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Grad­u­ates who have enrolled in an accel­er­at­ed Polit­i­cal Sci­ence degree pro­gram are putting their edu­ca­tion­al goals on the fast track. Not only will they be com­plet­ing their degree pro­gram in a much short­er peri­od of time, they will be able to put their new­found knowl­edge to use while they are in school. Accel­er­at­ed degree pro­grams con­dense the amount of infor­ma­tion into few­er actu­al lessons giv­ing the stu­dent an oppor­tu­ni­ty to grad­u­ate in approx­i­mate­ly 18 months. Tra­di­tion­al degree pro­grams can take up to two years to complete.

Many accel­er­at­ed polit­i­cal sci­ence degree pro­grams are taught in an online for­mat. Learn­ing in an online for­mat allows the stu­dent to remain on the job. Flex­i­ble sched­ules make it easy for the stu­dent to study when it is most con­ve­nient for them. They are able to take their time with each les­son and go over it ful­ly, pulling out as much infor­ma­tion as pos­si­ble. They can also return to pre­vi­ous course mate­ri­als to go over them as they feel the need.

Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Accelerated Political Science Degree Programs

Find­ing a fast-track pro­gram is easy, but find­ing a good one can be hard. Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter fea­tures only accred­it­ed, rep­utable col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties offer­ing accel­er­at­ed-for­mat degrees. Pro­grams are ranked by their cost, rep­u­ta­tion, and salary poten­tial, using data from Niche and IPEDS.

1. Florida International University

Top­ping the list of the best accel­er­at­ed polit­i­cal sci­ence degree pro­grams is the online BA in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence from Flori­da Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty. This pro­gram teach­es stu­dents the art of polit­i­cal analy­sis and trains them for chal­leng­ing careers in the pri­vate sec­tor or in gov­ern­ment. Grad­u­ates are also pre­pared to pur­sue grad­u­ate-lev­el edu­ca­tion if they wish to con­tin­ue their edu­ca­tion beyond the bach­e­lor lev­el. Stu­dents learn about a vari­ety of polit­i­cal sci­ence top­ics as they study inter­na­tion­al pol­i­tics, polit­i­cal the­o­ry, com­par­a­tive pol­i­tics, and of course, Amer­i­can pol­i­tics and government.

Flori­da Inter­na­tion­al Uni­ver­si­ty strives to be a leader in online edu­ca­tion. The school is inno­v­a­tive in its use of tech­nol­o­gy for learn­ing. FIU stu­dents are trans­formed into pro­fes­sion­als who make a dif­fer­ence in the world. FIU’s mis­sion is to con­nect life­long learn­ers to the best online edu­ca­tion avail­able any­where in the world.

What We Like: Every stu­dent is matched up with a suc­cess coach to help them in their edu­ca­tion­al journey.

Degree: Polit­i­cal Sci­ence, BA

BA in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence — Flori­da Inter­na­tion­al University

2. University of North Georgia

The Uni­ver­si­ty of North Geor­gia offers a BS in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence. This accel­er­at­ed polit­i­cal sci­ence degree helps stu­dents under­stand the struc­ture of gov­ern­ment and how laws are writ­ten and passed. They learn about pub­lic pol­i­cy and the impact of those poli­cies on the econ­o­my and social struc­ture of the coun­try. Stu­dents who com­plete the pro­gram are pre­pared to par­tic­i­pate in polit­i­cal move­ments, elec­toral pol­i­tics, and com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions. They are also pre­pared to seek elec­tion and serve in gov­ern­ment. The pro­gram expos­es stu­dents to forms of gov­ern­ment used all over the world.

The Col­lege of Arts and Let­ters at the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Geor­gia pro­vides a vari­ety of choic­es and oppor­tu­ni­ties to help stu­dents make an impact on the world. Stu­dents are giv­en the tools they need to improve their com­mu­ni­ca­tions, expand their hori­zons, and bring new insights to the world.

What We Like: Up to 9 cred­its of intern­ship can be applied toward this degree.

Degree: Polit­i­cal Sci­ence, BS

Uni­ver­si­ty of North Geor­gia BS in Polit­i­cal Science

3. University of Texas — Permian Basin

UT Per­mi­an Basin offers a BA in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence. This accel­er­at­ed polit­i­cal sci­ence degree is 100% online and can be com­plet­ed in as lit­tle as 12 months. Stu­dents study how the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment works and gain a basic under­stand­ing of polit­i­cal sys­tems at the local, state, and nation­al lev­els. The cur­ricu­lum cov­ers prob­lem-solv­ing in gov­ern­ment, enabling stu­dents to under­stand how gov­ern­ments solve polit­i­cal and social prob­lems. Stu­dents learn to think glob­al­ly as they pre­pare to take on lead­er­ship roles in the future in roles such as attor­ney, indus­try lob­by­ist, polit­i­cal ana­lyst, con­gres­sion­al staffer, polit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sor, or intel­li­gence analyst.

UT Per­mi­an Basin val­ues diver­si­ty and serves stu­dents from all over the state and beyond. The school is focused on its stu­dents and empha­sizes learn­ing, teach­ing, pub­lic ser­vice, and research.

What We Like: The online degree pro­vides the same high-qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion as the on-cam­pus program.

Degree: Polit­i­cal Sci­ence, BA

UT Per­mi­an Basin BA in Polit­i­cal Science

4. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State Uni­ver­si­ty offers both a BS and a BA in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence. The B.A. pro­gram requires 10 hours of lan­guage cours­es and 21 hours of elec­tives, and the B.S. degree requires 20 hours of sci­ence, math, and applied course­work plus 11 hours of elec­tives. Stu­dents are pre­pared to become car­ing, prin­ci­pled lead­ers who are com­mit­ted to hav­ing a pos­i­tive impact on pub­lic pol­i­cy. Required cours­es include Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment, ori­en­ta­tion to polit­i­cal sci­ence, intro­duc­tion to pub­lic pol­i­cy, and intro­duc­tion to inter­na­tion­al relations.

Fort Hays State Uni­ver­si­ty is a leader in high­er edu­ca­tion in the Mid­west. The school has award-win­ning pro­grams and reach­es stu­dents from all over the world. The fac­ul­ty and staff is ded­i­cat­ed to invest all of their effort into trans­form­ing stu­dents’ lives through edu­ca­tion. The school brings togeth­er stu­dents from all sorts of back­grounds, who all become part of the Hays family.

What We Like: These accel­er­at­ed polit­i­cal sci­ence degree pro­grams are avail­able both online and on campus.

Degree: Polit­i­cal Sci­ence, BS/BA

Fort Hays State Uni­ver­si­ty BS and BA in Polit­i­cal Science

5. Brescia University

Bres­cia Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BA in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence. This accel­er­at­ed polit­i­cal sci­ence degree is designed for stu­dents who want to gain a deep­er under­stand­ing of polit­i­cal sci­ence. The pro­gram pre­pares stu­dents for careers in the pri­vate, pub­lic, inter­na­tion­al, and domes­tic sec­tors while teach­ing them to be respon­si­ble cit­i­zens. The pro­gram looks at how gov­ern­ments and indi­vid­u­als are relat­ed and exam­ines how group behav­ior leads to inter­na­tion­al and domes­tic coop­er­a­tion and con­flict. Stu­dents learn about the process­es involved in pol­i­cy-mak­ing and they learn about the rights and respon­si­bil­i­ties of citizens.

At Bres­cia Uni­ver­si­ty, edu­ca­tion is about enabling stu­dents to make a dif­fer­ence in their com­mu­ni­ties and around the world. The school is a Catholic uni­ver­si­ty and fol­lows the words of Jesus, espe­cial­ly his com­mand­ment to love one anoth­er. Bres­cia seeks to nur­ture every stu­dent and encour­age stu­dents to grow in spir­it and in char­ac­ter as they pur­sue their education.

What We Like: This pro­gram is avail­able online.

Degree: Polit­i­cal Sci­ence, BS

Bres­cia Uni­ver­si­ty offers a BA in Polit­i­cal Science

6. Southeast Missouri State University

South­east Mis­souri State Uni­ver­si­ty offers an online BA in Social Sci­ence. This pro­gram explains social sci­ence meth­ods and pre­pares stu­dents for careers in the gov­ern­ment, mil­i­tary, busi­ness, and research. The top-notch fac­ul­ty works close­ly with stu­dents in small, online class­es to help stu­dents learn and devel­op the skills they need to suc­ceed in their cho­sen career path. Grad­u­ates have gained employ­ment at com­pa­nies such as Nes­tle Puri­na, Sher­win Williams, the US Depart­ment of State, the Drug Enforce­ment Agency, and the Unit­ed States Secret Service.

South­east Mis­souri State Uni­ver­si­ty is deter­mined to stay on top of the chang­ing demand in the mar­kets. The school is using tech­nol­o­gy to devel­op new ways to pro­duce food and to defend against cyber­se­cu­ri­ty threats. At SMSU, stu­dents receive per­son­al­ized sup­port through­out their aca­d­e­m­ic careers.

What We Like: There are six con­cen­tra­tions to choose from.

Degree: Social Sci­ence, BA

South­east Mis­souri State Uni­ver­si­ty BA in Social Science

7. University of Central Florida

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Cen­tral Flori­da offers an online BA in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence that teach­es stu­dents how to be agents of change, devel­op­ing the poli­cies that will shape the future of our world. Stu­dents who com­plete the pro­gram will be pre­pared to take on a vari­ety of career chal­lenges, includ­ing para­le­gal, lob­by­ist, law enforce­ment offi­cer, intel­li­gence offi­cer, for­eign ser­vice offi­cer, edu­ca­tor, and con­gres­sion­al office staffer. Stu­dents learn ana­lyt­i­cal and crit­i­cal think­ing, pol­i­tics, gov­ern­ment, polit­i­cal the­o­ry, inter­na­tion­al rela­tions, pub­lic pol­i­cy, and more.

UCF Online is a leader in edu­ca­tion­al inno­va­tion. The school helps stu­dents reach their goals and achieve suc­cess in their careers. Stu­dents can get a top-notch degree with­out hav­ing to attend class­es on cam­pus. The school offers flex­i­ble pro­grams to allow stu­dents to fit their class­es around their work and lives.

What We Like: UCF Online stu­dents have access to aca­d­e­m­ic advi­sors who help them cre­ate an edu­ca­tion­al plan that address­es their career goals.

Degree: Polit­i­cal Sci­ence, BA

Uni­ver­si­ty of Cen­tral Flori­da BA in Polit­i­cal Science

8. University of Memphis

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Mem­phis Glob­al offers a B.A. in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence that gives stu­dents the flex­i­bil­i­ty to com­plete their course­work in the way that works best for their sched­ules. Stu­dents can take class­es either on-cam­pus or online as long as they take the required class­es to sat­is­fy their degree require­ments. Class­es are offered year-round to enable stu­dents to stay on track dur­ing the sum­mer months. The pro­gram requires 120 cred­it hours to grad­u­ate. Trans­fer stu­dents are welcome.

UofM Glob­al caters to stu­dents with busy lives. The school believes that life shouldn’t keep stu­dents from get­ting an edu­ca­tion. Stu­dents have access to all the resources typ­i­cal of a Tier II research uni­ver­si­ty, includ­ing a stu­dent advi­sor who is with them every step of the way. Stu­dents who com­plete their cours­es online earn the same degree as on-cam­pus students.

What We Like: This pro­gram can be com­plet­ed 100% online.

Degree: Polit­i­cal Sci­ence, BA

Uni­ver­si­ty of Mem­phis Glob­al B.A. in Polit­i­cal Science

9. Eastern Kentucky University

East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty offers a bachelor’s in polit­i­cal sci­ence that allows stu­dents to make an impact on the posi­tions and issues they care about in pol­i­tics. Stu­dents gain the crit­i­cal think­ing skills they need to take on a vari­ety of roles with­in the gov­ern­ment and pol­i­tics. Stu­dents learn to apply polit­i­cal sci­ence the­o­ry to prob­lems in the real world and influ­ence deci­sion-mak­ing on the issues they care about. Grad­u­ates are also pre­pared to con­tin­ue their edu­ca­tion through grad­u­ate pro­grams in home­land secu­ri­ty, busi­ness, gov­ern­ment, pub­lic admin­is­tra­tion, and law.

The Col­lege of Let­ters, Arts, and Social Sci­ences pro­vides edu­ca­tion in fields that help stu­dents under­stand them­selves and oth­ers, such as social sci­ence, lan­guage, phi­los­o­phy, and the arts. The school offers a lib­er­al arts edu­ca­tion that pro­vides a foun­da­tion for life, work, and cit­i­zen­ship. Stu­dents learn to suc­ceed in a fast-paced, dynam­ic world.

What We Like: This pro­gram is 100% online and is split into 8‑week accel­er­at­ed terms.

Degree: Bachelor’s Degree in Polit­i­cal Science

East­ern Ken­tucky Uni­ver­si­ty Bachelor’s in Polit­i­cal Science

10. University of Wisconsin Whitewater

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin White­wa­ter offers an online BS or BA in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence. This pro­gram pre­pares stu­dents for careers in the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors. Grad­u­ates are also pre­pared to fur­ther their edu­ca­tion through grad­u­ate school. Stu­dents take cours­es in pub­lic pol­i­cy, polit­i­cal the­o­ry, com­par­a­tive pol­i­tics, inter­na­tion­al pol­i­tics, and Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. They learn data ana­lyt­ics and devel­op pro­fes­sion­al writ­ing skills. These skills help stu­dents suc­ceed in their careers after grad­u­a­tion. Stu­dents can also choose from a vari­ety of elec­tive courses.

UW-White­wa­ter Online empow­ers stu­dents to leave the plateaus of life behind and advance their careers through high­er edu­ca­tion. Stu­dents not only accel­er­ate their careers, but they find them­selves feel­ing more con­fi­dent as well. Earn­ing an online degree can lead the way to a pro­mo­tion at work or a high­er-pay­ing job at a new company.

What We Like: This pro­gram is com­plete­ly online, and stu­dents can attend full- or part-time.

Degree: Polit­i­cal Sci­ence, BS/BA

Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin White­wa­ter BS or BA in Polit­i­cal Science

What are the Advantages of an Accelerated Political Science Degree?

Accel­er­at­ed degree pro­grams are ide­al for stu­dents who already have a career but are look­ing to move upward and pos­si­bly take on more respon­si­bil­i­ty. Stu­dents who choose an accel­er­at­ed degree pro­gram often do so because they are ready to move for­ward in their careers. For some, that means pur­su­ing a man­age­r­i­al or super­vi­so­ry role. Oth­ers may want to change careers alto­geth­er and take a dif­fer­ent path for their future. The oppor­tu­ni­ties are end­less. The first step is enrolling in an accel­er­at­ed polit­i­cal sci­ence degree pro­gram that will help them reach their goals.

What If I Don’t Need a Bachelor’s?

Indi­vid­u­als who have been hard at work estab­lish­ing them­selves in the field of polit­i­cal sci­ence may not need to pur­sue a Bach­e­lor’s or Mas­ter’s degree. Instead, a Polit­i­cal Sci­ence cer­tifi­cate pro­gram may serve their pur­pose. Cer­tifi­cate pro­grams are designed to rein­force the years of expe­ri­ence the stu­dent already has. They may already have the skills and knowl­edge they need to do the job, but are lack­ing the cre­den­tials they need to apply for man­age­r­i­al posi­tions. With a Polit­i­cal Sci­ence cer­tifi­cate, they can receive the cred­it they deserve for all of the time they have spent work­ing in the field.

Earn­ing a cer­tifi­cate in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence offers a wealth of advan­tages. In most cas­es, cer­tifi­cate pro­grams can be com­plet­ed online as well as in the class­room. By choos­ing to learn online, the stu­dent is able to remain on the job and study when­ev­er they are able. Cer­tifi­cate pro­grams offer flex­i­ble sched­ules and make it pos­si­ble for the stu­dent to uti­lize many of the same resources that are avail­able to stu­dents who choose to study in a classroom.

Cer­tifi­cates also offer indi­vid­u­als with licens­es an oppor­tu­ni­ty to add cre­den­tials to their resume as well as ful­fill con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion require­ments they need to keep their cur­rent licens­es and cer­ti­fi­ca­tions in good stand­ing. The infor­ma­tion the stu­dent gains through an online polit­i­cal sci­ence cer­tifi­cate pro­gram can be used to sup­port their career goals on a vari­ety of lev­els. As the stu­dent begins to close in on the end of the cer­tifi­cate pro­gram, they can start to look for­ward to new oppor­tu­ni­ties that offer more respon­si­bil­i­ty and a much high­er wage.

Can I Get a Job with a Political Science Major?

Polit­i­cal sci­ence majors can expect to find jobs in a vari­ety of areas. While pol­i­tics and the many job clas­si­fi­ca­tions that go along with it are obvi­ous choic­es, there are sev­er­al oth­er careers that can ben­e­fit from hav­ing a degree in polit­i­cal sci­ence. A polit­i­cal sci­en­tist for exam­ple, research­es and ana­lyzes infor­ma­tion that can be used by polit­i­cal par­ties to cre­ate plat­forms and guide the future of the orga­ni­za­tion. They can also help to estab­lish pro­to­cols on how polit­i­cal events are man­aged. Polit­i­cal sci­ence is a very diverse field and offers oppor­tu­ni­ties to indi­vid­u­als who are inter­est­ed in work­ing toward a bet­ter future.

A polit­i­cal sci­ence major can also be used to obtain a posi­tion in the field of Pub­lic Rela­tions. Deal­ing with the pub­lic can be a very stress­ful, yet reward­ing job. Indi­vid­u­als must be able to impart large amounts of infor­ma­tion to the pub­lic in a con­cise and effec­tive man­ner. The pub­lic rela­tions per­son you see giv­ing speech­es or talk­ing to the pub­lic about recent events has had to learn how to main­tain their com­po­sure while still being able to keep the audi­ence’s atten­tion and pro­vide them with every­thing they need to know.

There are also many posi­tions behind the scenes that call for some­one who is orga­nized and able to han­dle mul­ti­ple tasks at the same time. Man­age­ment ana­lysts are expect­ed to ana­lyze large amounts of data and then put that infor­ma­tion to good use so that pub­lic rela­tions spe­cial­ists can apply to spe­cif­ic sit­u­a­tions and let the pub­lic know what is hap­pen­ing. The ulti­mate goal is to keep peo­ple informed about what is going on in their world. With a polit­i­cal sci­ence major, all of these tasks are eas­i­ly accom­plished mak­ing it pos­si­ble for the grad­u­ate to start build­ing their career almost immediately.

Relat­ed Rankings: 

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence Programs

15 Best Online Bach­e­lor’s in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence Programs

10 Most Afford­able Bach­e­lor’s in Polit­i­cal Science

15 Best Online Train­ing and Devel­op­ment Programs