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Online PhD Program in Political Science: A Student's Guide

written by: R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 2/28/2010

This article will discuss online PhD program in political science, as well as what is involved and the career outlook. Read on for information you need before deciding on which program to enroll in.

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    Political science is a branch of social science focused on the theory and practice of politics, as well as the analysis and description of political behavior and political systems. Pursuing an online PhD program in political science allows students to pursue just about any career in the political science field.

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    Required Courses

    online PhD program in political science Students pursuing a PhD in political science will take a variety of classes in several different subjects. Some of the most commonly taken subjects include foreign policy, mathematics, statistics, computer science, writing, sociology, media studies, public policy, and history. Education classes will be beneficial to those seeking to teach political science on the college level. All students must complete a doctoral capstone.

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    Average Completion Time

    The average completion time for an online PhD program in political science is six years. Some colleges and universities allow students to complete this degree in no less than two years, but no more than ten years. The majority of all PhD programs will require students to attend full-time.

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    Top Online Schools

    Harrison Middleton University offers this degree online. To be admitted students must already possess as Master's degree in political science, political management, or a related field, complete the admissions application, have letters of recommendation, and any other requirements that the college may decide to add in the future.

    Students will pay a $50.00 application fee, a $200.00 enrollment fee, and a $150.00 technology fee. Students pursuing a PhD will pay a total tuition of $18,350.00. Books and other necessary supplies will cost extra.

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    Possible Careers

    online PhD program in political science Those who possess this degree have a choice between many different career paths. Running for public office, campaign advising, and media-based careers, such as being a political commentator on television or writing for magazines or newspapers. Those who are thinking outside the box will find many other possible career paths including lobbyist, working for a non-profit organization, working in academics (such as a college or university professor), advising in the military, working for a government agency, and working in government communications.

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    Career Outlook and Salary

    Employment opportunities for political scientists is estimated to increase 21 percent between now and 2018. There are plenty of employment opportunities available to them now as well. The median annual salary of a political scientist is $104,130.00. The lowest annual salary is about $47,220.00, the highest annual salary is about $146,880.00, and the middle annual salary is between $74,040.00 and $124,490.00.

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    Why is it Better to Obtain this Degree Online?

    Many online political science PhD programs allow students to start when they are ready instead of just during August, January, and May like most traditional colleges. Students can work at their own pace and complete their work at times that are convenient for them as long as they meet all deadlines. Students will save the time they would normally spend commuting and sitting in lecture classes. Because of this they will be able to keep up with all of their responsibilities, such as family and career.

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    Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2008). Sociologists and Political Scientists. Retrieved on February 20, 2010 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

    GradSchools. (2010). Political Science Curriculum. Retrieved on February 20, 2010 from Grad Schools:

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    Image Credits

    Books: EmZed –

    US Capitol: lizerixt –