Masters in Political Science Programs

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Consider a sponsored online MPA program currently accepting applications.

University / School Online Program Admissions
American University
Online MPAP - Master of Public Administration and Policy
Top-ranked school for public affairs. NASPAA-accredited. Online MPA, MPAP, MPP.
NASPAA Accredited
Ohio University
Online Master of Public Administration
MPA equips you for leadership roles in government, nonprofit organizations, the public sector and emergency and crisis management.
No GRE Required
Johns Hopkins University AAP
Master of Arts in Public Management
Areas of focus in Public Administration and Leadership and Public Policy Evaluation.
Johns Hopkins University AAP
Master of Arts in Government
100% online, part time option.
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Click to view all online MPA programs (and related) that are taking applications now for 2023.

Find Graduate Degrees in Political Science

There is a science to every professional branch. In politics, the analysis of the various branches as well as the relationships throughout is done by political science professionals. Political science touches on various branches of politics – through local, state, national and international levels. This branch of politics deals with more than simply the ins and outs of political activity – it deals with the schematics of political agencies and the relationships that exist within them.

A Political Science degree program is great for those that wish to seek careers working for local or government agencies or even those that wish to go farther into fields of law or economics. Online MPS programs in Political Science are a growing degree program to encourage students to get into a public or governmental career.

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Consider a sponsored online MPA program currently accepting applications.

University / School Online Program Admissions
University of North Carolina
Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)
Earn your MPA online in as few as 18 months. GRE waivers available to those with an advanced degree. Five concentrations. NASPAA-accredited.
NASPAA Accredited
American University
Online MPAP - Master of Public Administration and Policy
Top-ranked school for public affairs. NASPAA-accredited. Online MPA, MPAP, MPP.
NASPAA Accredited
University of Texas Permian Basin
Online Master of Public Administration
Complete in as little as 12 months, six start dates a year, cost-effective tuition.
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Click for online MPA programs that are currently taking applications.

Online Masters in Political Science

An online Master's degree in Political Science prepares learners for a proactive career in many fields of politics. By providing diverse analytical skills and skilled writing, students are taught through this program to be aggressive and knowledgeable professionals.

Politics is a very extensive subject that requires students to be up to date with current law and the constantly changing guidelines associated with them. Through the online learning environment, students will be introduced to continued learning and how important it is for a successful career. Political science teaches students how to properly analyze these sectors in order to be the most efficient professionals they can be. Students that are interested in pursuing a degree in political science will find that there is more to this degree program than the name implies.

Consider a Featured Online MPA Program

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University / School Online Program Admissions
Ohio University
Online Master of Public Administration
MPA equips you for leadership roles in government, nonprofit organizations, the public sector and emergency and crisis management.
No GRE Required
Syracuse University
Executive Master of Public Administration (Executive MPA)
Earn an MPA for Executives from the #1-ranked Maxwell School. Complete in as few as 15 months.
No GRE Required
Johns Hopkins University AAP
Master of Arts in Public Management
Areas of focus in Public Administration and Leadership and Public Policy Evaluation.
Johns Hopkins University AAP
Master of Arts in Government
100% online, part time option.
Aurora University
Online MPA (one year)
100% online, affordable tuition.
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What is the MPA?

The Master of Public Administration is a post-bachelor's degree program that helps to create educated and organized leaders in the public sector. While in this degree program, students can learn how organizations, government agencies, and public agencies operate from an internal perspective.

What is the MPS?

The Master of Political Science is an incredibly diverse degree program that provides continue education into the realm of national and international politics from a professional perspective. Political science is an intriguing field that helps students better understand the history and formation of the political system in order to help create effective political professionals. This degree program is best suited for individuals that are interested in pursuing careers in law, government, or higher-order political positions.

Primary Differences in Detail: The MPS vs. MPA

There are several key differences between both the MPA and MPS.

MPA More General

The MPA program is a great way for leading professionals to learn more about the overall functioning of business and organizations in different settings. This degree program outlines the important administrative functions of business, the inner workings of government agencies, and the financial functioning of non-profit organizations of varying types.

This program is also important for upcoming professionals that want to know more about fair treatment of employees, ethical considerations in the workplace, and effective practices for a smooth running operation. The MPA program can be applied to many different disciplines, which is part of what makes this program attractive to individuals that have not secured a specific field for their career.

MPS More Politics Focused

The MPS program is more directed towards knowledge of political science and its origins. Political science is also an important component in the stable functioning of society, since it has such an influence on the policy development, leadership, and regulations set forth by the U.S. Government. This field dives deeper into the meaning and theory surrounding politics and how these theories are applied throughout the country.

Political science professionals are typically more focused on finding careers working in law or government agencies as a primary career option. This field has an influential pull at the government level, due to the increased education opportunities in subject matters concerning different government agencies and political agendas.

While both the MPA and MPS programs are important for a fully-functioning society, each provides their own specific contribution to organizations and individuals. Public administration degree programs are better for individuals that want to contribute their expertise to organizations that want accurate leadership and knowledgeable insight during normal functioning. Political science degree programs are better for people that want to focus on the political aspect of the U.S. Government and careers that are related to public relations and negotiations.

Primary Differences in Detail: The MPS vs. MPA

There are several key differences between both the MPA and MPS.

MPA More General

The MPA program is a great way for leading professionals to learn more about the overall functioning of business and organizations in different settings. This degree program outlines the important administrative functions of business, the inner workings of government agencies, and the financial functioning of non-profit organizations of varying types.

This program is also important for upcoming professionals that want to know more about fair treatment of employees, ethical considerations in the workplace, and effective practices for a smooth running operation. The MPA program can be applied to many different disciplines, which is part of what makes this program attractive to individuals that have not secured a specific field for their career.

MPS More Politics Focused

The MPS program is more directed towards knowledge of political science and its origins. Political science is also an important component in the stable functioning of society, since it has such an influence on the policy development, leadership, and regulations set forth by the U.S. Government. This field dives deeper into the meaning and theory surrounding politics and how these theories are applied throughout the country.

Political science professionals are typically more focused on finding careers working in law or government agencies as a primary career option. This field has an influential pull at the government level, due to the increased education opportunities in subject matters concerning different government agencies and political agendas.

While both the MPA and MPS programs are important for a fully-functioning society, each provides their own specific contribution to organizations and individuals. Public administration degree programs are better for individuals that want to contribute their expertise to organizations that want accurate leadership and knowledgeable insight during normal functioning. Political science degree programs are better for people that want to focus on the political aspect of the U.S. Government and careers that are related to public relations and negotiations.

Career Examples with an MPS

  • Attorney
  • Congressional Staff
  • Lobbyist
  • Post-Secondary Instructor
  • Consultant

Career Examples with an MPA

  • Program Manager
  • Program Coordinator
  • Research Specialist
  • Marketing Manager
  • Local/City Manager

About the Master of Public Administration

Degree programs focus on the inner workings of these types of businesses in order to properly prepare individuals to work in management level positions within them. Since public administration is mostly focused on the public service sector of society, students that enroll into these programs can gain a better outlook of the services that are designed for the public, what they consist of, and how they can be improved as society changes.

The MPA program is also a great option for individuals that are interested in pursuing non-leadership positions within organizations, such as those that are involved with public policy research, development, and implementation. Having an extensive understanding of how different types of agencies operate, how to maintain a large staff of employees, and how to properly manage fiscal and financial aspects of businesses can contribute to long and fruitful careers for individuals that choose this major when entering graduate school.

The MPA program is an excellent choice for students that are interested in pursuing careers in the public sector and is best paired with some professional experience in order to find the best careers after completion. Students that have little to no experience in the field of public service can also indulge in these degree programs. Most MPA programs provide students with the option of taking part in supervised work experiences or internships as part of their educational requirements.

What topics are covered in the MPA program?

If you choose the MPA program for your degree, you may find that the curriculum is unique in comparison to Public Policy, Public Affairs, and Political Science. Some of the coursework found within this degree program may focus specifically on the schematics of public service agencies and the regulations that surround them. While the topics within MPA programs can be diverse, the central topic of interest for these degree programs is leadership and policy implementation. Secondary topics such as financial management, human resources, and research are complementary to the need for extensive training in management and public policy as a whole. Some example courses for the MPA program are listed below.

You might see courses such as Organizational Theory and Public Service Leadership throughout your experience in the MPA program. These 2 courses can contribute to a learner’s further understanding of how organizations are laid out and the proper management techniques for such agencies. These courses can assist in teaching students more about why organizations are structured according to hierarchies, as well as how to function in accordance to public service guidelines. You might also see courses related to financial management and employee maintenance, which are also important for the valid operation of businesses – especially those with a large number of employees.

Some universities offer students the option of choosing a specialty for their degree program. Adding a concentration to your degree program can help focus your degree on the field you plan to work in, such as non-profit agencies, healthcare, or political organizations. With this being said, the courses that you take during your degree program can change depending on the type of concentration you choose, if you decide that one is better for you. Although the curriculum can vary depending on which college you are looking at, the course work specific to public administration programs can help you understand what exactly this degree can train you to do in your future careers.

What is the MPS?

The Master of Political Science is an incredibly diverse degree program that provides continue education into the realm of national and international politics from a professional perspective. Political science is an intriguing field that helps students better understand the history and formation of the political system in order to help create effective political professionals. This degree program is best suited for individuals that are interested in pursuing careers in law, government, or higher-order political positions.

This program dives deeper into the different components of political science such as the specific methodology of political entities, the inner workings of the American government and its politics, relationships with international countries and their leaders, and comparisons of political organizations world-wide. If you take part in MPS program, you can learn about the different sectors of the U.S. Government, what purposes they serve, and how officials are elected into specific positions.

The MPS program can also help students define the different types of political behavior, the history and formation of political parties, and how these parties have evolved into what they are in current times. This type of information can help contribute to a career in politics or even help professionals move forward into politically charged positions in local government or even Congress.

What topics are covered in the MPS program?

The Master of Political Science program can consist of a wide range of different courses depending on the university you enroll in. The different topics that are discussed in these programs are meant to help create more effective political professionals and encourage investigative learning throughout the course of a career.

Courses included in this degree program can include those focusing on American government organizations, such as Congress and the different political parties, and courses that look deeper into the creation and maintenance of political parties, lobbyists, and interest groups.

This degree program also encourages further learning into the research and analysis of current political science theories. This is typically done through independent learning experiences and thorough source research.

The implementation of global research in this program was encouraged due to the increase in communications with world-wide entities and institutions. This increase is primarily due to the convenience of communication due to the rise in technology. Students in this degree program have the opportunity to learn more about global political systems and how they compare to systems in the U.S.

Typical Masters in Political Science Requirements

Typical online master’s programs in this field can be completed online, without having to attend in-person courses at all. Most master’s programs take around 2 years to complete, with some having the option for a quicker completion with denser scheduling. One university requires that students have at minimum a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university as well as a grade point average of 3.0 or above in order to be accepted.

Credit Hours and Projects to Expect

Different universities have different requirements, so students should research the school that is most suited for their situation. The online Master’s degree program in Political Science can consist of 30 to 60 hour programs, depending on the university. Through online learning, students are expected to be proactive in their studies and take part in online discussions and group projects. Students may take part in virtual debates as well as extensive research projects as part of the program. This degree option is great for busy professionals looking to better their lifestyles without having to sacrifice valuable free time.

Sample courses for a Masters in Political Science

Issues In Political Theory

Provides a survey of various issues and debates in political theory. This course provides issues and history of political philosophy as well as the design of political and social institutions.

Normative Theories of Justice

Reflects on work published within the last thirty years. This course teaches master’s level learners how to analyze cases with retributive and distributive justice.

Republicanism

Teaches master’s level students the history and development of republicanism and compares republicanism’s relationship with liberalism and democracy.

Judicial Institutions

Focuses on the study of law and the court systems. This course analyzes the relationship of the judge to the court system and the decision making process that is present in the judicial system.

Parties and Elections in Developing Countries

Explores the political growth of foreign countries. Analyzes party creation as well as the election process in countries that have weak parties and low democratic accountability.

Liberalism

Focuses on historical writings in liberal thought. This course outlines the growth of the current state as well as the development of market systems and national identities.

The Causes and Consequences of Terrorism

Outlines the politics of terrorism, both foreign and domestic. Beginning with the formal definition and ending with the consequences and after-effects of terrorism on the political system.

Nationalism

Teaches the theory and history of nationalism. Examines how international influences have had an effect on national politics.

United States Foreign Policy

Examines the historical and current relationships with Europe, East Asia and the Middle East. Touches of subjects ranging from military and economic policy to environmental issues.

Politics and Religion

Examines how politics have been supported, changed and challenged by religion. This course compares the effects of religion over time and also mentions European influence in the United States.


What Can You Do with a Masters in Political Science?

With a Master’s degree in Political Science, graduates find that there are numerous opportunities throughout the professional world. Political science degrees prepare graduates for competitive political positions and even positions at government agencies.

Law Career

This degree program can even provide a foundation for a future in law, which requires students to research local law school requirements.

Political Science Professor

Various employment opportunities can be found dealing with public interest in the political domain. Lobbyists are sometimes political science graduates as well as college level professors. Effective debate skills that are learned through the political science program prepare upcoming professionals for careers in public administration.

Government and Politics

The Federal Government seeks out professional political scientists to fill open positions as lobbyists, policy analysts and even congressional positions. Joining an organization such as the American Political Science Association can further knowledge and possibly career opportunities for professionals in this field. Continued learning is an important part of staying up to date with current trends and issues in the political environment. Political science professionals benefit from organizations such as this one throughout an entire career.

Political Science Average Salary

The average salary for political scientists in the U.S. is $99,730 annually (BLS, 2015). In terms of assignment, the salary for individuals in this profession can vary greatly. One of the top paying career options for those graduating with a Master’s degree in Political Science is Congressperson. Political science majors working for governmental agencies have the potential to earn $120,510 per year during the course of a career.

Law Salaries

For individuals that decide to pursue a law degree after a political science degree, salaries can be potentially higher at $115,820 per year on average (BLS, 2015). Having a degree that deals with the science of politics can lead individuals in many different directions. The financial opportunities available are diverse and can provide well for those willing to put in the hard work required.