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Political Science

Bachelor of Arts

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.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this program follows industry trends to help ensure relevancy to today's marketplace. View all courses.

Program Objectives

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

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


Concentrations are designed to help you group courses together so you can further specialize in your field and pursue a more focused path to degree completion. You will be asked to select a concentration when you enroll in this program.

Explore the concentrations available for this program.



This general concentration allows you to select from all concentration courses offered in this program, including international relations, comparative politics, philosophy, economics, criminal justice, and intelligence.

Sample Courses

  • LSTD301 - Constitutional Law
  • IRLS210 - International Relations I
  • IRLS301 - International Organizations
  • IRLS302 - International Development
  • IRLS405 - National and Transnational Justice
  • IRLS417 - International Civil Order
  • INTL301 - U.S. Intelligence Community
  • INTL434 - Threat Analysis
  • POLS420 - Comparative Politics Parliamentary Democracy
  • POLS430 - Comparative Politics Communism
  • POLS440 - Comparative Politics Theocracy
  • POLS491 - Special Topics in Political Science
  • PHIL302 - Ancient Western Philosophy
  • PHIL400 - Contemporary Issues in Philosophy
  • PHIL415 - Enlightenment Philosophy
  • PHIL416 - Modern & Post-Modern Philosophy
  • SOCI311 - Political Sociology

International Relations

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.

Sample Courses

  • IRLS211 - International Relations II
  • IRLS301 - International Organizations
  • IRLS302 - International Development
  • IRLS405 - National and Transnational Justice
  • IRLS417 - International Civil Order

Political Theory

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.

Sample Courses

  • PHIL101 - Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHIL302 - Ancient Western Philosophy
  • PHIL400 - Contemporary Issues in Philosophy
  • PHIL415 - Enlightenment Philosophy
  • PHIL416 - Modern & Post-Modern Philosophy

Admission Requirements

  • All APU undergraduate programs require a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (i.e. GED).
  • Please read all undergraduate admission requirements before applying to this program and be prepared to submit the required documentation.
  • There is no fee to complete the APU admission application. View steps to apply.

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an APU admissions representative at 877-777-9081 or

Undergraduate Tuition Rates 

Per credit hour: $270 | $250 with military grant*

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, APU offers a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans that caps undergraduate tuition at the military TA limit. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Undergraduate Book Grant

Books are provided online at no cost if you are enrolled in undergraduate courses for credit. The undergraduate book grant is estimated to save $600 per academic semester* if you are registered as a full-time student.

Transfer Credits

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

APU has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.

*According to College Board Trends in College Pricing.

School of Arts & Humanities

School of Arts & Humanities

This program resides in the American Public University School of Arts & Humanities which provides the traditional nuts and bolts programs that can help you acquire the innovative thinking, flexibility, and problem solving abilities that employers value. In fact, our general studies and psychology programs in the School of Arts & Humanities rank in the top-10 most popular programs at APU.

While many college students today choose a direct education path that leads to in-demand careers in science and technology, a solid undergraduate liberal arts education can provide you with a strong foundation to pursue post-graduate programs in a variety of areas. "In my conversations with industry advisory councils, employers emphasize that while they can train new hires in processes and content, they can’t train what the humanities teach, which is effective written and oral communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and professionalism," states School of Arts & Humanities Dean Grace Glass.

At APU, we understand your need for flexibility because most of our students are working adult learners balancing school around work and life commitments. This is why we offer 8-week or 16-week online courses that start monthly. Through an online virtual classroom, you’ll communicate with students and professors in forum communities as you work to complete your weekly written assignments on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. And with our mobile application, you can even work offline and upload your assignments when you reconnect.  

We encourage you to browse the School of Arts & Humanities webpage to learn more about the school and to find a program that’s right for you