Online Political Science Degree Courses

Secure the benefits of education! Your courses include subjects like political behavior, power and authority, policy development, international relations, and conflict resolution, and conclude with a research-focused capstone course.

Introductory Course
Major Course Requirements

Introductory Course

All Bachelor’s program students are required to successfully complete EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education as their first course. Students with zero (0) traditional college-level transferable credits are also required to successfully complete the Student Success Orientation prior to enrolling in credit-bearing coursework. Following successful completion of orientation, students are required to successfully complete EXP 105.

Student Success Orientation
The orientation is designed to provide students with a complete overview of the Ashford University experience, prepare them for success in their courses, and help them to self-evaluate their readiness to succeed in an online classroom setting. Students will be instructed on Ashford University policies and the learning resources that are available to them through interactive videos and assessments. Students enrolled in orientation must successfully complete all assigned activities.

EXP 105 Personal Dimensions of Education
This course is designed to help adult learners beginning their university studies to achieve academic success. Students will explore learning theories, communication strategies, and personal management skills. Adult learners will develop strategies for achieving success in school and work. Students will also be introduced to the University's institutional outcomes and learning resources. A minimum grade of C- is required to successfully complete the course.

Major Course Requirements

(36 credits, all courses are 3 credits. Courses are listed in the recommended sequence.)

POL 111 Introduction to Political Science
This course is an introduction to the complexity and nuance of Political Science. It explores the political and social dynamics of choice, action, and consequence that underlie and support all political phenomena. Specifically, this course focuses on the why and how of politics rather than the what, in order to provide students with useful, current, and relevant conceptual and theoretical tools for enhancing their critical thinking skills.

POL 201 American National Government
This course is a survey of government at the national level. Emphasis is placed on the constitutional basis of American government, federalism, the sources and forms of political behavior, the operation of the three branches of government, and the making of national policy.

POL 255 Introduction to International Relations
This course in International Relations is an introductory study of the interactions and interconnectivity of the countries of the world. The course emphasizes the need to think critically about international politics and foreign policy. Consequently, this course focuses topically on how and why wars begin, balances of power between states, international institutions, collective security, international communications, human rights, globalization, regime types, international trade, environmental change, imperialism, injustice, inequality, and other issues relevant to the changing world.

POL 303 The American Constitution
This course is a study of the Constitution of the United States and its role in American history and government. The study covers the drafting and ratification of the Constitution, its subsequent amendment and interpretation, and its contemporary role in American politics and government.

POL 310 Environmental Policies
This course examines political, social, and economic policies and their impact on the global environment. It also explores ways in which policy decisions can serve to protect the environment.

POL 319 State & Local Government
This course examines the structure and processes of state and local governments and their related current problems and issues. There is a focus Federalism and its effect on States.

POL 325 Congress & the Presidency
This course examines the notion of shared governance as it applies to two central institutions of the American national government: the Congress and the Presidency. Students have an opportunity to learn more about the history, structure, and functions of each institution, but there is much emphasis placed on the relationship between Congress and the Presidency. Topics include leadership, policymaking, tensions within each institution, between the different institutions, and a focus on a variety of public policy areas.

POL 353 Comparative Politics
This course introduces the basic concepts and theories of comparative politics through an analysis of selected political systems and governments from various regions and societies across the world. Topical analysis in the course includes an emphasis on key political institutions, political culture, ideology, globalization, conflict and stability, various state and non-state actors, and on issues associated with economic development and underdevelopment.

POL 411 Political Behavior
Students will study political behavior as it relates to campaigns and elections in the United States. Selected course themes include political communication, participation, voting, and elections.

POL 470 Introduction to Political Analysis
This course introduces the preliminary processes needed to research and write presentable and professional Political Science papers. Practical, hands-on experience and in-class exercises will walk students through the research process and enable them to create expert research products. Specifically, this course focuses on how to choose a research topic, conduct a thorough literature review, make critical research design decisions, collect and analyze relevant data, and skillfully document and present the results of the research.

POL 480 Methodology in Political Science
This course completes the process of learning how to conduct political analysis and critically assess statistical research. In this course, students will learn how to measure political science events and actions, identify and assess pertinent variables, design valid hypothesis testing techniques, control for alternative hypotheses, and interpret data in various formats, including graphs, statistical tables, and charts. Students will utilize pragmatic, relevant Political Science-related exercises to enhance and refine their political science analysis skills.

POL 497 Political Science Capstone
In this final course, students will demonstrate their mastery of program outcomes in Political Science and Government by creating an original research report on a current, relevant, and specifically defined subject area.


You may also choose to delve deeper into other areas of business administration when you add a specialization to your degree program. A specialization consists of four (4), three (3) credit courses. These courses are taught online as part of your degree program. Choose the following specialization:


HIS 331 World War II
Covering major developments in Asia since the early twentieth century, this course focuses on China, Japan, and the Indian subcontinent. The course traces the rise of Asian nationalism, the decline of western imperialism, and the region’s rise to economic prominence.

HIS 340 Recent American History
This course will examine the foreign policy, political, cultural and social developments in the United States in the years after World War II. Recommended prerequisite: HIS 378.

HIS 342 The Middle East
This course is intended to introduce students to the complex history of the Middle East, focusing on the development of the core region in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Among the most important topics we will discuss are the organization of the Ottoman and Safavid Empires, the nature and influence of the region’s relationship with Western countries, the impact of the discovery of oil in the region, the causes and course of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the rise of nationalisms and Islamist movements, and the Arab uprisings of 2010-2011.

HIS 379 The Atlantic World
The history of the Atlantic basin from the late fifteenth century through the early nineteenth, including the interactions of Africans, Europeans, and the indigenous peoples of the Americas and the societies their interactions produced. Themes covered include the Columbian exchange, migrations (forced and voluntary), empire-building, strategies of resistance, identity formation, and the transatlantic dimensions of the American and French Revolutions.

If this program fits your personal and professional goals, contact Ashford University at 866.711.1700 to learn more, or request additional information.