Free Online Introductory and General Political Science Courses from Top Universities

About this article
Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California at Berkeley are just some of the universities that offer free online general political science courses. Topics covered include political science research skills, political thought, game theory and early feminist thinkers.
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Free Introductory and General Political Science Courses

Introductory and general political science courses are offered online for those interested in learning about the social sciences of geopolitics, political philosophy, nationalism, and more. There are text-based courses, while others revolve around video lectures.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Political science courses at MIT cover subjects such as quantitative research, comparative politics, and geopolitics. Also, students can study pluralism, sustainable development, and industrialization. These courses are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

Yale University

Yale's intro to political philosophy course explores various political philosophies, through the study of major political texts and a look at various thinkers in the political field. Students will have access to previously filmed video lectures on topics such as philosophers and Kings, Constitutional government, democracy and participation, and Socratic citizenship.

University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley offers a political science course in the format of ten video lectures, available on YouTube and iTunes. These lectures are given by professor Alan David Ross.

The University of Notre Dame

This course centers around the relationship between the author of Frankenstein and her mother. Required textbooks include Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: An Introduction and Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft, by Lyndall Gordon.

Open University

These courses from Open University cover things like nationalism, secession, and crime. Students will learn about the uses of CCTV as a surveillance tool, how the United Kingdom is governed, nation-states, and national self-determination.

Free Online Introductory and General Political Science Courses At a Glance

Course & School Program Level Format Assignments Quizzes & Exams Downloadable
Quantitative Research in Political Science and Public Policy course from MIT Graduate Texts/lecture notes/study materials Yes Yes Yes
Quantitative Research Methods: Multivariate course from MIT Graduate Texts/lecture notes Yes Yes Yes
Introduction to Comparative Politics course from MIT Undergraduate Texts Yes Yes Yes
Political Science Laboratory course from MIT Undergraduate Texts/lecture slides/tools Yes Yes Yes
Reading Seminar in Social Science: The Geopolitics and Geoeconomics of Global Energy course from MIT Undergraduate Texts/lecture notes Yes Yes Yes
Introduction to Political Thought course from MIT Undergraduate Texts/lecture notes Yes Yes Yes
Citizenship and Pluralism course from MIT Graduate Texts Yes No Yes
Integrating Doctoral Seminar on Emerging Technologies course from MIT Graduate Texts/lecture notes Yes No Yes
Justice course from MIT Undergraduate Texts/reading questions/lecture notes/recitations Yes Yes Yes
Sustainable Development: Theory and Policy course from MIT Undergraduate/graduate Texts/lecture notes Yes No Yes
Environmental Politics and Policy course from MIT Undergraduate Texts/lecture notes Yes Yes Yes
The Rise and Fall of Democracy/Regime Control course from MIT Undergraduate/graduate Texts/videos/study materials Yes No Yes
Game Theory and Political Theory course from MIT Undergraduate/graduate Texts Yes Yes Yes
Economic Development, Policy Analysis and Industrialization course from MIT Graduate Texts Yes Yes Yes
Introduction to Political Philosophy course from Yale University Unspecified Video lectures No No Yes
Political Science 179 course from UC Berkeley Unspecified Video lectures No No Yes
Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley from the University of Notre Dame Unspecified Textbooks/weekly discussion questions Yes No Yes
Nationalism, Self-Determination and Secession course from Open University Intermediate Text Yes No Yes
The Politics of Devolution course from Open University Intermediate Text Yes No Yes
The Technology of Crime Control course from Open University Intermediate Text Yes No Yes

Popular Schools

  • Campus and Online Programs
    1. Pacific Oaks College

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.A. in Advocacy and Social Justice
      • M.A. in Advocacy and Social Justice
    Bachelor's
      • B.A. in Advocacy and Social Justice
      • B.A. in Advocacy and Social Justice
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Regent University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Government
      • Master of Arts in Government - American Government
      • Master of Public Administration - Federal Government
      • Master of Public Administration - Law
      • Master of Arts in Government - Law and Public Policy
      • Master of Public Administration
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Arts in Government - American Government and Politics
      • Bachelor of Arts in Political Communication
      • Bachelor of Arts in Politics and History
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Government
      • Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies
      • Bachelor of Arts in Government - Pre-Law
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Public Admin
    Bachelor's
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Liberty University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS: Political Science
      • Master of Arts in Human Services - Military Resilience
      • Master of Arts in Public Policy - Public Administration
      • MA: Public Policy: Public Administration
    Bachelor's
      • BS: Law and Policy: Pre-Law
      • BS: Psychology: Military Resilience
      • BS: Public Administration
      • BS: Interdisciplinary Studies
      • BS: History
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education (ITL)
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DMFT - Military Family Therapy
      • Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Walden University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • PhD in Human & Social Services - Military Families & Culture
      • PhD in Public Policy & Administration - General
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Concordia University Portland

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science - Social Studies
  • Campus and Online Programs
    9. The Chicago School

    Program Options

    Certificate
      • Crisis-Informed Care for a Diverse, Globalized World Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • HS Diploma

Featured Schools

The schools and programs listed below are popular educational options, and tuition varies based on program and location

Pacific Oaks College

  • M.A. in Advocacy and Social Justice
  • B.A. in Advocacy and Social Justice

What is your highest level of education completed?

Regent University

  • Master of Arts in Government
  • Master of Arts in Government - American Government
  • Bachelor of Arts in Government - American Government and Politics
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Communication

What is your highest level of education completed?

Purdue University Global

  • Master of Public Admin
  • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership

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Liberty University

  • MS: Political Science
  • Master of Arts in Human Services - Military Resilience
  • BS: Law and Policy: Pre-Law
  • BS: Psychology: Military Resilience

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Grand Canyon University

  • Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education (ITL)

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • DMFT - Military Family Therapy
  • Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)

What is your highest level of education?

Walden University

  • PhD in Human & Social Services - Military Families & Culture
  • PhD in Public Policy & Administration - General

What is your highest level of education completed?

Concordia University Portland

  • Master of Science - Social Studies

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