fbpx

Best Political Science Courses

Benzinga Money is a reader-supported publication. We may earn a commission when you click on links in this article. Learn more.

You enrolled in a political science course without knowing what to expect. Now, you’re overwhelmed by all the information and are looking for more information to help you understand the material. Or maybe you are somewhat familiar with political science but want to learn more about governmental affairs or have an intelligent conversation about current events. 

Either way, online political science courses are a great way to get the clarity you need or boost your knowledge.

Find an Online University

A Quick Look: Best Political Science Courses

Here’s a quick look at the best online political science courses: 

What Makes a Political Science Course Great?

The web is inundated with political science courses. But how can you tell if they are worthwhile or a complete waste of time? Only consider classes that meet these criteria.

1. Engaging Instructor

Research the instructor to gain insight into his or her teaching style. 

Look at the reviews to determine if the instructor is dull or engagingly conveys information. The instructor should be able to break down fundamental concepts in a way that’s easy to understand. 

2. Self Paced

The facilitator may move swiftly through the lessons, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Choose a course that’s self-paced so you can work at a speed that’s comfortable for you. You won’t be pressed to get through modules without fully understanding the material. 

3. Affordable

No need to invest a fortune in political science courses, primarily if they are used to supplement your learning in the classroom. Many are free and can help you learn all you need to know about political science. 

Our Top Picks

Below are our top picks from Coursera, edX and Udemy. We’ve included beginner, intermediate and advanced courses to choose from.

You’ll also find a description and price for each selection to help you make an educated decision. 

Political Science Courses for Beginners

If you’re unfamiliar with political science and need a course that teaches the basics, check out these classes for beginners. 

1. Understanding Political Concepts by edX

  • Who it’s for: Beginners
  • Price: Free

Master the fundamental concepts of political science with this beginner-level course from FedericaX. You will also learn how to interpret related internet resources and apply the “Hyperpolitics” tool. 

It’s comprised of 10 lessons and covers a host of topics, including political parties, the Constitution, bureaucracy, authority and power. Course material is delivered through lectures, visualizations, reading assignments and exercises. 

This 6-week class is taught by Professors Mauro Calise, Werner Patzel and Fortunato Musella. Research Fellow Valentina Reda is also a facilitator. 

Enrollment is free or you can pay $59 to obtain a verified certificate. 

Get this course. 

2. U.S. Political Institutions: Congress, Presidency, Courts, and Bureaucracy by edX

  • Who it’s for: Beginners
  • Price: Free

Are you interested in gaining more insight into how the political institutions of the U.S. operate? This course explores the 3 branches of the U.S. government.

Led by Thomas E. Patterson of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, the class is comprised of 6 lessons: 

  • Congress and Constituency
  • Congress and Party
  • Presidents and Domestic Policy
  • Presidents and Foreign Policy
  • Federal Bureaucracy
  • Judiciary and Supreme Court

Core topics covered include political parties, voter roles, federal bureaucracy and the separation of powers. You will also learn how the citizens impact decisions made by Congress, what constitutes successful foreign and domestic policies and so much more. 

You have the option to enroll for free or seek a verified certificate for only $49. 

Get this course. 

3. Introduction to Contemporary Geopolitics by the National Research University 

Who it’s for: Beginners

Price: On sale 

Introduction to Contemporary Geopolitics is offered by the National Research University. Students are introduced to the origins of geopolitics and the impact of its evolution on the contemporary world. 

The class is taught by Andrei Skriba, a Candidate of Sciences for the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs. It comprises these modules: 

  • The Birth of Geopolitics
  • The Beginning of the Cold War Geopolitics
  • World Politics After the Cold War Ended
  • One More Thing About Geopolitics 
  • The Key Players in Contemporary Geopolitics 
  • History and Geography of the United States
  • History and Geography of Russia
  • History and Geography of China 
  • Geopolitics and Its Value 

Course material is delivered through video lectures, reading assignments and quizzes. Enrollment is free, and it takes 32 hours to reach the finish line. 

Get this course

Politics Level 1: Rise to Power

Beginner • 16 videos • 2.1 hours

4. Politics Level 1: Rise to Power by Udemy

  • Who it’s for: Beginners
  • Price: Free

Politics Level 1: Rise to Power is designed to help you understand the basics of political science. It takes a ground-up approach and will equip you with the knowledge to have more intelligent conversations about politics and understand what’s going on around you in the political world. 

Dr. Gilad James introduces pertinent political science concepts and theories. He also draws on years of experience to share how you can use political principles to become more powerful in your everyday life. 

Enrollment is free and you’ll have instant access to 16 lectures condensed into 2 hours of on-demand video. An article is also included with the course material to supplement your learning. 

Get this course. 

Intermediate Political Science Courses 

Seeking a refresher on the core concepts of political science? Consider these intermediate-level courses.  

Political Complexity

All Levels • 20 videos • 6.7 hours

5. Political Complexity by Udemy 

Who it’s for: Intermediate students 

Price: On sale 

Systems Innovation presents this intermediate course that sheds light on the functionality of contemporary political organizations. It’s most ideal for individuals who have a solid understanding of politics and how they work. 

Political Complexity entails 5 sections: 

  • Introduction 
  • Emergence
  • Nonlinearity
  • Sociopolitical Networks
  • Political Dynamics 

You can grab a seat for a limited time only for less than half of the usual enrollment fee. Plus, you can register with confidence knowing there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee if the class doesn’t quite meet your needs. 

Get this course

Politics Level 2: Control the Masses

Intermediate • 25 videos • 2.9 hours

6. Politics Level 2: Control the Masses by Udemy

  • Who it’s for: Intermediate students
  • Price: $19.99

This course is the second installment in the political science series from Dr. Gilad James. It builds on the information presented in the first course to dive deeper into core concepts, like power, manipulation and exchange. The class also examines the fundamentals of political theory. 

You can grab a seat for only $19.99 and have instant access to 25 lectures jam-packed into 3 hours of on-demand video. Similar to the introductory course, you’ll also receive 1 article to enhance your understanding of the information taught in the lessons. 

It’s a good idea to complete Politics Level 1: Rise to Power before you sign up.

Get this course. 

7. Moral Foundations of Politics by Coursera

  • Who it’s for: Intermediate students
  • Price: Free

What are the moral implications of politics? Should you always pay homage to governments? Or are there instances where it’s logical to denounce your loyalty?

This intermediate-level course addresses these questions and so much more. It consists of 8 modules:

  • Welcome to Moral Foundations of Politics
  • Enlightenment Political Theory 
  • Utilitarianism: Classical and Neoclassical
  • Marxism, its Failures and its Legacy
  • The Social Contract Tradition I
  • The Social Contract Tradition II
  • Anti-Enlightenment Politics
  • Democracy

Each lesson is delivered through video. There are also readings and quizzes to help you grasp and retain the most critical information taught in the course. 

Instructor Ian Shapiro is a political science professor at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale. 

Enrollment is free and there are no prerequisites. 

Get this course. 

8. Citizen Politics in America: Public Opinion, Elections, Interest Groups and the Media 

  • Who it’s for: Beginners
  • Price: Free

Take a closer look at how public opinion influences politicians in this course from Harvard University. Also taught by Thomas E. Patterson, this course pulls back the curtain on American politics to examine the impact that outside forces have on policies, decision-making and elections. 

The class begins with a lesson on public opinion and how it sways policymakers, followed by an in-depth discussion of the political parties in the United States. There are also lessons on campaigns and elections, political movements and interest groups.

It’s free to enroll, but you can pay $49 to receive a Verified Certificate when you complete the course. 

Get this course. 

Advanced Political Science Courses

Want to delve deeper into political ideologies or modern-day issues in global politics? You may find these courses useful. 

Politics Level 3: Ideologies

Intermediate • 27 videos • 3.3 hours

9. Politics Level 3: Ideologies by Udemy

  • Who it’s for: Advanced students 
  • Price: On sale

This highly-rated course is from Dr. Gilad James. It explores the inner workings of the most prevalent political philosophies today. 

Politics Level 3: Ideologies includes 27 lectures condensed into 3 hours of on-demand video and an article. It is divided into 5 categories: Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism, Fascism and Feminism. 

Enrollment is reduced and the course offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied for any reason. 

Get this course. 

Politics Level 3: Ideologies

Intermediate • 27 videos • 3.3 hours

10. Politics Level 3: Ideologies by Udemy

  • Who it’s for: Advanced students 
  • Price: $19.99

This course is the 3rd installment of the Political Science series on Udemy from Dr. Gilad James. It explores the inner workings of the most prevalent political philosophies today. 

The class includes 27 lectures condensed into 3 hours of on-demand video and an article. It is divided into 5 categories: Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism, Fascism and Feminism. 

Enrollment is $19.99 and the course offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied for any reason. 

You should complete Politics Level 1: Rise to Power and Politics Level 2: Control the Masses before enrolling. 

Get this course. 

11. Global Politics

  • Who it’s for: Advanced students 
  • Price: Free

Explore politics from a global perspective with this advanced course from FedericaX. Over 6 weeks, you will examine the current state of politics, society, conflicts and nature to help determine if it’s sustainable. The course also addresses the likelihood of 1 global order. 

Facilitated by Professor Yves Schemeil, this course will foster your understanding of how universal organizations and local power structures differ. He also discusses key relationships between nature and politics, global and local disorders and so much more. 

You have 2 enrollment options — a free seat or a $59 seat that includes a verified certificate when you complete the course. 

Get this course. 

12. Contemporary Issues in World Politics by edX

  • Who it’s for: Advanced students
  • Price: Free

Contemporary Issues in World Politics is also offered by FedericaX. This course provides extensive coverage of world politics, along with core issues and trends. You’ll also learn how to analyze the significant problems in global politics.   

You can grab a seat to this course for free or opt to receive a verified certificate for only $59. Expect to complete the course in 7 weeks, working at a pace of 2 to 4 hours each week. 

The class is co-instructed by Professor İlter Turan and Assistant Professor Mehmet Ali Tuğtan. Both work in the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Bilgi University. 

Get this course. 

Choose the Best Political Science Course for You

Political science doesn’t have to be overwhelming or confusing. You can enroll in one of these courses to learn the basics. And if you’re already familiar with the subject, intermediate and advanced classes will serve you well. 

There are several low-cost and free options to choose from. Plus, you can work at your own pace until you fully grasp the material presented in each course. Just be sure that the instructor is knowledgeable and engaging before you sign up.

Master the art of trading with Benzinga’s signature course, “How to Trade Stocks.” Learn how to read charts and make winning trades in the market through simple, actionable strategies.

You’ll learn from the following modules:

  • Why Trade?
  • Picking a Broker
  • Trading Strategies
  • Price Studies
  • Technicals and Indicators
  • Developing a Schedule and a Plan
  • Trading Psychology

Get Benzinga’s actionable stock trading advice for only $47 and see your income skyrocket!