Political science is a branch of social science that centers on the theory and practice of government and politics. More specifically, professionals examine and analyze the institutions, relations, and policies that shape public life from the local to the international level. Whether that involves evaluating wealth and resource distribution or policy decisions, political scientists work to ensure that institutions make ethical and beneficial decisions for the public.
In a time where political discourse is more divisive than ever, political scientists must be prepared to offer clear insights that can drive the public to responsible political action. To that end, professionals often consider obtaining a master’s degree to receive advanced training in the field and to serve as voices of authority. Courses cover everything from political theory to trade and economics. Students can also specialize in specific fields including political methodology and international relations to foster greater understanding in more niche areas of political policy.
Political scientists have a wealth of career options and often work as researchers, consultants, and teachers.
Yes. Many schools offer online programs for political science.
The specific requirements of a school will vary, but most programs list their requirements online. In any case, a minimum GPA and GRE score is often required.
Like most master’s programs, it will take around 2 years to get your master’s in political science. That said, taking more courses can speed up the process.
Most online degrees are well-respected. Employers and universities are more interested in a student’s performance in a program rather than if it was obtained online or in person.
Graduate programs often grant students more recognition as experts. The advanced training means students have proven their ability to understand and critically examine complex political concepts and have transformed into trustworthy sources of political commentary and perspectives. More importantly, degree holders learn to translate political policy and tactics for the public which makes advocacy and public engagement possible.
For more more resources and career information related to this degree, please read our career guide here.