Political Science

When you major in political science at UAF, you’ll learn to apply political knowledge to concrete human problems

Why do we pay taxes? Where do laws come from, and why do they change? How do people vote? How can nations solve problems and conflicts short of war? This is the study of political science.

You’ll have opportunities to take part in real-world learning experiences including internships, Model United Nations simulations and more. You’ll also benefit from close interactions with caring, dedicated faculty who bring diverse research expertise to the classroom.

The strong understanding of local, national and international politics you develop through this program will be an asset to you throughout your career. When you complete your bachelor’s degree, you’ll be ready for a range of exciting careers in education, media, politics and more, as well as graduate school opportunities.

In addition to the Bachelor of Arts degree, the Department of Political Science at UAF also offers minors in law and society, environmental politics and political science.

What Is Political Science?

As the study of power, political science explains who gets what, when, where and how. It examines the struggles over the claims to authority put forth to shape the lives of citizens and the world. As the study of values, it examines why citizens obey or rebel, the nature of the just society and the ways individuals reconcile personal liberty with political authority. As the science of political behavior, it analyzes the actions of interest groups, political parties and public officials.

The online political science degree is a great fit for students who want to develop a strong understanding of local, national and international politics they can apply to careers in media, politics, education and more. It’s also excellent preparation for graduate school opportunities. At UAF, you can also combine your bachelor’s in political science with minors such as marketing, communication, digital journalism and leadership, which are all also offered online.

Why Study Political Science at UAF?

Politics is around us everywhere, not just in governments but in families, social organizations, schools and decision-making bodies of all types — from student councils to international institutions. Now more than ever, our political science degree provides education for citizenship in a changing nation and world.

Here are some of the opportunities you can look forward to as a political science major at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

  • We offer numerous internship and scholarship opportunities in Alaska and throughout the United States. You can also participate in Model United Nations simulations and join the political science honor society Pi Sigma Alpha.
  • Learn the causes and consequences of entrenched power relationships, value systems and political behavior in a variety of political contexts and geographic regions.
  • Our political science degree program includes courses that focus on the government and politics of Alaska and the North. Many of our graduates go on to find careers and serve their communities as managers and legislators with state and local governments.
  • We invite our political science majors to aid faculty as research assistants, become teaching assistants and take part in numerous other department projects such as bringing speakers to campus or hosting round-tables on important issues.
  • Examine foreign policy, peace and security, and terrorism. Learn modern methods of social science research and how to use computers to analyze public problems such as apathy, alienation and inflation. Analyze detailed case studies of countries around the world to understand how governments form and function. Or explore political theory and environmental politics.

Degree Type

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
  • Offered as a major and minor


  • In-person
  • Hybrid
  • Online

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Complete your Political Science degree online

Growing up in rural Alaska led me to ask many questions about equity, opportunity and the power dynamics that exist within populations and within governments. When I chose to study political science, I imagined myself working abroad or in Washington on foreign affairs. While in the political science department I designed an independent study program that allowed me to work in rural Kenya at a women’s organization. It was during this time that I realized that the personal is political and that the most meaningful change we can make in the world often happens in our own communities.

Alida Trainor

Acting Northern Region Program Manager for Division of Subsistence

Online Classes at UAF

At UAF, online courses typically do not have set meeting times but do have weekly deadlines. While there are some standard practices, each course is designed by the instructor to best teach the material. Most courses run the full length of the 16-week semester.