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 offer online political science degrees. 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 2020.

2020 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Political Science Degrees

Rank School Average Net Price
# 1 The University of West Florida $7,515
# 2 Northeastern State University $9,415
# 3 Jacksonville State University $10,689
# 4 American Public University System $10,995
# 5 University of Illinois at Springfield $11,534
# 6 Sul Ross State University $11,833
# 7 Western New Mexico University $11,909
# 8 Fort Hays State University $12,108
# 9 University of Nebraska at Omaha $12,899
# 10 Sam Houston State University $13,055
# 11 Bellevue University $13,261
# 12 Rutgers University-Camden $13,844
# 13 Eastern Illinois University $14,146
# 14 Regent University Online $15,062
# 15 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University $18,449
# 16 Liberty University $28,181
# 17 George Washington University $38,829

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Political Science Degrees

1. The University of West Florida

Average Net Price: $7,515
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 42%

Located in Ferry Pass, about ten miles from downtown Pensacola, the undergraduate student enrollment of The University of West Florida is 6,789. Their graduation rate is 43%. For those interested in earning a degree in Political Science, UWF offers five Master’s Degree programs, including MA in Political Science; MA in Political Science – General; MA in Political Science – Non-Thesis; MA in Political Science – Security and Diplomacy; and MA in Political Science – Thesis. Students wishing to earn their Master’s at home will benefit from their online program. UWF is ranked #15 in Top Public Schools by US News as well as #34 in Regional Universities South. They have a student-faculty ratio of 21:1. The University of West Florida’s US News overall ranking is 52 out of 100.

2. Northeastern State University

Average Net Price: $9,415
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 98%

A small, university in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Northeastern State University is home to 4,641 undergraduate students. They enjoy a US News overall ranking of 31 out of 100. With an 18:1 student-faculty ratio, this university has a graduation rate of 35%. Northeastern State University offers one Political Science Master’s Degree, which is the Master of Arts in American Studies – American Politics. This is an interdisciplinary study drawing from a variety of fields such as criminal justice, sociology, and history. For those seeking an online political science degree, it is possible through Northeastern State University. Online students can still access some of the school’s important services, such as their Advising Center, tutoring services, and disability services. According to Study.com, Northeastern State ranks #25 for the most affordable colleges in the country.

3. Jacksonville State University

Average Net Price: $10,689
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 54%

Nestled in the Appalachian foothills just about halfway between Birmingham and Atlanta, is Jacksonville State University located in Jacksonville, Alabama. A moderately-sized institution, they have an undergraduate student enrollment of 5,459. Graduating 42% of their students, they are ranked #7 Top Public Universities in Alabama by Niche.com as well as #6 Best Online Colleges in Alabama by Collegeconsensus.com. The school’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration offers one Master’s Degree in Political Science which is a Master of Public Administration – Political Science. This program is a blend of traditional classroom and online formats. Jacksonville State has an 18:1 student-faculty ratio and has earned the US News ranking of #29 Top Public Schools as well as their overall ranking of 35 out of 100.

4. American Public University System

Average Net Price: $10,995
School Type: Private, For-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, Distance Education Accrediting Commission
Acceptance Rate: 100%

A 100% online university, American Public University is a proprietary school that offers programs beginning monthly. They also do not require an entrance exam and 97% of their students receive financial aid. As far as online colleges political science degrees go, APUS offers five Master’s Degree options in Political Science. They include Master of Arts in Political Science; Master of Arts in Political Science – American Politics and Government; Master of Arts in Political Science – Comparative Government and Development; Master of Arts in Political Science – International Relations; and Master of Arts in Political Science – Public Policy. It is ranked #5 Best Value Colleges in West Virginia by Niche.com. APU offers no-cost textbooks and e-books for all military-tuition-grant-eligible master’s-level students. Of the nearly 84,000 students attending American Public University, 87% are working adults.

5. University of Illinois at Springfield

Average Net Price: $11,534
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 53%

The University of Illinois at Springfield is located about 200 miles southwest of Chicago with a graduation rate of 51%. A small school, the undergraduate student enrollment is 2,674 and the graduate student enrollment is 1,601. The student-faculty ratio is 13:1. For those looking to attain an online political science degree, UIS offers a Master of Arts in Political Science which is a 40-hour program. For the past 13 years, The University of Illinois at Springfield has ranked in the top 15 public regional universities in the Midwest by US News & World Report. They are #1 in Illinois and #4 in the Midwest for in the 2020 rankings. Their overall US News ranking is 64 out of 100. Niche.com ranked UIS #4 for Best Online Colleges in America while OnlineU.com ranked them #5 for Most Affordable Political Science Master’s Degrees in 2020

6. Sul Ross State University

Average Net Price: $11,833
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 99%

Positioned in the Davis Mountains in Alpine, Texas, Sul Ross State University is a small institution with an undergraduate student enrollment of only 1,328 and a graduate student enrollment of 602. Sul Ross State was ranked #10 by OnlineU.com as Most Affordable Political Science Master’s Degrees in 2020. The graduation rate is 25% with a student-faculty ratio of 15:1. The average class size at SRSU is 20 students. The school’s Behavioral and Social Sciences department offers a Master of Arts in Political Science degree that can be completed entirely through online courses. Some notable memberships that the university holds are with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Association of Texas Graduate Schools, and the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools.

7. Western New Mexico University

Average Net Price: $11,909
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, New Mexico State Board of Education
Acceptance Rate: 100%

Western New Mexico University is located in Silver City, New Mexico, situated approximately 88 miles from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, and 154 miles from El Paso, Texas. WNMU is a small school with an undergraduate student enrollment of 1,189. They have a graduation rate of 26%. Western New Mexico University offers two online colleges political science degree options: Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies – Political Science and Master of Arts in Teaching – Specialization (Political Science). The MAT-Specialization program is 9 credit hours of Master’s core curriculum and 27 hours of material in the specialization field. This school has a student-faculty ratio of 15:1 and is ranked #7 for the Most Affordable Political Science Master’s Degrees by Niche.com. WNMU is also designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

8. Fort Hays State University

Average Net Price: $12,108
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 92%

Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas is a medium-sized university with an enrollment of 5,863 students and a 14:1 student-faculty ratio. They have a graduation rate of 44%. Their most popular graduate school programs include Liberal Arts and Humanities. Fort Hays State University offers one Master’s Degree in Political Science: Master of Liberal Studies – Political Science, which is offered online. Part of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, The Master of Liberal Studies program was named 2020’s Best Masters in Liberal Arts program by Intelligent.com. The program’s study consists of 10 credit hours of core courses and 21 credit hours in the area of concentration for a total of 31 credit hours. Niche.com ranked FHSU #30 Best Online Colleges in America and #5 Top Public Universities in Kansas.

9. University of Nebraska at Omaha

Average Net Price: $12,899
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 82%

The University of Nebraska at Omaha is ranked #3 in Top Public Universities in Nebraska. A mid-sized school, they have 9,868 undergraduate students with a student-faculty ratio of 15:1. UNO’s graduation rate is 48%. Their Master of Science in Political Science degree is can be earned entirely online and can be taken either on a thesis or non-thesis track. Those studying for this degree have options to add an American Government Concentration or an International Affairs Concentration. They may also choose to earn a Graduate Certificate in Intelligence and National Security to their Master’s degree. The Master of Science in Political Science degree takes two years; however, full-time students that take year-round courses have the option to finish sooner. UNO is ranked #6 Most Affordable Political Science Master’s Degrees by online.com.

10. Sam Houston State University

Average Net Price: $13,055
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 79%

Located in Huntsville, Texas, Sam Houston State University is named for the state’s greatest hero. A large university, Sam Houston State has 15,073 undergraduate students with a student-faculty ratio of 24:1. They graduate 52% of their students and have an impressive US News ranking of 27 out of 100. Niche.com rates it #11 in Top Public Universities in Texas. SHSU is ranked the #4 Most Affordable Political Science Degrees according to Onlineu.com. They also offer $1,000 scholarships for new 100% online students. A Master of Arts in Political Science can be obtained completely online at SHSU and offers two degree plans. There is a non-thesis option with 36 hours of coursework and written comprehensive exams. The thesis option requires 30 hours of coursework and a written thesis.

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