Sociology Degree Online
A bachelor's degree in sociology helps students develop a deep understanding of human behavior, society, and social groups. Earning a sociology degree online develops skills in statistical analysis, quantitative reasoning, and complex problem-solving. These skills qualify learners to work in sociology-related fields and other fields that rely on the same versatile skill set.
This guide contains advice on how to capitalize on a sociology degree. It offers an overview of the discipline and ranks some of the best online sociology programs. It also addresses frequently asked questions, career prospects, and earning potential.
Featured Online Schools
The Best Online Bachelor's in Sociology
University of Florida-Online
A public university founded in 1853 and operating from its current location since 1906, UF serves more than 52,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year.
UF Online's bachelor of arts in sociology gives students a broad foundation in sociological theory, social psychology, criminology, and environmental studies. Graduates may go on to grad school or start their careers in community service, criminal justice, or marketing.
This program requires applicants to transfer 60 or more credits, including two sociology courses, with an overall GPA of 2.0 and a sociology GPA of 2.75. UF Online does not require standardized test scores.
Univerity of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Florida International University
FIU, a public university founded in 1965, serves more than 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students annually. FIU is the largest university in South Florida.
The 120-credit online bachelor of arts in sociology/anthropology: sociology track offers students a broad foundation in research, statistical sampling, and social data analysis to help students achieve positive social change. Students learn both the theory and practical skills needed to tackle real-world problems, from gentrification and urban blight to corporate downsizing.
Applicants must submit high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Applications are considered holistically, with no minimum scores or GPA specified. Students may, if desired, apply to FIU's Honors College.
Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
University of Central Florida
One of the largest universities in the United States, UCF has a student body of nearly 70,000. UCF opened in 1968 as Florida Technological University, primarily serving the growing space program.
UCF offers a fully online bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in sociology. BA students must take a foreign language, but otherwise, both 120-credit programs cover the same materials.
Students study social inequality, crime, and the law, gaining both theoretical and practical understanding of complex social issues. All students must complete a capstone project that puts their new learning to the test.
Applicants must submit transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. No minimums are specified, but the school reports averages of 28.7 ACT, 1320 ACT, and 4.18 GPA.
University of Central Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Nicholls State University
Founded in 1948, Nicholls serves just over 6,000 students each year. Calling its campus "family-oriented," Nicholls also regularly earns recognition as a military-friendly institution.
Nicholls offers an online bachelor of arts in sociology, with concentrations in applied sociology or social work. Students interested in social services work or graduate school typically choose the social work track. Taught in accelerated eight-week terms, both tracks provide a strong grounding in the basics of sociology and psychology before moving into individual concentration courses.
Applicants must submit transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. In-state students need a GPA of 2.35 or a GPA of 2.0 with an ACT 21 or SAT 1060. Out-of-state students need an ACT 23 or SAT 1130 or a GPA of 2.35 with an ACT 21 or SAT 1060.
Nicholls State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
University of North Alabama
Founded in 1830 as LaGrange College, UNA became a teacher's college in 1872. It now serves just over 8,000 students across a variety of majors.
UNA offers a fully online bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in sociology. The bachelor of arts degree requires six credits in a foreign language. Both degrees train students in communication skills, problem-solving, and research. Graduates often go on to careers in education, community services, and policy and law.
Coursework covers topics such as politics, marriage and family, and sociological theory. All students must choose a minor or second major, and all must pass a final exit exam.
Applicants need a 2.25 GPA and ACT 18 or SAT 960 for unconditional admission. Conditional admission may be granted with a 2.0 GPA and ACT 16 or SAT 880.
University of North Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Fort Hays State University
Founded in 1902 on the grounds of the closed Fort Hays military outpost, FHSU moved to its current location two years later. Today, the university serves just over 15,000 students each year.
FHSU offers a fully online bachelor of science in sociology. The highly flexible program requires just seven core courses. Students choose their own path through a wide variety of electives such as feminist theory, medical sociology, or comparative cultural anthropology.
Overall, the major emphasizes teaching for the most in-demand professional skills such as critical thinking, mediation, interviewing, and grant writing. Potential careers include research, human resources, public relations, and non-profit management.
Applicants need a 2.25 GPA or an ACT 21 or SAT 1080. A 2.0 GPA is required for any transfer credits.
Fort Hays State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Arizona State University-Skysong
A public university founded in 1885, ASU serves more than 53,000 students every year.
The university offers a fully online bachelor of science in sociology. This program focuses heavily on research and the history of racial and social community issues. Different from the more typical bachelor of arts program, the BS focuses more narrowly on sociology topics. Graduates may go on to graduate school or begin careers in fields such as social work, counseling, government, or human behavior research.
Applicants must meet at least one of these requirements: minimum GPA of 3.0, ACT 22 (24 out-of-state) or SAT 1120 (1180 out-of-state) scores, or be in the top 25% of their graduating class.
Arizona State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Arkansas State University-Main Campus
A-State, a public research university founded in 1909, serves more than 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students annually.
A-State's online bachelor of arts in sociology focuses on why humans respond to their surroundings and communities the way they do. The 120-credit program requires eight core courses in social theory, applied research, and social statistics. Students then choose their own path with 24 credits in electives such as the sociology of disasters or juvenile delinquency. Students may, if desired, double major in criminology.
First-year applicants need a minimum 2.75 GPA and an SAT 1070 or ACT 21 composite with subject scores of 19 each. Transfer students need a 2.0 college GPA and test scores.
Arkansas State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Brandman — soon to become a west-coast extension of the University of Massachusetts known as UMass Global — caters to working adults. Only students with 12 or more transferable credits may be admitted.
Brandman offers a 100% online bachelor of arts in sociology. Coursework focuses on major sociological theories, U.S. and global diversity, and scientific research and writing. Students may complete an experiential learning program, such as an internship if desired.
Applicants must submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended and a minimum 2.0 GPA in at least 12 transfer credits.
Brandman University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Oregon's largest university, OSU serves nearly 32,000 students annually. It offers more than 200 separate undergraduate degree programs, as well as a variety of graduate programs.
OSU offers an online bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in sociology. The bachelor of arts requires a foreign language, but the two programs are otherwise virtually identical. Students may, if desired, specialize in crime and justice or environmental and natural resources. Students may also add a minor such as business or history.
OSU uses a holistic application process that considers grades and a personal essay, quality of high school courses, and other factors. The recommended minimum GPA is 3.0. ACT or SAT scores are not required but will be considered if submitted.
Oregon State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Averett University-Non-Traditional Programs
Founded as a private, Baptist women's college in 1859, Averett became coed in 1969. Averett offers online programs through its Graduate and Professional Studies department.
Averett's online bachelor of science degree in sociology and criminal justice caters to those passionate about criminal justice or social services. The interdisciplinary program, designed for students with some college and work experience, allows students to transfer up to 90 credits.
The program also emphasizes ethics-based decision-making and community relations. Courses focus on real-world applications of theoretical knowledge and finding actionable solutions to complex social issues. Students study dual-discipline topics such as social class, crisis intervention, and criminal law and prosecutions.
Applicants must submit transcripts from all schools attended and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in high school and college coursework. Standardized tests are not required.
Averett University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Kennesaw State University
The second-largest university in the state, KSU serves more than 41,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
KSU offers a fully online bachelor of science in sociology that focuses on diversity, modernization, and social change at both local and global levels. Also, students may choose a concentration in criminology, medical sociology, or culture and social change. Students who do not select a concentration may use a variety of electives to customize their own path.
Applicants need a minimum GPA of 2.6, or a 2.5 with ACT 18 English/18 Math or SAT 500 Reading Writing/490 Math.
Kennesaw State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Part of the sprawling University of Wisconsin public university system, UW-Parkside serves approximately 4,300 students annually.
UW-Parkside offers a 100% online bachelor of arts in sociology. Designed for associate degree holders or those with at least 45 transferable credits, the degree-completion program includes 20 credits of core courses in sociological theories and methods. Students then choose electives, including at least one course in each of four focus areas: criminology and deviance, family and human services, race and ethnic relations, and urban institutions and the occupational world.
Applicants must hold an associate degree or at least 45 transferable credits with a college GPA of 2.25.
University of Wisconsin - Parkside is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
Columbus State University
A public university founded in 1958, CSU serves nearly 8,000 students each year. It boasts low student-to-teacher ratios and a focus on innovative thinking.
CSU offers a fully online bachelor of science in sociology. In addition to general requirements, students take four core courses before choosing their own directions with 24 credits of electives. Topics include sociology of education, adventures in cyberspace, and mental health and human services. All students must complete a capstone project.
Applicants need a 2.5 GPA, SAT 480 Reading/Writing and 440 Math, or ACT 17 English or Writing and 17 Math.
Columbus State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
University of West Georgia
UWG, a public university founded in 1906, serves over 13,000 students annually, both on its rural campus and online.
The university offers an online bachelor of science in sociology. Students may transfer up to 90 credits. The program provides students with a strong foundation in sociological theory, research methods, and applied statistics. Students then choose from various electives, such as gender, deviation, and the sociology of emotions.
UWG requires a minimum GPA of 2.6 and all official transcripts. ACT and SAT are currently not required through 2021.
University of West Georgia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
California Baptist University
CBU, a private Baptist university founded in 1950, provides a Christ-centered curriculum from a 100% Christian faculty and staff. The university serves just over 11,000 students per year.
CBU offers a 100% online bachelor of arts in sociology. This degree-completion program, designed for transfer students, can be completed in just 16 months through small, interactive classes.
The program blends a Christian worldview with research methodology and the study of human behavior. Coursework focuses on large institutional structures, social problems, and the ways people interact with one another. It also emphasizes building strong work ethics and moral character.
Applicants need at least 24 transfer credits and official transcripts with a minimum GPA of 2.0.
California Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
Part of the sprawling University of Colorado system, CU Denver serves nearly 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year.
CU Denver offers an online bachelor of arts in sociology. The program includes five core courses in sociological theory, qualitative methods, and inequalities in the social world. Students then design their own path with a variety of elective courses based on personal interest. If desired, students may earn departmental honors through participation in two semesters of directed research.
Applicants must submit transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Applications are considered holistically, with no set minimum GPA or test scores.
University of Colorado Denver is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
South Dakota State University
SDSU, a public university founded in 1881, serves more than 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
SDSU offers an online bachelors in sociology. Designed for those with previous college experience, this degree completion program features four core courses and 18 credits of sociology electives. All students must select a minor in another field, such as criminal justice. Students complete a capstone seminar at the end of the program.
Applicants must have a 2.0 GPA in at least 24 transfer credits. Students with fewer than 24 transfer credits must meet first-year admission requirements. Students may also gain up to 12 elective credits for certain prior learning experiences.
South Dakota State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
California State University-Fullerton
Part of California's extensive Cal State system, Cal State Fullerton serves roughly 40,000 students online and at its Orange County-based campus every year.
Cal State Fullerton offers a fully online bachelor of arts in sociology. This three-year degree-completion program spans 17 classes that last 5-8 weeks each. Courses include sociology of city life, African American music appreciation, and the American drug scene.
The university requires a transfer GPA of at least 2.5 in 69 or 70 transfer credits, including an intro to sociology course. Students with 60-68 credits may be admitted provisionally.
California State University, Fullerton, is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
A private university founded as a seminary in 1828, McK maintains its affiliation with the United Methodist Church. Approximately 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend.
McK offers a 100% online bachelor of arts in sociology and criminal justice. Designed for busy professionals in the criminal justice field, the program prepares students for careers in corrections, court services, or law enforcement. Coursework includes such topics as race and ethnic relations, juvenile delinquency, and correctional institutions.
Applicants must submit transcripts. ACT or SAT scores, letters of recommendation, and an admissions interview are optional but highly recommended.
McKendree University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of Nebraska at Omaha
ONU, founded in 1908 as a Christian university free of ecclesiastical control, has a student body of just over 15,000 undergrads and grad students.
Omaha offers an online bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in sociology, with an optional concentration in health and society. The bachelor of arts requires 16 credits in a foreign language, while the bachelor of science requires 15 credits in a cognate field of specialization.
All students take five core courses and two labs, followed by sociology electives and/or concentration coursework. Students in both tracks must complete a senior thesis.
Applicants with a 3.0 GPA, an ACT 20 or equivalent SAT, or those in the top 50% of their graduating class are guaranteed admission.
University of Nebraska Omaha is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Founded as a teaching college for the Lumbee Nation in 1887, UNCP today is part of the University of North Carolina system. The university has approximately 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
UNCP offers a fully online degree completion program for a bachelor of arts in sociology. All students complete six core courses in social problems in modern society, social writing/rhetoric, and social statistics. They then choose their own path with 15 credits of sociology electives.
Applicants must have transfer credits to cover all general education requirements with a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
University of North Carolina at Pembroke is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
As part of the Texas State University system since 2015, LU serves more than 15,000 students each year.
LU offers a fully online bachelor of science in sociology. The program covers various subjects, including criminology, culture, gender, and social psychology. Students also receive a thorough grounding in basic sociological theory, data analysis, and research methods.
Applicants must rank in the top 50% of their graduating class or have completed 18 college credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA to qualify for test-optional admission. Otherwise, a minimum SAT score of 1040 or ACT score of 20 is required.
Lamar University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Northern Arizona University
Founded in 1899, NAU serves more than 30,000 students every year with a student-first philosophy of personalized teaching and top-notch research resources.
NAU offers an online bachelor of sociology degree. The highly flexible program features just four core courses: intro to sociology, development of sociological thought, social or applied statistics, and research methods. Students then choose their own path with a variety of electives.
All students must also complete a minor and a three-credit internship, original research project, or study abroad semester. In their last semester, all students complete a capstone senior seminar.
Applicants need a 3.0 GPA for guaranteed admission. Applicants with a 2.5 GPA may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Northern Arizona University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
UofM, founded in 1912, has a total student body of more than 21,000 undergrads and grad students.
UofM Global, the school's online arm, offers a fully virtual bachelor of arts in sociology. The highly customizable program allows students to design a personalized path based on interest and faculty expertise. Potential areas of study include income inequality, educational sociology, and social research methodology. Graduates earn valuable business skills such as research, data analysis, and a global perspective.
Applicants must submit high school and/or college transcripts. The university is currently test-flexible, so ACT or SAT scores are not required. Applications are considered holistically, with no specific GPA specified.
The University of Memphis is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Online Bachelor's in Sociology Degree Programs Ranking Guidelines
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What Is An Online Bachelor's in Sociology Degree?
An online sociology degree introduces learners to the history, development, and contemporary expressions of the field. Degree-seekers receive broad-based instruction in the liberal arts with a special emphasis on the social factors, norms, and values that influence collective human behavior over time. Most programs also explore how to analyze individual instances of social behavior and relate those findings to broader issues like race, gender, class, family structures, and national identity.
Most students pursue this degree immediately following high school, although some programs prefer learners with some college experience. Graduates often find entry-level positions or pursue a master's degree.
Choosing an Online Program
Choosing an appropriate program depends on factors like tuition, career goals, curriculum, and delivery method. Click the link below to learn more about how to select the right online sociology degree for you.
What Else Can I Expect From a Bachelor's in Sociology Program?
Schools offering an online sociology degree tend to have similar learning objectives. Some programs may also offer concentrations or specializations, which let learners explore additional interests and develop skills that align with their professional goals.
The section below looks at some common courses in a typical online sociology degree.
Bachelor's in Sociology Curriculum
This course covers the philosophical roots of social theories and how they have developed over time. Other topics include approaches to human nature; the structure and functioning of social groups; conflict, cohesion and social control; and the articulation of the individual and society.
Research Methods in Sociology
This course introduces students to research design and measurement techniques that they may need for future sociology careers. Students evaluate existing research, design a research project, collect data, and analyze the data using SPSS Statistics.
This course examines major theoretical approaches to the study of social inequality and empirical research on wealth, income, race, and gender stratification. Lectures and assignments cover classical and contemporary sociological theories; comparative analyses of the structure of inequality; the U.S. class structure; and global perspectives on poverty, wealth, and social mobility.
Below are three careers that require the technical knowledge and applied skills that students develop during an online sociology degree. These are just a few example careers; there are many other options that sociology graduates can pursue.
Training and Development Specialists
These professionals plan and implement programs designed to improve employee efficiency and productivity. Training and development specialists often assess needs through targeted surveys and evaluate existing programs based on their organization's needs and preferred outcomes.
Training specialists normally work full time during regular business hours and sometimes travel to training sites or to meet with potential clients. Most work for larger business and organizations, though some provide services as independent consultants.
Job Outlook (2018-2028)
Sociologists use behavioral analysis and research skills to address pressing social issues. They often generate research projects to test theories, using deductive and inductive reasoning techniques to interpret data and draw conclusions. These professionals often collaborate with other scientists, researchers, and policy experts to develop solutions that enhance society and cultural institutions.
Sociologists typically work full time within nonprofits, colleges and universities, and other socially-minded organizations. Most sociologists need a master's degree or a Ph.D. in sociology.
Job Outlook (2018-2028)
Survey researchers are typically employed in government, business, and social services, where they conduct surveys and use statistical software to analyze data, including demographic information and public opinion polls.
Some survey researchers enter the field with only a bachelor's degree in sociology or another social science that includes statistics training. However, many positions require advanced training and a graduate degree.
Job Outlook (2018-2028)
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take to Complete a Bachelor's in Sociology Program?
Most degree-seekers complete their online sociology degrees in four years. Part-time learners may take a bit longer, while students with transfer credits or an associate degree can finish in two years.
What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Sociology?
Graduates often pursue careers working in socially-oriented businesses, health services, and social work. It is also common to pursue a master's or Ph.D. in sociology, which opens the career path to becoming a sociology professor.
Is It Hard to Get a Job With a Sociology Degree?
While a sociology job is not guaranteed, there is plenty of opportunity: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 9% increase in the number of sociology jobs between 2018 and 2028.
Is Sociology a Dying Field?
No. In addition to careers as sociologists, graduates with an online sociology degree can find work in education, business, and criminal justice.
What Does a Sociologist Do?
Sociologists analyze society and collective behavior by studying how cultures, groups, and institutions develop over time. They accomplish these tasks by gathering data and presenting research.
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