Degree Programs:

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy

Graduate Certificate in Political Science-Online Collaborative

The IU Online Graduate Certificate in Political Science provides graduate-level instruction to students interested in obtaining advanced skills and knowledge in this area. 

As a student in the IU Online Graduate Certificate in Political Science, you study political philosophy, American politics, comparative politics, public opinion, and research methods. When you complete the program, you will be able to: 

  • Describe the subfields of political science, the central questions they address, and the methods they typically employ.  
  • Evaluate and critique empirical social science research through literature review and the application of tools and strategies of political analysis.  
  • Interpret, analyze, and trace the influence of major political thinkers and movements that have influenced the development of American democracy.  
  • Isolate and analyze factors that shape the political attitudes, beliefs, and preferences of individuals and groups and map their impacts on political behavior and decision making.  
  • Evaluate and analyze the major institutions of American national politics.  
  • Situate and analyze American political institutions, processes, and behaviors in a comparative perspective that accounts for regional and international differences.  

Of Special Interest for Teachers/Instructors Needing to Meet HLC Dual-Credit Standards  

The Graduate Certificate in Political Science is ideal for those who want to teach dual-credit courses and who need to meet Higher Learning Commission dual-credit qualification standards. These standards require teachers wanting to teach dual-credit courses in political science to hold either a master's degree in political science or a master's degree in another discipline (such as education), plus at least 18 credit hours of discipline-specific graduate coursework. 

  • If you hold a master's degree in a discipline other than political science, you can meet HLC standards by completing the 18 credit hour Graduate Certificate in Political Science. 
  • If you plan to pursue the IU Online MAT in Political Science, you may apply the 18 credit hours from the Graduate Certificate in Political Science toward the masters degree. 

Your IU Online Graduate Certificate in Political Science can help prepare you for careers in:   

  • Education  
  • Lobbying  
  • Policy analysis  
  • NGO management  
  • National security  
  • Public service  
  • Politics  

This 100 percent online, consortial program is taught by IU Bloomington, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast. This consortial model allows you to take coursework from multiple campuses and benefit from the expertise and experience of a diverse faculty.  

Certificate Requirements 

To earn the Graduate Certificate in Political Science, you must complete 18 credit hours. 

Requirements are broken down as follows:  

  • Core courses (18 credit hours)
Many online support services are available to assist you as you progress through the program. 

See courses that are being offered this semester 


To be accepted to this program, you must have: 

  1. A bachelor's degree 
  2. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale 

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states 

To apply to this program: 

Complete an online application that includes: 

  1. Official transcripts from each undergraduate institution  
  2. 250-word personal statement explaining background and reasons for entering the program 

Core Courses:

  • POLS-P 570 Introduction to Politics I (3 cr.)
  • POLS-Y 567 Public Opinion: Approaches and Issues (3 cr.)
  • POLS-Y 580 Research Methods in Political Science (3 cr.)
  • POLS-Y 657 Comparative Politics (3 cr.)
  • POLS-Y 661 American Politics (3 cr.)
  • POLS-Y 675 Political Philosophy (3 cr.)

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