Online Political Science B.A.

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The Department of Political Science is pleased to offer the political science major online.  Intended for those who are not able to attend courses on campus, the online program enables students to complete an undergraduate degree with a major in political science from anywhere in the world without sacrificing a quality education.

Features of the program:

  • Bachelor of Arts degree awarded by the University of Iowa, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Online courses taught by the same faculty teaching the on-campus courses
  • Professional academic advising with scheduled virtual office hours
  • No additional charges for online courses—students pay the standard College of Liberal Arts and Sciences tuition.   See:


  • Apply and be admitted as an undergraduate student to the University of Iowa’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Undergraduate admission requirements and application information can be found here:
  • Complete at least 60 semester hours of credit with a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or finish an A.A. degree from an Iowa community college (or Black Hawk in Illinois) with a cumulative GPA of 2.00
  • Students admitted to the University of Iowa who wish to complete the online political science B.A., but have not yet met the above requirements, may declare as political science-interest students until they are eligible to declare the online major

Online B.A. Requirements:

  • Completion of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences General Education Program and all other degree requirements.
  • Completion of the online political science major requirements

A. )  Foundation (3 s.h.)

  • POLI:1100 Introduction to American Politics, 3 s.h.

B.) Four additional introductory courses numbered POLI:1001-1999, 12 s.h.

  • POLI:1200 Introduction to Political Behavior
  • POLI:1400 Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • POLI:1500 Introduction to International Relations
  • POLI:1501 Introduction to American Foreign Policy
  • POLI:3111 American Public Policy (may be used as an intro-level or advanced course for online major students.

C.) Advanced coursework in political science numbered 2000 and above, 21 s.h.

Additional requirements:

  • A minimum of 18 s.h. of the minimum 36 s.h. for the major must be completed through University of Iowa coursework
  • Credit for courses POLI:1000 First-Year Seminar, POLI:4900 Government Internship, and POLI:3124 Political Science Des Moines Internship may not be applied to the political science major
  • A grade point average of at least 2.0 in all political science courses taken and in all political science courses taken at the University of Iowa. Majors may not opt for the P/N grading option for any political science coursework

Academic Advising for the Online Political Science B.A.

Advising for first-year students

First-year students and those with less than 24 s.h. earned are advised at the Academic Advising Center. The Center’s advisors specialize in transitioning students to academic and student life at Iowa. Working with an assigned caseload, the advisors help each student plan for a successful academic start at Iowa.

Advising during sophomore through senior years

Martha Kirby serves as the academic advisor for online political science B.A. students and political science-interest students who have earned at least 24 s.h. She is available to assist students with all aspects of their academic life at Iowa, including course registration and schedule changes, academic standing, transfer course review, comprehensive plans of study through graduation, and more.

Advising Appointments  

Students not in the Iowa City area are encouraged to schedule phone or virtual appointments with Martha using the online scheduler accessible through MyUI.  In addition, virtual drop-in hours are available once per week.

Students currently enrolled in the program may schedule an appointment here:

Contact Information

Department of Political Science
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The University of Iowa
341 Schaeffer Hall 






Martha Kirby, Advisor
344 Schaeffer Hall




Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to apply to the online political science major?  The online political science major is open to any student admitted to the University of Iowa who meets the above requirements.  No additional application is required to be admitted to the online program. To learn more about applying to the university, visit the Office of Admissions homepage at:

Will my diploma indicate that I was in an online program?  No.  Students who graduate through the political science online major program earn the same degree as those in the on-campus major.

Can I earn a B.S. in political science through the online program?  No. At this time, students may only complete the B.A. in political science through the online program.

What jobs can I get with a political science major?  Political science majors go on to work in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, both domestically and internationally.  Recent examples include campaign management, public policy, banking, management, Peace Corps, government administration at the local, state, and federal level, real estate, human resources, and corporate training.  Graduates also go on to graduate and professional programs such as law, public administration, public policy, international relations, public health, and urban and regional planning.