2023 Best Online Bachelor’s in Sociology Degrees

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A college sociology degree would give you opportunities to study people and the societies they establish.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Sociology Degrees

During your studies, you might learn about communities, human relationships, global dynamics, and patterns of behavior. This can be an interesting field of study for students who want to learn more about the world in which they live.

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In this degree program, you’d explore some of the problems in society, but you might also graduate with the desire to help create meaningful and lasting change in your community.

Online Sociology Degrees

Woman taking Online Bachelor’s in Sociology Degree

If you’re interested in people and society, then you might want to earn your college degree in sociology. Professionals in the field of sociology study human institutions and societies. They look at the ways that people interact with each other and organize themselves.

Sociology studies often address problems within societies. They may consider how to address those issues and work toward change. Students in sociology majors often study issues related to:

  • Class
  • Culture
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Gender
  • Law and public policy
  • Medicine
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Religion

Sociology is a social science, so this program usually includes courses on research as well. You can learn to work with data and interpret findings.

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Online students study the same material as on-campus learners, but they often do so in interactive, innovative ways. For example, they might participate in discussion boards or role-play simulations. There are often concentrations available within the sociology major. Students may be able to specialize in an area like:

  • Public health
  • Economics
  • Environment
  • Social justice

After finishing the coursework for a sociology degree, there may be an internship component. Interns learn more about the practical applications of sociological principles as they work alongside real-world practitioners.

After graduation, students may work in a business, community service, healthcare, or criminal justice organization. Another option is to enroll in grad school for a sociology master’s degree, which may lead to a job as a sociologist.

Common Online Bachelor Degree in Sociology Concentrations

Legal team working on a strategy

Where is sociology useful? In many fields! Because there are so many different ways to apply your sociology studies, you may want to focus your studies on a particular niche. That’s what degree concentrations are for.

Possible concentrations that you could choose for your sociology major include:

  • Health Sociology: You might study public health, biomedical ethics, and food access as you learn about the intersection of sociological principles with health and medicine.
  • Inequality and Justice: This concentration will focus on social issues related to gender, class, race, sexuality, and age and consider how those factors shape a person’s relationship with society.
  • Law and Sociology: You might look at both domestic and global situations as you consider how sociology applies to matters of crime, courts, correction, politics, and public safety.
  • Sociological Research: In a research-focused concentration, you may take fewer sociology classes so that you can spend more time in courses on data management, statistical methodology, and quantitative and qualitative analysis.
  • Urban Society: This specialization would give you opportunities to explore issues faced by American cities as well as the strengths of modern urban settings.

Concentration selections aren’t the same at every school. You might have options that aren’t listed here.

Sociology Careers and Salaries

Sociology Careers and Salaries

A bachelor’s in sociology can open the door to a wide variety of career opportunities. With this degree, you could get your start in a business occupation. Potential departments you could work in include human resources, public relations, and project management. With experience, promotions to supervisory positions might be available.

You could also look into helping people in a social services role. For instance, you might get hired by a human services or community improvement agency. Some graduates become case managers or social workers. A bachelor’s degree might also be sufficient for a job as a program director or an agency manager.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some potential career paths associated with the study of sociology.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Project Management Specialists $94,500
Social and Community Service Managers $74,000
Market Research Analysts $63,920
Public Relations Specialists $62,800
Human Resources Specialists $62,290
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists $60,250
Paralegals and Legal Assistants $56,230
Social Workers $50,390
Correctional Officers and Bailiffs $47,920
Community Health Workers $46,590

Community health is a related field. As a community health worker, you might help people learn about health-related programs that are available to them. Your support could help them access the care that they need.

Criminal justice is another area where you could make a difference in the community. Possible job titles include corrections officer or correctional counselor. Working as a paralegal is another job to consider, but additional training is often required. You might pursue a paralegal certificate program to complement your sociology degree.

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During your sociology program, you can learn about research and data analytics. That could make you a potential candidate for a job as an analyst of some sort. For example, some graduates work as market research analysts who study consumer behavior and sales trends.

If you go on to get a master’s degree, you could work toward becoming a sociologist. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that sociologists have a median annual income of $92,910.

Sociology Bachelor’s Curriculum & Courses

Students taking Bachelor’s in Sociology Degree

Sociology students may take an array of classes related to sociology and its many areas of study.

Your curriculum might have classes like:

  • Community Problems: During your time in this class, you’ll get an introductory look at some of today’s top social issues and consider how sociological perspectives can help.
  • Criminal Justice and Social Science: Your college might have a course that focuses on the interplay between law and sociology, such as looking at how laws influence social behavior.
  • Environmental Sociology: This could be a class that investigates sociological factors that influence worsening climate change and other environmental issues.
  • Gender Issues and Inequality: Many sociology majors include a course on gender, in which students consider cultural attitudes toward gender and how they influence matters like salary and educational achievement.
  • Introductory Sociology: Toward the beginning of your program, you might have a class that provides an overview of sociology and teaches you to ask questions and look for answers as sociologists do.
  • Organizational Sociology: You might spend a semester studying how groups and organizations structure themselves and function.
  • Research in the Social Sciences: During this class, you’ll get to know the research methods that social scientists use and go through some of the steps of a research project yourself.
  • Studies in Inequality: You might have a course that covers various types of inequality in American society and explores some of the far-reaching problems that inequality can create.
  • Sociology and Money: You could study economics and global markets through the lens of sociology.
  • Theories of Sociology: You will consider historical and contemporary perspectives from key figures in the field of sociology.

As part of the 120 credit hours that are typically required for your degree, you may be able to select several sociology elective courses.

How to Know If a Major in Sociology Is Right for Me

Man doing research on Bachelor’s in Sociology Degree

Sociology can be a valuable major for many students, especially those who possess some of the characteristics listed here:

  • Analytical thinking. This program includes courses on how to interpret and apply data and statistics.
  • Curiosity. Sociology majors are often individuals who want to know more about people and how the world works.
  • Desire for justice. College sociology programs often focus on social inequality and consider strategies for correcting injustices.
  • Drive to be involved. Sociology graduates are well prepared to take active roles in their communities.

An admissions counselor may be able to provide additional insights about whether this is a fitting degree program for you.

How to Choose an Online Sociology Bachelor’s Degree Program

Friends checking online for Bachelor’s in Sociology Degree Program

Sociology degrees are common, so it’s helpful to narrow down the choice of schools by weighing a variety of factors, such as the following:

  • Accreditation. Most college experts recommend choosing a regionally accredited school.
  • BA vs. BS. For more elective options, you might want to get a Bachelor of Arts (BA). If you want to focus on research or go to grad school, you might think about a Bachelor of Science (BS) instead.
  • Concentrations. If you want to narrow the focus of your studies, you can choose a concentration for your degree. Some colleges offer a wide variety of sociology concentrations. At others, the selection is more limited.
  • Price. While financial aid can help, the per-credit-hour cost of a school may determine whether it’s reasonable for you to attend there.
  • Program structure. Online programs might include live courses or recorded sessions. Some schools occasionally have online students come to campus for short residencies.

Determining what you want in a school can help you identify the sociology programs that would be the best fit.

Admissions Requirements

Man preparing requirements for Bachelor’s in Sociology Degree

Once you decide to earn a sociology bachelor’s degree, you can start applying to colleges.

As part of the application process, you might be required to turn in:

  • Application form and a nonrefundable fee
  • High school transcripts with a GPA of at least 2.0, on average
  • Personal essay
  • Test scores from the ACT or the SAT (only requested by some colleges)

Some of the colleges you consider may be rather selective about their admissions, so it’s usually strategic to send applications to multiple schools.

Accreditation

University offering Bachelor’s in Sociology Degrees

Before committing to a school, it’s strategic to take a look at its accreditation status. Regional accreditation is the most widely accepted and respected form of accreditation in the US. Regionally accredited colleges are trusted as institutions that educate students well.

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Regional accreditation is valued by both colleges and employers. By choosing an accredited school, you may be giving yourself the flexibility to transfer credits to another college or apply to grad school. When searching for jobs, you can feel confident about listing your accredited college on your resume. For more information on accredited colleges, you can consult the US Department of Education’s website.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Sociology Financial aid

There may be financial assistance available for your degree program in sociology. Government programs provide grants and loans to qualifying students. There are also state assistance programs in addition to federal ones, and you might be able to receive both.

Most students begin the process of claiming government aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can look into college scholarships as well. Schools often give scholarship money to promising students, and other organizations administer scholarship programs as well.

If you’re currently working, you may want to check and see whether your employer will help cover a portion of your educational costs.

Sociology Professional Organizations

Members of American Sociological Association having a meeting

You can join a membership organization to sharpen your skills as a student or a professional in this field. By joining a professional association, you may have opportunities to network with others. You might also gain access to journals, online resource libraries, newsletters, member directories, professional discounts, and advocacy opportunities.

Here are some professional organizations in the field of sociology:

Membership is often open to students, so you may be able to join now and continue your participation throughout your career in sociology or a related field.

What Is a Sociology Major?

Project Management Specialist discussing with a staff

A sociology major is an undergraduate college program for students who are interested in learning about organizations, society, and human interaction.

Sociology students often explore issues that affect society. You may take classes about topics like gender inequality, environmental problems, criminal justice, and race relations. Sociology programs provide research training, too. You can learn to gather and interpret data.

Earning this degree usually takes about 4 years with full-time enrollment. After graduation, students often enter jobs in business, social services, or criminal justice. Some choose to enroll in graduate programs.

Is Sociology a Good Major?

students with major in Sociology

Yes, sociology is a good major for many undergraduate students. This degree program provides valuable training that is useful in a diverse assortment of jobs.

Some graduates work in social services, and others decide on jobs in criminal justice, business, or research analytics. That’s because this degree program offers foundational skills that are relevant to many fields. If you study sociology, you can learn to perform research, write effectively, and better understand human society, institutions, and interactions.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social workers tend to make between $36,520 and $82,840 annually. Public relations specialists often make between $37,020 and $124,620.

What Can You Do with a Sociology Degree?

Lawyer and Paralegal discussing

Students often wonder what you can do with a sociology degree. Those who study sociology at the bachelor’s degree level might get a social services job after graduation. Examples include being a social worker, a child protective services officer, a case manager, or a program director.

You could also pursue work in community health or corrections counseling. Another option is to look at a role in the business world. Positions may be available in human resources or public relations. Such roles are offered not only by corporations but also by other organizations, such as schools and social assistance agencies.

Is Sociology Hard?

Market Research Analysts working together

In a sociology program, you will study societal structures and community problems. You may grapple with issues related to race, gender, and socioeconomics. Many of the problems you discuss might not have clear-cut answers.

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You will study data collection and analysis as well. It is also necessary to learn how to interpret others’ studies and conduct accurate, ethical research of your own. Before graduation, you might complete an internship. This would allow you to put your sociology lessons into practice in a real-world setting. During that time, you could gain experience and skills that might influence your future professional endeavors.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Sociology Degree Online?

Man taking his Sociology Degree online

If you enroll as a full-time student, you can typically earn an online sociology degree in 4 years or less. In general, 4 years of college is the traditional timeframe for earning a bachelor’s degree. Students take courses spread over eight semesters during those 4 years.

With online colleges, the landscape has changed a bit. Many online programs use accelerated academic calendars with 8 week course terms. Students have the opportunity to take classes year-round and graduate with their degrees in less time. An accelerated online program may take around 3 to 3.5 years.

What Jobs Can You Get with a Sociology Degree?

Public Relations Specialists discussing

Students can consider many different jobs with a bachelor’s in sociology. For example, some people use this degree for jobs in community agencies. They may become community health workers, social workers, or program directors. Others are employed in the correctional system as counselors or correctional officers.

A sociology major can also help graduates get started in the business. Human resources or project management departments might benefit from their understanding of society and human interaction. Analytical skills help some people become market research analysts.

What’s the Difference Between a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology vs. Psychology?

Both sociology and psychology are popular bachelor’s degree programs. Comparing and contrasting the two may help you decide which to pick.

Bachelor’s in Sociology Bachelor’s in Psychology
  • Looks at people on the societal level
  • Covers topics like gender inequality, population changes, sociology, and education
  • Potential area of study for social workers, community health workers, and public relations specialists
  • Looks at people on the individual level
  • Covers topics like psychological theories, social psychology, learning, and cognition
  • Potential area of study for substance abuse counselors, psychiatric technicians, and marketing specialists

Additional studies in either field could lead to more advanced job opportunities. A graduate degree is usually required for a role as a sociologist or a psychologist.

What’s the Difference Between a BA vs. BS in Sociology?

Your college might offer the sociology major as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS).

BA in Sociology BS in Sociology
  • Focuses more on liberal arts
  • May include foreign language courses
  • Often earned by those who want to go straight into the workforce after graduation
  • Focuses more on math and science
  • May include a greater number of data and statistics classes
  • Can be good preparation for grad school

While there are differences, opting for a BA over a BS—or vice versa—may not exclude you from any entry-level job opportunities.

Is a Bachelors Degree in Sociology Worth It?

Social & Community Service Manager discussing to the team

Yes, a bachelor’s degree in sociology is worth it for many professionals. The skills acquired in a sociology program could be useful in many different sectors.

You may graduate with a stronger understanding of human organizations and society. That knowledge could help you navigate professional interactions and decisions and help prepare you for leadership roles. Some potential jobs for this degree are experiencing noteworthy growth.

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For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that jobs for the community and social service managers will increase by 12% over the next decade. The number of roles for community health workers may go up by 16%.

Universities Offering Online Bachelor in Sociology Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University

Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

California State University – Fullerton

California State University - Fullerton

California State University – Fullerton is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission.

CUNY School of Professional Studies

CUNY School of Professional Studies

CUNY SPS is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Lamar University

Lamar University

Lamar University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University

Lousiana State University is accredited by the Southern Associate of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Maryville University

Maryville University

Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

National University

National University

National University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University

Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Colorado – Denver

University of Colorado - Denver

CU Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Florida

University of Florida

The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Louisville

University of Louisville

The University of Louisville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Massachusetts – Amherst

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Texas – Permian Basin

University of Texas Permian Basin

UTPB is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Washington State University

Washington State University

WSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your Bachelors in Sociology Degree Online

Woman pursuing Bachelor’s in Sociology Degree online

As a sociology major, you could take interesting classes and explore societal issues. You might graduate ready to make a difference in the world around you, whether in social services, criminal justice, healthcare, education, or business.

Your journey might start with online classes. At an accredited school with online programming, you could engage with professors and classmates from afar while gaining new skills and knowledge. That can be especially beneficial for busy adults who want to earn a degree.

If earning your college degree online sounds like the right approach for you, you can check out accredited online programs in sociology today.

Ready to start your journey?
Jordan Meeks
WRITTEN BY
Jordan Meeks
Jordan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and earned her Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and her Bachelor's in Business Administration. Jordan's research focuses on adults returning to college and online degree programs.