The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science does more than teach about politics – it empowers you with the skills needed to inquisitively question political systems. Questions like: How does a federal republic differ from a democracy?  How does a party system affect governance? These are the types of questions that political scientists explore, but they also represent issues that require ordinary citizens to make informed judgments. Knowledge gained in this online program can be applied to the gaining and holding of elected positions, or to careers in government and military service or other professions where strong interpersonal and communication skills are required.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

Political Theory and Systems

  • Analyze the fundamental theories and philosophies of government, governance, economy, and civil society.
  • Compare and contrast the political elements of representative democracy and with other political systems.

The United States Political System

  • Assess the three institutions of government that create and implement federal policy.
  • Analyze the historical evolution and contemporary manifestations of the federal system.

Political Parties and Interest Groups

  • Analyze the various roles of interest groups in the United States in both historical and modern democratic processes.
  • Assess the impact of political parties on federal, state, and local government.
  • Analyze the concept of diversity in American politics, to include gender, ethnicity, and age.

Degree at a Glance

General Education Requirements30
Major Required27
Select one of the following concentrations:15
Final Program Requirements3
Elective Requirements45
Total Semester Hours120

Degree Program Requirements

General Education Requirements (30 semester hours)

Arts and Humanities (6 semester hours) 1
Select 2 courses from the following:6
Art Appreciation
Film and Literature
Image Enhancement using Adobe Photoshop
World Literature through the Renaissance
World Literature since the Renaissance
English Literature: Beowulf to18th Century
English Literature: 18th Century to Present
American Literature before The Civil War
American Literature from The Civil War to Present
Arabic I
Arabic II
French I
French II
German I
German II
Introduction to Japanese
Music Appreciation
Introduction to Philosophy
Critical Thinking
Introduction to Ethics
Philosophy of Science
Introduction to Brazilian Portuguese
Introduction to World Religions
Russian I
Spanish I
Spanish II
Civics, Political and Social Sciences (6 semester hours) 1
Select 2 courses from the following:6
Introduction to Anthropology
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Human Sexuality
Social Media and Society
Intercultural Communication
Humane Education: A Global Interdisciplinary Perspective
Introduction to Geography
Practical Food Safety and Awareness
International Relations I
Contemporary World Culture Through Literature
Cultural Diversity in Contemporary American Literature
American Government I
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Social Problems
American Popular Culture
Communication: Writing, Oral, and Multimedia (9 semester hours)
COMM120Information and Digital Literacy3
ENGL110Making Writing Relevant3
Select 1 course from the following:3
Public Speaking
Effectiveness in Writing
Composition and Literature
Technical Writing
Scientific Writing
Business Writing
Human Relations Communication
Introduction to Information Technology Writing
Human Relations
History (3 semester hours)
Select 1 course from the following:3
American History to 1877
American History since 1877
World Civilization before 1650
World Civilization since 1650
Western Civilization before The Thirty Years War
Western Civilization since The Thirty Years War
African-American History before 1877
African-American History since 1877
History of the American Indian
History of Science
Mathematics and Applied Reasoning (3 semester hours)
Select 1 course from the following:3
Accounting for Non Accounting Majors
Fundamentals of Programming
College Algebra
College Trigonometry
Introduction to Statistics
Math for Liberal Arts Majors
Natural Sciences (3 semester hours)
Select 1 course from the following:3
Introduction to Biology
Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology
Introduction to Chemistry
Introduction to Meteorology
Introduction to Geology
Introduction to Environmental Science
Introduction to Physics
Introduction to Astronomy
Total Semester Hours30

Major Required (27 semester hours)

IRLS200Information Literacy and Global Citizenship3
POLS210American Government I3
POLS213Political Theory3
IRLS300Comparative Political Systems3
POLS301Ethics in Politics3
POLS311Political Parties and Interest Groups3
POLS312State, Local, and Community Politics3
SOCI311Political Sociology3
POLS410Public Policy3
Total Semester Hours27

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from the Concentration in American Government, the Concentration in International Relations, or the Concentration in Political Theory.

Concentration in American Government (15 semester hours)

Expands on the fundamental elements introduced in POLS210 - American Government. Includes a more in-depth look into the American federal system, details on the U.S. judicial system and constitutional law, the operation of U.S. intelligence community, and the factors that affect political decision making in the U.S.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Analyze the interdisciplinary field of political psychology and how it relates to the study of American politics.
  • Explain the philosophical basis and functioning of the American republic.
  • Analyze threats against the United States from nation states, non-state actors, and transnational groups.
  • Identify historical events and figures that have contributed to the present-day court system in America.
  • Describe how and why the Constitution developed.
POLS211American Government II3
LSTD204Introduction to the Courts3
INTL301U.S. Intelligence Community3
LSTD301Constitutional Law3
POLS401The Psychology of American Politics3
Total Semester Hours15

Concentration in International Relations (15 semester hours)

Explores various international issues affecting the world today, such as human rights and the global economy. Topics include the United Nations, NATO, national and transnational justice, and international civil order. Completion of this concentration may lead to eligibility to obtain a Peace Operations Training Institute certificate.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Explain how global issues, such as globalization and human rights, affect international relations.
  • Discuss how international organizations, such as the United Nations and NATO, define collective security, particularly regarding peacekeeping operations.
  • Describe how international justice is established and enforced.
  • Examine various global development initiatives to reverse failed and failing nation-states.

Concentration Requirements (15 semester hours)

IRLS211International Relations II3
IRLS301International Organizations3
IRLS302International Development3
IRLS405National and Transnational Justice3
IRLS417International Civil Order3
Total Semester Hours15

Concentration in Political Theory (15 semester hours)

This concentration includes a heavy grounding in philosophy, which is designed to help describe how political theory has evolved through the centuries. Courses cover ancient philosophers, such as Aristotle, to more modern figures like Marx, as well as major contemporary political issues like capital punishment, abortion, and freedom of thought.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Discuss the development and evolution of political theory from their origins to contemporary times.
  • Analyze and evaluate political theoretical arguments from historical to contemporary sources.
  • Apply political theoretical inquiry to contemporary events.
  • Evaluate how philosophy influences political theory over time.
  • Critique current political theories for validity.

Concentration Requirements (15 semester hours)

PHIL101Introduction to Philosophy (This course is required as the first course in the concentration.)3
PHIL302Ancient Western Philosophy3
PHIL400Contemporary Issues in Philosophy3
PHIL415Enlightenment Philosophy3
PHIL416Modern & Post-Modern Philosophy3
Total Semester Hours15

Final Program Requirements (3 semester hours)

POLS497Senior Seminar in Political Science (to be taken as the last course before graduation) 13
Total Semester Hours3

Elective Requirements (45 semester hours)

Select any courses that have not been used to fulfill major or concentration requirements. Credits applied toward a minor or certificate in an unrelated field may be used to fulfill elective credit for the major.