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The Best Online Bachelor's of Sociology

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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.

Top 10 Online Bachelor's in Sociology Programs 2020

#1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
#2 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
#3 Washington State University Pullman, WA
#4 University of Louisville Louisville, KY
#5 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI
#6 Florida International University Miami, FL
#7 University of Memphis Memphis, TN
#8 Wichita State University Wichita, KS
#9 North Dakota State University-Main Campus Fargo, ND
#10 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL

The Best Online Bachelor's in Sociology

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4

University of Louisville 

Louisville, KY

About this school

A public research institution founded in 1798, the University of Louisville values excellence, inclusivity, and engaged collaboration. Located within Kentucky's largest metropolitan area, the school offers over 150 programs of study.

UofL's 121-credit, online bachelor of arts in sociology empowers learners to design evidence-based solutions to future challenges. Learners build skills in research methods, data analysis, and policy implementation while studying social theory, behavioral studies, and race relations in the United States. The program uses a mostly synchronous format.

Applicants to this online sociology degree need a high school diploma or equivalent with a minimum 2.5 GPA. UofL accepts up to 60 transfer credits earned at a community college or up to 90 credits earned at a four-year institution.

5

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 

Milwaukee, WI

About this school

Located along Wisconsin's southeastern corridor, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee provides affordable, quality educational programs in business, engineering and architecture, science, and the humanities.

Students at UWM can pursue a sociology degree online through the College of Letters and Science. The 120-credit bachelor's in sociology program introduces learners to common methods of sociological analysis, preparing them to work in areas like public relations, social services, case management, and rehabilitation counseling. Learners study topics like statistical research methods, the history of sociology, criminology, and the sociology of sex.

Qualified applicants must possess a high school diploma or equivalent and submit official academic transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.

6

Florida International University 

Miami, FL

About this school

Florida International University is a public research institution founded in 1965. FIU promotes respect, responsibility, and freedom of inquiry across its nearly 200 academic and professional programs.

The school's online sociology degree prepares students to work in areas like market analysis, policy research, and nonprofit administration. Offered through the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, the 120-credit bachelor's in sociology and anthropology with a sociology track examines topics like social theory, societies in the world, quantitative social research, and research methods.

Admission requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent, official academic transcripts, and recent SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students can use FIU's intuitive equivalency tool to determine potential transfer credits.

7

University of Memphis 

Memphis, TN

About this school

Established in 1912, the University of Memphis is a public research school that hosts just over 20,000 students annually and trains future leaders in business, education, public health, fine arts, and the humanities.

The 120-credit, online bachelor of arts in sociology introduces degree-seekers to sociological theories, statistical techniques, and research methods. Learners study topics like globalization, criminology, social change, and contemporary social problems. The fully online program uses both synchronous and asynchronous learning tools.

Online students gain access to online tutoring, technical assistance, and career guidance. Prospective learners need a high school diploma or equivalent. The school uses an on-boarding portal to familiarize accepted degree-seekers with the experience of online learning before they begin the program itself.

8

Wichita State University 

Wichita, KS

About this school

A public research school governed by the Kansas Board of Regents, Wichita State University promotes adaptive approaches to innovation. The school hosts just over 15,000 degree-seekers annually through programs in applied studies, engineering, and healthcare.

The 120-credit, online bachelor of general studies with a concentration in sociology allows learners to pursue their interests through a customizable curriculum that develops knowledge in the humanities and liberal arts. Learners study topics like history of sociology, economic theory, and applied statistics. All degree-seekers receive a dedicated online academic advisor to help them with career planning, course selection, and technical support.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent with a 2.25 GPA or higher. They must also submit ACT or SAT scores.

9

North Dakota State University-Main Campus 

Fargo, ND

About this school

Established in 1890, North Dakota State University fosters accountability, diversity, and integrative learning. The public land-grant institution operates a main campus in Fargo with several additional affiliates and research centers throughout the region.

The school's online bachelor's in sociology degree cultivates knowledge and skills in social behavior, analytical problem-solving, and empirical research. The 124-credit program includes core courses like introduction to sociology and statistics, cultural diversity, social interaction, and organizational behavior.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and provide official academic transcripts indicating a 2.75 GPA or higher and SAT or ACT scores. Potential transfer credits must be earned at a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.

10

University of Central Florida 

Orlando, FL

About this school

Established in 1963, the University of Central Florida hosts around 70,000 students annually through diverse undergraduate and graduate programs, including many online options.

Distance learners can pursue an online bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in sociology. Both programs require 120 credits and prepare students to work as behavioral analysts, human resource administrators, and mental health professionals. Core courses include applied social science theory, methods of statistical research, and human geography.

Learners have access to online learning success coaches, who offer academic support and technical assistance. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit transcripts and ACT or SAT scores.

11

South Dakota State University 

Brookings, SD

About this school

South Dakota State University is a comprehensive research institution founded in 1881. The oldest continually operating university in South Dakota, SDSU administers nearly 200 student-centered academic programs through eight schools and colleges.

The 120-credit, online bachelor of science in sociology teaches learners how to use sociological theories and skills to address social issues. Learners study topics like sociological theory, diversity, and quantitative research methods. In addition to coursework, students must complete a 120-hour practicum, gaining experience in the field. Graduates can work in areas like data analytics, justice and rehabilitation, and education.

Learners interested in pursuing this sociology degree online must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and sit for an in-house placement assessment. SDSU accepts applications on a rolling basis throughout the year.

12

Tennessee State University 

Nashville, TN

About this school

A public research institution and historically Black college, Tennessee State University promotes integrity, diversity, and shared governance. Founded in 1912, the school awards undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, engineering, health sciences, and public service.

TSU's online bachelor of science in sociology examines the social variables that shape the world and how those variables affect collective human behavior. This 120-credit program explores classical and contemporary social theories, criminal justice applications, and methods of social science research. Online students have access to career counseling and technical support services.

Admission requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent and official transcripts indicating a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants must also provide immunization records and recent SAT or ACT scores. TSU welcomes transfer learners with qualified credits and a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.

13

Western Kentucky University 

Bowling Green, KY

About this school

Established in 1906, Western Kentucky University is a public research institution that serves around 18,000 students annually through over 200 programs. The school's 120-credit, fully online bachelor of arts in sociology explores how factors like race, class, and religion contribute to social behavior.

Students can choose from four concentrations: community, environment, and development; family, gender, and sexuality; inequality and social change; and research methods. Regardless of concentration, all students take courses like instruction in strategies of social research, theories of the social self, globalization, and cultural diversity in America. Expert faculty and experienced practitioners facilitate all learning experiences.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. All potential transfer credits must come from a regionally accredited college or university.

14

Sam Houston State University 

Huntsville, TX

About this school

Chartered in 1879, Sam Houston State University promotes lifelong learning and intellectual inquiry. A public research institution, the school offers comprehensive programming in arts and media, engineering and technology, business, and the social sciences.

SHSU offers an online sociology degree that can be conferred as bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. The 120-credit program offers three concentrations: social change, social institutions, and societal inequality.

Regardless of concentration, all learners study principles of sociological research, macroeconomics, and multicultural health. In addition to coursework, students can complete an optional internship to gain practical experience in the field. Graduates can work in areas like case management, public administration, and policy analysis.

Learners interested in pursuing this sociology degree online need a high school diploma or equivalent and recent SAT or ACT results. Learners can transfer up to 66 credits toward the degree.

15

California State University-Fullerton 

Fullerton, CA

About this school

Established in 1957, California State University, Fullerton hosts nearly 40,000 learners each year through over 100 programs in areas like communications, computer science, and the liberal arts.

CSUF's online bachelor of arts in sociology is a degree-completion program that caters to students with significant transfer credits. The program uses a cohort model, meaning students progress through coursework with the same group of peers throughout the program. Learners study topics like social interaction, theories of social behavior, criminology, and death and dying.

Applicants need at least 70 college-level credits to apply. They must also submit transcripts and meet with an academic advisor before full enrollment. Learners can begin the program on one of three start dates per year.

16

California University of Pennsylvania 

California, PA

About this school

California University of Pennsylvania is a public institution founded in 1852, when municipal leaders saw the need to establish a normal school for area educators. Today, the school offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, including many online options.

The 120-credit, online bachelor of arts in sociology with a concentration in social deviance provides an introduction to sociological theories and concepts while focusing on the social factors that contribute to abnormal behavior. Learners study topics like sociology of crime, addiction and exploitation, applied research methods, and institutional violence. They also complete an internship, gaining practical experience in the field. Most degree-seekers complete this online sociology degree in three years.

Prospective students must be recent high school graduates with a competitive GPA. They must also provide official transcripts, recent SAT or ACT scores, letters of recommendation, and a brief essay.

17

University of Northern Colorado 

Greeley, CO

About this school

The University of Northern Colorado promotes intellectual freedom, equal opportunity, and academic integrity. Founded in 1899, the school maintains a 260-acre, suburban campus in Greeley, plus regional locations in Denver, Loveland, and Colorado Springs.

UNC's fully online bachelor of arts in sociology is a degree-completion program designed for students with at least 60 transfer credits or an associate degree. The program offers four concentrations: family, inequalities and institutions, deviance and social control, and social psychology and life course. All learners study contemporary social theory, gender and aging, juvenile delinquency, and domestic violence. Graduates can work in areas like policy development, human resources, and social work.

Applicants to this online sociology degree need at least 60 prior college credits. They must also submit transcripts from all previous academic work, immunization records, and recent SAT or ACT scores.

18

Mary Baldwin University 

Staunton, VA

About this school

A private, liberal arts school affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, Mary Baldwin University values reflective reasoning and engaged scholarship. The school offers comprehensive programs in education, health sciences, and social work.

MBU's online bachelor's in sociology degree inclues interdisciplinary insights from anthropology and psychology. The program focuses on theory and research methods and offers professional preparation through internship experiences and practical field instruction. Courses cover topics like contemporary social problems, death and dying, sociology in popular culture, and methods of quantitative research.

Learners can transfer up to 18 credits toward the degree. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit transcripts and a statement of academic history. The school accepts applications on a rolling basis throughout the year.

19

University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 

North Dartmouth, MA

About this school

Founded in 1895, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth cultivates a vibrant learning environment dedicated to rigorous teaching and scholarly innovation. The school's fully online bachelor of arts in sociology and anthropology comprises 120 credits. Learners in this program can concentrate on sociology or anthropology, but both concentrations incorporate insights from both disciplines.

Learners study topics like food and famine, the social impact of technology, urban issues in domestic policy, and health and healing. The program concludes with an integrative internship and capstone seminar. Students can transfer up to 75 credits toward the degree.

Degree-seekers interested in pursuing this sociology degree online must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit recent SAT or ACT scores and official academic transcripts. They must also submit a 500-word personal statement that speaks to their leadership qualities, academic background, and intent to study.

20

William Paterson University of New Jersey 

Wayne, NJ

About this school

William Paterson University of New Jersey has been advancing academic excellence and student success since its founding in 1855. The school serves over 10,000 degree-seekers annually through programs in business, science, and the humanities.

William Paterson's 45-credit, online bachelor of arts in liberal studies with a concentration in sociology is a degree-completion program designed for learners with a relevant associate degree. Students learn how sociological methods of inquiry interact with fields like geography, political science, psychology, and history. Learners complete core major classes, an internship, and a final capstone experience. Graduates possess skills in data analysis, creative problem-solving, and social science research.

Qualified applicants to this online sociology degree need at least 60 transferable credits from a regionally accredited institution. They must also submit transcripts.

21

Clarion University of Pennsylvania 

Clarion, PA

About this school

Established in 1867, Clarion University of Pennsylvania is a public institution that offers over 175 programs of study, including several online options. The school's 120-credit, online bachelor's in sociology and psychology explores topics like developmental psychology, methods of social science research, and social welfare.

Most courses span seven weeks. The program prepares students for careers in social and human services as well as graduate-level study in sociology and psychology. Graduates possess knowledge of social theory, the scientific method, and the ideological factors that impact American society.

Prospective learners need a high school diploma or equivalent. They must also submit official transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. Clarion does not specify a GPA threshold, but does recommend that applicants hold a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.

22

University of Nebraska at Kearney 

Kearney, NE

About this school

The University of Nebraska at Kearney promotes public service and collaborative scholarship. The school dates back to 1905, when the Nebraska State Legislature established it as a site for teacher training. UNK has since expanded its offerings to include comprehensive instruction in science and the humanities.

Distance learners at UNK can choose from two bachelor's in sociology options. Students with transfer credit or a relevant associate degree can pursue an online sociology degree-completion program that requires 36 credits and results in a bachelor of science in sociology. Degree-seekers with no previous academic experience can enroll in the 120-credit, online bachelor's in sociology program.

Both programs qualify learners for careers in social services, market research, and public relations. Courses cover topics like globalization, cultural diversity, and methods of sociological inquiry. Degree-seekers access course content through interactive learning tools like email, discussion boards, and real-time video lectures.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit transcripts, a resume, and ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students must submit their credits for internal evaluation by UNK.

23

California State University-Chico 

Chico, CA

About this school

Chartered in 1887, California State University, Chico is the second-oldest campus in the California State University system. The school offers a variety of career-oriented programs and academic courses of study.

The 40-credit, fully online bachelor of arts in sociology is a degree-completion program designed for students with at least 60 transfer credits or an associate degree. Students gain skills in data analysis, quantitative reasoning, and social theory. Courses cover topics like wealth and inequality, grant writing, and world affairs in sociological focus.

Learners interested in pursuing this sociology degree online need at least 60 transferable credits from a regionally accredited institution. They must also provide official transcripts indicating a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. Chico State has a dedicated transfer portal to help prospective degree-seekers assess potential transfer credits.

24

Northern Arizona University 

Flagstaff, AZ

About this school

Founded in 1899, Northern Arizona University is a public research institution that enrolls over 30,000 learners annually through programs in technology and engineering, business, and applied science.

NAU's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers a 120-credit, online bachelor of science in sociology that pairs scientific research with humanistic modes of inquiry. The program includes instruction in the liberal arts as well as the history, development, and contemporary applications of sociology.

The program offers two enrollment paths: a traditional, semester-based course of study and a flexible, competency-based route with multiple start dates. Graduates can work in areas like community organizing, victim advocacy, and social services.

Applicants must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and submit transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. NAU recommends that applicants have a minimum 2.5 GPA. Transcripts must satisfy the competencies outlined by the Arizona Board of Regents.

25

Westfield State University 

Westfield, MA

About this school

A public research school located near the Pioneer valley, Westfield State University offers accessible, affordable programs in science, professional studies, and the liberal arts. Learners with eligible transfer credits or an associate degree can pursue Westfield State's online bachelor's degree-completion program in sociology.

The 36-credit program leads to a bachelor of arts in sociology. Learners study topics like principles of sociology, research methods, and sociological theory. In addition to coursework, students complete an internship, gaining practical experience in the field. The fully online program concludes with a capstone component that integrates gained skills and knowledge.

The school accepts applications on a rolling basis. Applicants must hold a significant number of transfer credits or an associate degree and submit official transcripts.

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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Bachelor's in Sociology Degree Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

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.

How To Choose Your Major

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 Professional Organizations

Joining a professional organization connects you with other sociologists. These associations often provide discounted membership rates for undergraduates. They offer networking events, conferences, research opportunities, and access to job boards and resume services.

American Sociological Association

ASA sponsors an annual academic conference, maintains a job board, and provides professional development opportunities for its approximately 13,000 members.

Association of Black Sociologists

ABA is committed to increasing the number of professionally trained Black and minority sociologists and encouraging their participation in the discipline. The association hosts an annual conference and offers a job board for its members.

Society for the Study of Social Problems

This interdisciplinary society is best suited to sociologists interested in research, social policy, and social action. The student membership option provides access to annual meetings and applications for research support and conference travel grants.

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.

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