New online poli sci degree prepares students for jobs in politics, public policy

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A new bachelor of science degree in political science offered online through Penn State World Campus will train students in a scientific approach to politics and government.

The program will help prepare students for a wide variety of positions in politics and public policy — from working with political campaigns or nongovernmental organizations to working in government, criminal justice or the defense sector, according to lead faculty member Marie Hojnacki of the Department of Political Science in Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for students to investigate political questions and issues from a quantitative, analytic standpoint,” Hojnacki said. “The degree will train students in skills that are truly applicable to jobs in government, business and politics today.”

The program includes coursework in political science, computer science and statistics and focuses on developing quantitative analysis and research design skills, Hojnacki said. Advanced analytic courses will give students the opportunity to use data to analyze important policy issues such as how different government programs affect high school dropout rates and why sentencing policies and incarceration rates vary across states. All students will complete a research practicum, teaching assistantship or internship in which they apply their technical skills to an area of interest.

Karen Pollack, assistant vice provost for undergraduate online and blended programs, said the new degree program rounds out the political science portfolio offered through Penn State World Campus by offering a more quantitative analysis-based program in addition to the traditional political science bachelor of arts and a bachelor of arts in international politics. World Campus also has a chapter of the national political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha.

More information about the new bachelor of science degree program can be found online.

Last Updated March 23, 2016