The Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Programs

by TBS Staff

Updated October 6, 2022

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An online bachelor's degree in social science covers all aspects of human society and social life, from small groups to large–scale institutions. In this age of globalization and diversity, the multidisciplinary field of social science provides clarity about issues of culture, class, race, and gender, with an emphasis on research and data analysis. Graduates with a social science bachelor’s degree pursue many interesting career paths, including teaching, social services, survey research, and market analysis. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment in social science occupations will grow by 10% from 2016 to 2026.

Featured Online Schools

Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

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We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

The Best Online Bachelor's in Social Science Degree Programs

#1 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Programs

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

  • Seattle, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Washington-Seattle Campus provides numerous top-tier bachelor's degrees. The bachelor of arts in integrated social sciences is one of the school's two online bachelor's degrees. The program stands out as a competitive option for students interested in the social science field.

The program supports flexible study for learners from all walks of life. Majors work with academic advisors to select classes that match their interests and fit their schedule. Enrollees can benefit from elective classes, minors, and other modifications.

Degree candidates can expect to pay $37,071 in tuition. Enrollees can explore funding opportunities to apply toward their studies. The average financial aid award per student is $15,354.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 3,931

Total Online Programs: 12

Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Admission Rate: 52%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,370
Out-of-state
$37,071
Retention Rate
95%
Admission Rate
52%
Students Enrolled
47,576
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#2 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Programs

Dickinson State University

  • Dickinson, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners seeking competitive online study in social science should consider Dickinson State University's online bachelor's in social science. The public college supports 23 online bachelor's programs from its main campus in Dickinson, North Dakota. 

The program supports flexible study, meeting the needs of every learner. Students complete coursework relevant to the social science field, with the option to choose electives and modify coursework. Learners can also pursue a minor to further their learning.

Undergraduate students pay approximately $9,782 in tuition. Students at the accredited institution can pursue funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships, to support their studies. On average, enrollees receive $5,053 in financial aid.

Dickinson State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 565

Total Online Programs: 29

Online Bachelor's Programs: 23

Admission Rate: 100%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,522
Out-of-state
$9,782
Retention Rate
68%
Admission Rate
100%
Students Enrolled
1,350
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Programs

New York University

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

New York University, a private, not-for-profit college in New York, New York, supports online learning across 48 online programs. Undergraduate students can choose from four online bachelor's degrees. The bachelor's in social sciences is a wise choice for students seeking competitive, flexible study applicable to a career in social science. The program offers flexible study options, where students can pursue full- or part-time study while modifying classes as they see fit.

Degree candidates complete industry-relevant classes throughout their studies, gaining broad and specific knowledge of the social science field. Enrollees can customize their studies by choosing electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

The value of a bachelor's degree is clear. Graduates increase their job opportunities and earning potential. The institution reports a median salary of $55,900 earned by graduates six years after completing their studies. Degree-seekers interested in learning more about admission requirements and their eligibility for financial aid should connect with the social science department.

New York University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 5,468

Total Online Programs: 48

Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Admission Rate: 16%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$50,684
Out-of-state
$50,684
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
16%
Students Enrolled
52,885
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Programs

Troy University

  • Troy, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Troy University, a public school in Troy, Alabama, boasts a robust online learning community. The college offers 19 fully online bachelor's degrees. Learners hoping to advance in the social science field can enroll in the college's bachelor's in social science. Working professionals and busy students will benefit from the program's flexible study options and class customization.

Degree-seekers complete industry-relevant classes throughout their studies, gaining broad and specific knowledge of the field. Enrollees also attend general education classes to gain a well-rounded education. Learners can customize their studies by working with their academic advisor to choose electives, minors, and degree concentrations.

Bachelor's graduates can access more job opportunities and grow their earning potential over time. The college boasts a median salary of $34,300 for graduates six years after completing their studies. Prospective applicants should consider that the average price after aid is $12,951. Interested students can meet with the social science department directly to discuss admission requirements, application materials, and other relevant information.

Troy University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 9,242

Total Online Programs: 49

Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

Admission Rate: 88%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,800
Out-of-state
$15,600
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
16,436
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Programs

Kansas State University

  • Manhattan, KS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Kansas State University supports 5,850 distance learners across 73 fully online programs. Of these online offerings, 13 provide undergraduate-level education. Degree candidates seeking competitive and flexible study in social science can enroll in the college's online bachelor's in social science program. 

Enrollees complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the social science field. Learners can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

A bachelor's degree connects graduates with numerous job opportunities and a higher earning potential. The college notes a median salary of $41,400 for graduates six years after finishing their studies. The average undergraduate pays $18,103 in tuition and fees yearly. Prospective enrollees can meet with the social science department directly to discuss admission requirements, application materials, and other relevant information.

Kansas State University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 5,850

Total Online Programs: 73

Online Bachelor's Programs: 13

Admission Rate: 95%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,735
Out-of-state
$25,251
Retention Rate
86%
Admission Rate
95%
Students Enrolled
21,719
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Programs

Roger Williams University

  • Bristol, RI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students seeking advanced online study should consider one of Roger Williams University's 20 online degrees. Of its online programs, 10 offer an undergraduate-level education. One option includes a bachelor of general studies in social science. Enrollees benefit from flexible study, with the option to enroll full or part time.

Throughout their coursework, students gain industry-relevant knowledge through general and advanced classes. Degree-seekers can meet with their academic advisor to modify their classes, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

Bachelor's degree-holders can increase their job opportunities and earning potential. According to the college, graduates earn a median salary of $44,100 six years after completing their degree. Prospective students can meet with the financial aid office to learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements.

Roger Williams University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 578

Total Online Programs: 20

Online Bachelor's Programs: 10

Admission Rate: 85%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$32,789
Out-of-state
$32,789
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
4,838
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#7 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Programs

Central Washington University

  • Ellensburg, WA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students looking to earn a flexible college degree should consider Central Washington University's online programs. Of these online offerings, 25 provide undergraduate-level education. Learners looking for advanced, remote study relevant to the social science field can enroll in the bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies - social sciences program. Degree candidates can complete classes at their own pace, with the option for part-time study.

Enrollees complete foundational and advanced coursework relevant to the social science field. Students can work with their academic advisor to manage classes, choose electives, and declare minors and degree concentrations.

Bachelor's graduates benefit from greater access to employment opportunities and higher earning potential. At the college, students can expect to earn a median salary of $38,900 six years after graduation. Undergraduates pay a net price of $16,014 per year at the institution. Prospective students can contact the social science program to learn more about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities.

Central Washington University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 10,718

Total Online Programs: 49

Online Bachelor's Programs: 25

Admission Rate: 85%

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,318
Out-of-state
$21,999
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
85%
Students Enrolled
11,658
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#8 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Programs

University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Adelphi, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online

Located in Adelphi, Maryland, University of Maryland Global Campus offers many top-ranked bachelor's programs. The public college supports 31 online bachelor's degrees, including a bachelor's in social sicence.

Students benefit from a rigorous curriculum that enables flexible study. Learners work with academic advisors to create a course schedule meeting career and academic goals. Enrollees can choose a minor and select electives as part of their curriculum.

Undergraduate tuition at the institution is $11,976. The school's accreditation status allows degree-seekers to access funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships. The college reports that students receive an average of $4,484 in financial aid.

University of Maryland Global Campus at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 52,298

Total Online Programs: 84

Online Bachelor's Programs: 31

Admission Rate: Data not available

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,200
Out-of-state
$11,976
Retention Rate
52%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
58,281
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
90% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#9 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Programs

Franklin University

  • Columbus, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Franklin University, a private, not-for-profit college in Columbus, Ohio, enables study across 56 online programs. Of these programs, 32 are available to undergraduate students. One option includes a bachelor's in social sciences, which permits learners to study full or part time. Enrollees can also modify classes as they see fit.

Degree candidates complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the social science field. Learners choose electives, minors, and concentrations to customize their course of study.

A bachelor's degree enables graduates to access higher-paying jobs and more employment opportunities. The median salary for graduates six years after their degree completion is $42,600, according to the college. Students interested in learning more about admission requirements and their eligibility for financial aid should connect with the social science department.

Franklin University at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 4,809

Total Online Programs: 56

Online Bachelor's Programs: 32

Admission Rate: Data not available

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,552
Out-of-state
$9,552
Retention Rate
47%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
6,031
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
80% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 The Best Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Programs

Granite State College

  • Concord, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online

Located in Concord, New Hampshire, Granite State College enables online learning across 58 online degrees. Undergraduate degree-seekers can choose from 36 online bachelor's programs. Learners looking for advanced, remote study relevant to the social science field can enroll in the school's online bachelor's in individualized studies program. Working professionals and busy students will benefit from the program's flexible study options and class customization.

Throughout the program, students attend industry-relevant lectures while completing major-specific coursework. Enrollees gain knowledge and skills applicable to the social science field. Degree candidates can work with their academic advisor to customize their degree through electives, minors, and concentrations.

The benefits of a bachelor's degree are varied, from increased job opportunities to higher earning potential. The institution reports a median salary of $36,400 earned by graduates six years after completing their studies. Undergraduate students at the college can expect to pay $11,392 in tuition and fees yearly. Prospective students can contact the social science program to learn more about admission requirements and financial aid opportunities.

Granite State College at a Glance:

Online Enrollment: 1,848

Total Online Programs: 58

Online Bachelor's Programs: 36

Admission Rate: Data not available

Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,536
Out-of-state
$8,760
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,005
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
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Choosing an Online Bachelor's in Social Science Program

A bachelor of social science online degree exposes students to social science disciplines, research applications, and tools for analysis most commonly used in these perspectives. Coursework in economics, sociology, anthropology, history, political science, research methods, and statistics make up some of the coursework within these programs, typically requiring four years of full–time study to complete. The social science curriculum emphasizes the acquisition of skills like verbal and written communication, critical thinking, decision making, and problem solving. Some programs may require students to complete an internship, an independent research project, or some other practical experience prior to graduation.

A bachelor’s degree in social science creates a steppingstone to a variety of career opportunities. While many social science majors decide to pursue graduate education or a professional degree, others choose to enter the job market directly after earning their bachelor’s degree, finding entry–level positions in many occupational fields related to their major. A bachelor of social science degree provides a strong foundation for master’s and doctoral programs in social science–related fields, such as anthropology, psychology, sociology, or political science. A social science online degree can benefit students planning to continue in professional programs like law, social work, and health sciences.

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What Will I Learn in an Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Program?

Featured Online Schools

Each school offering a bachelor of social science online degree establishes its own distinctive requirements and curriculum. However, all programs provide students with a comprehensive overview of the major, including core social sciences courses and specialized fields of study. Many programs also allow students to select areas of interest within one or more of the social science perspectives.

Research Methods in the Social Sciences
This course introduces students to the common research methods in the social sciences, principles of social science research, and ethical responsibilities of researchers. A major section of the course includes an independent research project that requires students to define a research problem, write a proposal, collect empirical data, and analyze and report findings.
Race and Ethnic Relations
The intersection of race and ethnicity with other structures of identity formation, such as gender, class, and nationality, occupies a central place in the study of social science with relevance to many professional and organizational environments. This course examines race and ethnicity as social constructions, stereotypes, prejudice and institutional discrimination, color–blind racism, immigration, and global racial and ethnic conflict.
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Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Careers

With its focus on all aspects of human behavior, a bachelor’s degree in social science leads to many career opportunities. The social science degree provides a foundation for employment in teaching or social work, and it delivers a solid preparation for graduate school. Graduates with research and data analysis skills may find employment in marketing research and related fields.

Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts gather and interpret data on consumer behavior and market conditions. They also review and forecast potential demand for a company’s products or services, using statistical software packages. This career requires at least a bachelor’s degree with training in social science, research methods, and statistics. Some positions require a master’s degree in marketing, statistics, or a related field.
  • Median Annual Salary: $63,230
  • Projected Growth Rate: 23%
High School Teacher
These teachers instruct students from grades 9-12, preparing them to enter the workforce or attend college. Most states require that high school teachers possess a bachelor’s degree with a major in a teachable subject area, such as the social sciences along with education courses. Public school teachers must also possess a state-issued certification.
  • Median Annual Salary: $59,170
  • Projected Growth Rate: 8%
Social Worker
Social workers may be employed as family specialists, school advisors, health care advocates and substance abuse counselors. Entry-level positions are available for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in social work or the social sciences. Clinical social workers must complete an MSW degree and obtain a license in the state where they practice.
  • Median Annual Salary: $47,980
  • Projected Growth Rate: 16%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Accreditation for Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Degrees

When deciding on a school for your bachelor of social science online degree, be sure to investigate the institution’s accreditation. The process of accreditation verifies that schools have been evaluated by independent, external agencies to ensure that these colleges and universities deliver quality programs and continue to meet appropriate performance standards.

Two types of accreditation are available to institutions of higher education: regional and national. Most schools — nearly 85% — seek regional accreditation, more widely respected and generally considered more prestigious than national accreditation. Both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation provide useful information and links to help you determine if a school, department, or program has received accreditation.

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Social Science Professional Organizations

The most successful students take the time to learn about career opportunities and what it takes to stand out in the competitive job market. Professional organizations allow students to network with others in the field and acquire the skills needed to enter a career or pursue graduate work. These associations in social science often offer membership discounts for undergraduate students and provide access to educational workshops, employment services, and resume help.

Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
APPAM hosts a network of educators and researchers in public policy fields. Social science students considering a career in public policy may apply for a student membership that includes a mentor program, job placement, and conference attendance.
American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences
AABSS provides networking opportunities for faculty, scholars, and students through a forum to share social science research. The association hosts an annual conference that showcases behavioral and social science scholarships.
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