The Best Online Bachelor’s of Sociology

by TBS Staff
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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

  1. University of Florida-Online
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $10287

    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).

  2. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $9180

    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).

  3. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $13016

    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).

  4. Nicholls State University
    Location

    Thibodaux, LA

    Tuition

    $10496

    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).

  5. University of North Alabama
    Location

    Florence, AL

    Tuition

    $12121

    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).

  6. Fort Hays State University
    Location

    Hays, KS

    Tuition

    $12420

    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).

  7. Arizona State University-Skysong
    Location

    Scottsdale, AZ

    Tuition

    $14166

    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).

  8. Arkansas State University-Main Campus
    Location

    Jonesboro, AR

    Tuition

    $13459

    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).

  9. Brandman University
    Location

    Irvine, CA

    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).

  10. Oregon State University
    Location

    Corvallis, OR

    Tuition

    $18625

    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).

Online Bachelor's in Sociology Degree Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, 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.

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

Sociological Theory

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.

Social Inequality

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.

Sociology Careers

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.

Median Annual Salary

$61,210

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

9%

Sociologists

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.

Median Annual Salary

$83,420

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

9%

Survey Researchers

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.

Median Annual Salary

$59,170

Job Outlook (2018-2028)

1%

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.

Image Credit: Tom Werner | Getty Images

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