Top 25 Best Value Online Associate’s in Political Science for 2021



If you want a career in political science, then you can get a lot of benefits out of earning a Political Science associate’s degree online. Most importantly, an associate’s degree will give you some core knowledge in political science, which can help you get started in your career. Starting your degree with a low-cost associate’s from a community college (or a smaller public university) can allow you to start working at the entry-level while continuing your bachelor’s degree. 

Now, why earn an online degree specifically? If you’re going to earn an associate’s degree, you can get just as good of an education if you earn that political science associate’s degree online. An online degree is worth just as much as a degree earned in person. Granted, some people do learn best in a classroom, but others need the flexibility that an online learning platform can offer. Online programs help students with jobs and families earn degrees without sacrificing other parts of their lives. 

Methodology: Ranking the Best Political Science Associate’s Degree Online Programs

The Value Colleges ranking of the best online associate’s degrees in political science focuses on reputable, accredited colleges and universities offering fully online or hybrid poli sci degrees. Programs are ranked with an eye toward job market value, using factors like cost, potential salary, and student satisfaction. Data comes from IPEDS and Niche. 

1. Indiana University

Indiana University offers an Associate of Science (AS) in Labor Studies that requires degree candidates to complete 60 credits units to graduate. Indiana University’s political science associates degree online program is available 100% online. It prepares students for rewarding careers as a human resource associate, labor relations specialists, or recruiting coordinators, to name a few. Students entering Indiana University must do so with 12 eligible credit units. Classes for this AS degree in political science include labor law, grievance representation, and labor studies, to name a few.

Indiana University, located in Bloomington, is a state funded higher learning institution with a student enrollment of more than 100,000 students, about half of which study online. IU operates seven campuses, plus a number of academic extension centers throughout the Hoosier state.

Highlight: IU’s impressive alumni include Travis Smiley, Jimmy Wales, and Kevin Kline, among many others.

Degree: AS in Labor Studies

2. Foothill College

Foothill College offers an Associate of Arts (AA) in Political Science that is recognized among the state’s best political science associates degree online programs. Applicants to this associate degree in political science are required to complete 35 semester credits dedicated to the major. Classes for this political science degree include comparative government and politics, law and society, political economy, international relations, principles of macroeconomics, and political theory, to name a few.

Foothill College was founded in 1957 and offers more than 175 academic degrees and certificate programs through the distance learning platform and on the school’s 120+ acre campus. As a community college located in Central California, Foothill College serves approximately 13,630 students online and on-campus.

Highlight: Foothill College is recognized as having an inordinate number of international students attending online and on-campus classes.

Degree: AA in Political Science

3. Northern Virginia Community College

Northern Virginia Community College offers an Associate of Science (AS) in Social Science with an academic emphasis in Political Science that is recognized among the best political science associates degree online programs available in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This associate degree in political science is also available on NOVA’s Alexandria and Loudoun campuses. Degree candidates are required to complete 60 semester credits to graduate in classes that include state and local politics, introduction to communication, statistics, and the history of the US government, to name a few.

Northern Virginia Community College is a multiple campus community college that maintains ten academic centers and campuses in the northern part of Virginia. More than 75,000 students attend classes offered by NOVA, which offers admission into a number of partner four-year institutions of higher learning after graduation.

Highlight: Northern Virginia Community College was established in the early 1960s  as a technical school.  

Degree: AA in Political Science

4. University of North Georgia

The University of North Georgia offers an Associate of Arts (AA) in Political Science that requires degree candidates to complete 60 semester credits to meet the associate degree’s matriculation requirements. UNG’s best political science associates degree online program includes classes in news writing and reporting, global ethics, comparative politics, and the legal environment of business, to name a few.

The University of North Georgia is a multiple campus school that was established in 1873. As a senior military college (one of only six military schools across the nation) and space grant higher learning institution, the University of North Georgia serves approximately 19,650 students on its campuses (nearly 800 acres) and online.

Highlight: The University of North Georgia was initially established as an academic extension of the North Georgia College & State University.

Degree: AA in Political Science

5. Casper College

Casper College offers an Associate of Arts (AA) in Political Science that prepares students for entry-level positions in teaching government, administration, or even law. Casper College’s political science associates degree online program requires degree candidates to complete 60 semester units to graduate. Classes for CC’s associate political science degree program includes politics of Europe, intro to political philosophy, issues in foreign relations, and statistics for social scientists, to name a few. It is noted that Casper College’s AA in political science is a hybrid delivered program, with approximately 70% of coursework offered online.

Casper College’s humble beginnings go back to the 3rd floor of a local high school in 1945. AS the state’s first junior college, Casper College now serves approximately 3,950 students on its 200-acre campus in Casper.

Highlight: Casper College is recognized to be among the most comprehensive of schools in the region.  

Degree: AA in Political Science

6. Houston Community College

Houston Community College offers an Associate of Arts (AA) in Government that offers students a comprehensive entry-level program in political science. Classes for this political science associates degree online program include statistical models, the federal constitution, intro to political science, and the Texas government and constitution, among others. Degree candidates must complete 60 total credit units to meet graduation requirements.

Established in the early 1970s, Houston Community College is a multiple campus school with sites across Texas in Stafford, Katy, and Missouri City, plus Houston. In addition to these campuses, Houston Community College operates another 23 commuter locations serving nearly 70,000 students.

Highlight: Houston Community College is recognized for its proactive efforts in recruiting international students and is unique in that the school operates its own police force with peace officers authorized by state law.

Degree: AA in Government

7. Georgia Highlands College

Georgia Highlands College offers an Associate of Arts (AA) in Political Science that can be completed in approximately two years. Classes for Georgia Highlands College’s political science associates degree online program prepares degree candidates for careers in the areas of law, public policy, banking, local government, teaching, or research, among many other options. GHC allows for up to 29 earned eligible may be transferred, although there are other transfer admission requirements.  

Established as Floyd Junior College in 1970, Georgia Highlands College now operates five locations throughout the Peachtree State in Marietta, Dallas, Douglasville, Rome, and Cartersville, as well as locations in parts of Tennessee and Alabama. More than 5,450 students attend classes offered by Georgia Highlands College.

Highlight: Georgia Highlands College is a member school of the University System of Georgia.

Degree: AA in Political Science

8. Lansing Community College

Lansing Community College offers an Associate of Arts (AA) in Political Science that is offered entirely online, on-campus, or a customizable hybrid of both program delivery methods. Lansing Community College’s political science associates degree online program requires students to complete 60 semester credits of general education and coursework from the political science curriculum to graduate. Classes for this associate degree in political science include the American political system, introduction to public policy, comparative political systems, and international civilizations, to name a few.

Lansing Community College was established in 1957 in Lansing but now operates multiple campuses and centers throughout Michigan. The school’s urban campuses are home to approximately 18,450 students.

Highlight: Lansing Community College offers more than 200 academic degree programs (associate level) and certificate programs from its various locations and academic facilities.

Degree: AA in Political Science

9. Front Range Community College

Front Range Community College offers an Associate of Arts (AA) in Political Science that can be completed entirely online. Students enrolled in Front Range Community College’s political science associates degree online program have the option of entering as a junior level student at eleven four-year higher learning in Colorado. Graduates enter the workforce in the areas of government, teaching, political campaign work, or international diplomacy, among others.

Established in 1968, Front Range Community College maintains several academic centers and campuses throughout the state of Colorado in Loveland, Brighton, Fort Collins, Longmont, and Westminster. The various campuses of FRCC serve approximately 27,650 students. The student to faculty ratio at Front Range Community College averages 17 students for each faculty member.

Highlight: About 2.5 dozen Front Range Community College’s degree programs offer students a guaranteed transfer to several public institutions of higher education in Colorado.

Degree: AA in Political Science

10. Cowley College

Cowley College offers an Associate of Arts (AA) in Political Science that requires degree candidates to complete 61 credits to meet the program’s requirements. Students enrolled in Cowley College’s political science associates degree online program complete classes in US History, principles of macroeconomics, state & local government, principles of geography, and world history, to name a few. Cowley College’s curriculum studies the practices of the politicians and the US and other governments.

Cowley College, founded in 1922, operates several academic campuses and centers across Kansas in Arkansas City, Mulvane, Wellington, Winfield, and Wichita. The various campuses and centers serve more than 4,150 students each year, represented by the school’s Mascot – the Tiger.

Highlight: Cowley College’s first classes were held at the local high school, in the basement, which led to the school’s nickname as the ‘basement university.’

Degree: AA in Political Science

11. Truckee Meadows Community College

The Political Science Division at Truckee Meadows Community College offers an Associate of Arts (AA) in Political Science that requires each student to complete 60 semester credits to graduate. Students enrolled in Truckee Meadows Community College’s political science associates degree online program take classes in American Public Policy, State & Local Government, the Politics of Terrorism, Special topics in Political Science, and Introduction to Comparative Politics, to name a few. Degree candidates successfully completing the associate degree in political science are offered a transfer agreement to the University of Nevada – at the Reno campus.

Truckee Meadows Community College (Truckee Meadows) was established in 1971 and is a member school of the state’s higher education system. This space-grant community college serves approximately 11,750 students from its five Nevada campuses.

Highlight: Truckee Meadows Community College was initially developed as an academic extension for WNCC – Western Nevada Community College.

Degree: AA in Political Science

12. Allen Community College

Allen Community College offers an Associate in Arts (AA) in Political Science that requires associate degree students to complete 65 semester credits to meet the AA degree’s requirements. Allen Community College’s political science associates degree online program includes coursework in public speaking, ethics, the American Civil War, American History, and Introduction to Political Science, to name a few. Students graduating from ACC’s associate degree in political science enter the workforce in the areas of conservation, research, education law, or religion, among others.

Allen Community College is a multiple campus institution of higher education that was established in 1923. The college’s rural campuses serve approximately 2,250 students. Allen Community College maintains two campuses in Iola and Burlingame.

Highlight: Both campus-based and online degrees and programs are approved by the state’s Board of Regents.

Degree: AA in Political Science

13. South Texas College

The Liberal Arts & Social/Behavioral Sciences Department at South Texas College offers an Associate in Arts (AA) in Political Science that is recognized among the most affordable of political science associates degree online programs in the region. STC’s political science associate degree requires students to complete 60 semester credits to meet the political science degree requirements. Classes for this degree from STC includes an introduction to political philosophy, principles of economics, United States History I & II, and the Federal government, to name a few.

South Texas College was established in 1993 and now operates six campuses and more than 1,500 academic and faculty staff members serving 30,950 students. STC was developed to serve the Texas counties of Starr and Hidalgo primarily.

Highlight: South Texas College is the fiscal and administrative headquarters of the N. American Advanced Manufacturing Research & Education Initiative.

Degree: AA in Political Science

14. Volunteer State Community College

Volunteer State Community College offers an Associate in Arts (AA) in Political Science that is part of the Tennessee Transfer (TT) pathway degree option. This TT pathway allows for a seamless entry into one of the state’s four-year institutions of higher education. Degree candidates enrolled in VSCC’s political science associates degree online program are tasked with completing 60 credit units to meet the political science degree requirements. Coursework for this degree includes public speaking, fundamentals of communication, American Government, statistics, and introduction to macroeconomics, to name a few.

Volunteer State Community College (VSCC) was established in the early 1970s and is administered by the state’s Board of Regents. Volunteer State Community College’s suburban Nashville campuses serve approximately 8,750 students from eleven local counties.

Highlight: Volunteer State Community College maintains degree granting establishments in Cookeville, Livingston, and Springfield, in addition to Gallatin.

Degree: AA in Political Science

15. Liberty University

The Helms Government School within Liberty University offers an Associate in Arts (AA) in Government that can be completed in two years or less. Liberty University’s political science associates degree online program requires students to complete 61 credit units, of which students can transfer up to 75% of the required credits, if eligible. Degree candidates complete coursework in classes that include constitutional government and free enterprise, political economy, and the American Government, to name a few.

Founded in the early 1970s by Jerry Falwell Sr and E.L. Towns as a Baptist College, Liberty University has now grown to one of the largest evangelical institutions of higher learning in the world. More than 105,000 students attend classes offered by Liberty University either online or on the school’s Lynchburg campus.

Highlight: Liberty University’s Freedom Tower is recognized to be the tallest structure in Lynchburg – at 275 feet.

Degree: AA in Government

16. Austin Community College

The Government Department at Austin Community College offers an Associate in Arts (AA) in Government that requires students to complete 60 to 64 semester credits to graduate, contingent upon the student’s exact academic track. ACC’s political science associates degree online program includes classes like principles of macroeconomics, US History, introduction to political science, social and political philosophy, and Texas government, to name a few.

Austin Community College was established in 1973 to serve the greater metropolitan of Austin, Texas. ACC operates a variety of educational facilities and campuses with a student enrollment of more than 40,950 students enrolled in degree-granting programs. The school estimates that another 50,000 students study online and are enrolled in adult or continuing education.

Highlight: Austin Community College holds the distinction of being the 6th largest of all community college systems in the nation.

Degree: AA in Government

17. Camden County College

Camden County College offers an Associate in Arts degree (AA) in Liberal Arts and Science with an academic emphasis available in Law, Government & Politics. Students enrolled in Camden County College’spolitical science associates degree online program must complete coursework in classes that include an introduction to political science, world civilization I & II, American Federal Government, public speaking, and introduction to international relations, to name a few. The total credits required to complete this associate degree in political science is 60.

Camden County College was established in 1967 in south/central New Jersey. The school operates several local campuses in Sicklerville, Camden, and Cherry Hill, among others. CCC’s campuses serve approximately 10,950 students offer associate degrees across a number of disciplines.

Highlight: Camden County College was established by Camden County through a voter referendum that passed in 1965.

Degree: AA in Liberal Arts and Science: Law, Government & Politics

18. Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College offers one of Michigan’s more affordable political science associates degree online programs that helps students explore current world issues comparing the political systems around the world. Classes for this associate degree in political science include international politics, comparatives systems in the US, introduction to American Politics, and The media & American Politics, to name a few. MCC’s political science degree offers students an affordable option, convenience, and the opportunity to transfer to one of the state’s four-year institutions of higher learning.

Macomb Community College (MCC) was established in the mid-1950s and now operates as a multiple campus institution of higher education. While MCC’s first class has only 80 students, the school now serves approximately 58,960 students.

Highlight: Macomb Community College is often chosen by Presidents as the school is recognized as one of the preeminent workforce training facilities in the region and state.

Degree: AA in Political Science

19. Georgia Military College

Georgia Military College offers two of the state’s political science associates degree online programs by providing an Associate of Science (AS) degree program or its Associate of Arts (AA) degree program in the Political System. The AS political science degree requires 65-69 quarter units, whereas the AA degree requires the complete 70-73 quarter hours. Classes included in these political science programs include an introduction to comparative politics, public administration, international political, and state & local governments, to name a few.

Georgia Military College was established in 1879 and operates as both a junior military school and a community college/high school & junior high school. The school’s urban campuses in Milledgeville (and a dozen other locations and online) is home to approximately 15,150 students.

Highlight: Georgia Military College is one of the four member schools in the US military’s early commission program.

Degree: AA in Political Science

20. State Fair Community College

State Fair Community College offers an Associate in Arts (AA) in Political Science that is among the most affordable and accessible of the available political science associates degree online programs in the education marketplace. Students enrolled in State Fair Community College’s associate degree in political science are required to complete 64 credits, which are eligible for transfer to a four-year higher learning institution. Many students save thousands of dollars by beginning their baccalaureate education at State Fair Community college.

State Fair Community College (State Fair CC) is a public institution of higher education that was established in the mid-1960s. The school’s mascot, the Roadrunner, represents approximately 4,150 students who are attending classes on the school’s multiple campuses and extended academic facilities.

Highlight: The school’s name refers to the campus location, which is adjacent to the Missouri state fairgrounds.

Degree: AA in Political Science

21. West LA College

West Los Angeles College offers Associate in Arts (AA) in Political Science that offers graduates a seamless path to a baccalaureate degree program offered by California State University. West LA College’s political science associates degree online program includes classes like modern world governments, contemporary world affairs, the government of the United States, introduction to western civilization I & II, and the principles of economics, to name a few. Students must complete 60 credit units, of which 19 must be selected from the political science curriculum.

West Los Angeles College is a community college that was established in 1969. WLAC is a member school of both the state and the city’s community college system. Nearly 10,000 students attend classes offered through the school’s campus and online.

Highlight: West Los Angeles College is one of the only selected community colleges in California to confer baccalaureate level degrees.

Degree: AA in Political Science

22. Barton Community College

Barton Community College offers one of the best political science associates degree online programs in Kansas that requires the completion of 64 semester credits to graduate. Barton Community College’s Associate in Arts (AA) degree program in Political Science includes classes in public speaking, introduction to political science, introduction to the United Nations, cultural anthropology, international relations, and state/local government, to name a few. This program is available online and on the BCC campus in Great Bend.

Barton Community College was established in 1965 as a junior college that serves a number of counties in Kansas – Stafford, Russell, Rush, Barton, Ellsworth, Rice, and Pawnee. The school’s campuses cover more than 150 acres and serve approximately 6,150 students.

Highlight: Barton Community College was established by a vote in a general election of the residents of Barton county to offer local students quality education that was also affordable.

Degree: AA in Political Science

23. Midlands Technical College

Midlands Technical College offers an Associate in Arts (AA) in Political Science with an academic emphasis in American Government that is among the more affordable political science associates degree online programs in South Carolina. Students enrolled in Midlands Technical College are required to complete 61 semester credits to meet the AA program’s requirements. Many graduates of MTC’s online political science associated degree program choose to complete their bachelor’s degree by applying these earned credits towards the more advanced degree.

Midlands Technical College was established as a two-year higher learning institution in 1947. The college operates six distinct campuses and academic centers in the South Carolina counties of Richland, Fairfield, and Lexington. MTC’s campuses serve approximately 15,750 students.

Highlight: Many MTC grads begin their baccalaureate degrees and save thousands of dollars before moving on to a four-year college or university.

Degree: AA in Political Science

24. South Seattle College

South Seattle College offers a number of associate degree options in Political Science that prepares degree graduates for entry-level positions in the areas of commerce, government, or even nonprofit agencies. South Seattle College’s political science associates degree online programs include an Associate of Arts, an Associate in Business (AB), or an Associate of Science (AS) degree. Classes for these political science associates degree online programs include these hybrid options – introduction to political theory, public speaking, US history, intercultural communication, and diversity and social justice, to name a few. Students must complete 90 quarter credits to meet the associate degree requirements.

South Seattle College was established in 1970 as a public junior college. South Seattle College is a member school of the Seattle College District with a student enrollment that is approximately 6,750 students.

Highlight: SSC operates an arboretum on campus in Seattle.

Degree: AA in Political Science

25. Guilford Technical Community College

Guilford Technical Community College offers an Associate in Arts (AA) in Political Science that is most often used in preparation for many four-year baccalaureate degree programs in the state of North Carolina. Students may complete classes entirely online, on Guilford Technical Community College’s Jamestown campus, or a customizable hybrid blend of each. Depending on the exact academic pathway, students generally complete 60 to 61 semester credits to meet the requirements set forth by the degree’s criteria. Classes for this political science associates degree online program include public speaking, introduction to ethics, world civilizations, introduction to sociology, and macroeconomics, to name a few.

Guilford Technical Community College (G Tech) is located in NC’s Piedmont Triangle and was established in 1958 as a manufacturing training facility. The school maintains three campuses and offers more than 150 degrees, diploma, and certificate programs to the school’s approximately enrollment of 12,600 students.

Highlight: Guilford Technical Community College began with about 40 students on the site of what was once a TB sanatorium that operated for approximately three decades.

Degree: AA in Political Science

Why Should I Get an Associate’s in Political Science Online?

While a lot of political science professionals go straight to earning a bachelor’s degree, there is value in an associate’s degree for a lot of people. For example, some people choose to get an associate’s degree first because they want to start working faster. An associate’s degree can help people quality for entry-level jobs, and some people would rather work for a while and save up some money before taking out student loans for a bachelor’s degree. 

Speaking of saving money, associate’s degrees cost significantly less money than bachelor’s degrees. A student could pay nearly $6,000 less per year on an associate’s degree than they would on a bachelor’s degree, and that number gets astronomically bigger if that student is considering a private school and/or out of state school. For most students, it’s cheaper to earn an associate’s degree before getting a bachelor’s degree. Associate’s degree courses can count toward a bachelor’s degree, so a lot of students choose to take their associate’s-level courses at a community college and lower their costs when they do transfer to a four-year school. 

Can I Get a Job with an Associate’s in Political Science?

Political science associate’s degree jobs do exist. However, keep in mind that if you only have an associate’s degree in Political Science, jobs may be a lot harder to find than they would be with a bachelor’s degree. Many political science jobs do require a bachelor’s degree or higher. 

That said, earning an associate’s degree before earning a bachelor’s degree isn’t a bad idea when you consider all the reasons listed above, and again, political science associate’s degree jobs do exist. Most of them are entry level jobs. They often involve assisting with political projects and campaigns. 

With an associate’s degree in political science, jobs like these can help you get started in your career. Then, when you get some work experience under your belt, you might choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Some bachelor’s degree programs may even let you count your work experience toward your degree, so you can spend less time in the classroom and more time learning on the job. 

How Much Can I Make with an Associate’s in Political Science?

What is an associate’s degree in political science salary? With an associate’s degree in political science, salary ranges are not as high as they are for those who have a bachelor’s degree. With an associate’s degree, political science professionals make an average of $45,000, with $39,000 at the lower end and $69,000 at the higher end. Factors such as experience and location can have an impact on your salary. 

For comparison, political science professionals with a bachelor’s degree make an average of over $68,000. Still, some people do consider the lower earning potential worth it, at least at first, because the associate’s degree can help them save money on student loans. You may have to crunch some numbers to determine which pathway will be the most cost-effective for you. 

Related Rankings:

Top 25 Best Value Online Bachelor’s in Political Science

Top 25 Best Value Online Master’s in Political Science