What Is the Curriculum of an Online Political Science Graduate Degree?

Graduate-degree programs in political science could prepare students to pursue professional careers. Master's-degree programs, for example, could provide the education necessary to teach at the junior-college level or to begin doctoral study. Courses may focus on subjects such as research methods, contemporary political theory, the branches of government, international politics and political behavior. Learn more about these topics here. Schools offering Political Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Online Political Science Degree Overview

For students who lack the time or resources to attend a traditional university, an online program can be an excellent tool for continuing education. Graduate degrees are available from several schools, so prospective students have plenty of options. Courses will vary from school to school, but most programs have a similar set of courses.

Important Facts About Online Political Science Graduate Degrees

Prerequisites Undergraduate degree mandatory
Degree Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Arts (M.A.)
Further Education Ph.D. in Political Science
Possible Careers Campaign operative, city planner, lobbyist

Curriculum of an Online Political Science Graduate-Degree Program

The following list contains a few examples of common course topics offered at the graduate level for online programs:

Research Methods

A course in research methods looks at the basics of political science research. The material covers the theory of scientific inquiry, research design, concept formation, testing hypotheses and theories, regression, factor analysis and scaling. Students might also explore casual and factor analysis as well as the processes of collecting and processing data and using multivariate statistics.

Contemporary Political Theory

A course in contemporary political theory examines the basic concepts of political sciences. This may include studying ideas of power, rationality, ideology and the state. Courses in political theory may also look at alternative perspectives such as critical theory, rational choice theory, neo-Marxism, post-industrialism, neo-conservatism and post-structuralism.

Branches of Government

Students who are taking this course might explore the roles of the legislative, executive and the judicial branches of government. They might also analyze relationships between the different branches of government.

International Politics

A course in international politics may focus on different theories in foreign policy formulation and implementation. The curriculum emphasizes international organizations, international integration, conflict resolution and global political economy.

Political Behavior

The focus here is on public opinion, political participation, communication, political psychology, rational choice, socialization and bio-politics. Other topics that may be studied include politics and personality, political protest, mass vs. elite politics, political leadership and the influences of small groups on political beliefs.

Other Potential Program Courses

An institution may offer courses in different specialized fields such as political psychology, political economy and policy or American politics. Students must choose a field of concentration for their thesis, if the program has such an option. Other topics, which may be included in the curriculum of an online political science graduate degree program, include:

Global Conflicts Social Movements
Public Policy Analysis Industrial Democracies
Global Governance American Foreign Policy
Discourse Analysis Global Security
Environmental Politics and Policy Research and Thesis

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

  • Purdue University Global

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    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Master

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  • Strayer University

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    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master

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  • Colorado Christian University

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    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

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  • Northcentral University

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    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    • Doctoral

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  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master

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  • University of Georgia

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Athens
  • Marquette University

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    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • University of Florida

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Gainesville
  • University of Connecticut

    Campus Locations:

    • Connecticut: Storrs