Distance Learning Political Science PhD Programs

You're unlikely to find a political science Ph.D. program offered through online learning, but numerous on-campus programs are available. Review the benefits to earning this doctorate, and explore the curriculum. Check the prerequisites for admission to a political science doctoral program. Schools offering Political Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn My Ph.D. in Political Science Through Distance Learning?

Because Ph.D. programs in political science typically have a teaching requirement, you'll find programs offered in the traditional on-campus format. As a doctoral student in political science, you could receive a teaching or research fellowship and may be required to teach undergraduate courses for up to two years. Some programs also require you to complete two or more consecutive semesters as a full-time resident.

Online Availability Online programs are not available
Other Requirements Teaching or research fellowship may be required; dissertation may be required for graduation
Common Courses Race and gender issues, American history, research methods, constitutional law, international relations
Prerequisites Bachelor's or master's degree with undergraduate politics, international relations, and history; foreign language proficiency may be required
Median Salary (2018) $117,570 (for all political scientists)  
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 3% growth (for all political scientists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Why Should I Earn a Ph.D.?

A Ph.D. in Political Science can qualify you for a wide variety of careers depending upon your area of specialization. Many Ph.D. graduates choose a career in teaching or research. Others may find work with non-profit organizations or consulting firms. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most political scientists - about 55% - work for the federal government. The BLS stated that political scientists with graduate degrees who have knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methods should have the best career prospects.

What Will I Learn as a Doctoral Candidate?

Ph.D. requirements provide you with a foundation in research methods, statistical methods and political theory. You can also expect to complete general coursework in race or gender issues, constitutional law, American history, international relations and early history. Many programs tailor these courses to understand history, cultures and current events around the world and their relation to public policy.

After completing general requirements, you'll focus on one or more areas of specialization. Most programs require you to major in two areas or minor in a third, while some have you major in one area and minor in two areas. Your major and minor areas can include international relations, domestic policy, comparative politics and American politics. You will generally complete a dissertation in order to graduate, and most programs also include written and oral exams.

What Do I Need to Enroll?

You'll need to earn a bachelor's or a master's degree before applying to a doctorate program in political science. Many Ph.D. programs only accept students who've completed undergraduate courses in international relations, history and politics. If you haven't, some programs will allow you to complete these prerequisites before starting doctoral requirements. Some programs also have a foreign language requirement that must be met before you can earn Ph.D. candidate status.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Saybrook University

    Saybrook University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saybrook University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Yale University

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: New Haven
  • West Virginia University

    Campus Locations:

    • West Virginia: Morgantown
  • Washington University in St Louis

    Campus Locations:

    • Missouri: Saint Louis
  • University of Georgia

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Athens
  • University of Rochester

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Rochester