The Best Online Bachelor’s in Sociology Programs

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Sociology is a broad, multidisciplinary field dedicated to the study of human interaction within various social settings and situations. Sociologists focus on the different types of relationships people form with one another, as well as the social hierarchies found in institutions like schools, workplaces and religious establishments. Many sociologists approach their research from a scientific standpoint, while others observe and interview subjects in order to inform social policies and programs.

A bachelor’s degree in sociology can prepare students for a wide range of career pathways. Those drawn to empirical observation and analysis may pursue research-driven roles in sociology or other related social sciences, such as anthropology, psychology or economics. Sociology degree programs also emphasize communication and media science; as such, this academic track is ideal for students who plan to work in fields like marketing, public relations and human resources. A large number of sociology degree-holders find careers in social work and community development as well. Many of today’s students are choosing to earn their bachelor’s in sociology online. Online sociology programs follow the same rigorous curriculum as brick-and-mortar options. The asynchronous (or self-paced) schedule of most online sociology degrees is conducive for students with part-time jobs, childcare duties and other responsibilities that may interfere with campus-based learning.

Learn more about what you can do with an online bachelor’s degree in sociology and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.


An undergraduate sociology curriculum will cover all fundamental areas of the field, such as criminal justice and law, socioeconomics, urban and rural studies, and population trends. Students will also be introduced to different research and analysis methods, as well as some of the key theories and findings that guide modern sociology. Many online sociology bachelor’s programs culminate in a capstone project, allowing students to demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have gained through a comprehensive research paper. Some may feature required or optional internships, as well.


Online bachelor’s in sociology programs offer a flexible alternative to traditional, classroom-based education. Students are able to access course lectures and readings, participate in class discussions, submit written assignments, take exams and contact their professors from their home computer. Current technology also allows them to study on the go using a laptop, tablet, smartphone and other portable, Wi-Fi-compatible devices. For added convenience, online students can usually coordinate internship courses at sites near their current residence.


Research-oriented jobs in sociology typically require a master’s degree or Ph.D., but most other careers related to the field are attainable with a bachelor’s degree. These include entry-level roles in marketing, human resources and other business-related fields, as well as public relations. Many social workers also enter the workforce after earning a bachelor’s, although these candidates will need to earn a state-issued license in order to work in certain places (such as clinical settings).


Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school’s strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online bachelor’s degree in sociology programs in the United States. If you are considering an online bachelor’s in sociology, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific bachelor’s degree requirements and offerings.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Location Description
1 University of Central Florida 76.00 3/5 Orlando, FL

Located in the bustling city of Orlando, Florida, UCF has a longstanding history of serving its community with academic excellence. As Florida’s largest university, it prides itself in being an academic and research leader in several fields, including engineering and computer science and hospitality management. In addition, students here will find one of the best online sociology programs in the United States.

Students pursuing an online sociology degree will be greeted with support and high standards through UCF Online. Offering over 75 online bachelor’s degree programs, UCF Online understands the importance of students obtaining real-world knowledge and skills. With a variety of support services offered to online students -- such as library services and software & skills training -- students enrolled in remote coursework will still feel as supported and connected to the UCF community as those attending classes on campus.

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2 Arizona State University-Tempe 67.92 2/5 Tempe, AZ

Known for its culture and outdoor lifestyle, Tempe, Arizona is also the home of the prestigious Arizona State University, where students have access to one of the country's best online sociology programs. With a belief in providing students with an education that makes them master learners, ASU Online has over 100 online degree programs. In order to prioritize student engagement, there are six start dates per year, allowing students to begin their academic journey as soon as they want. For students pursuing an online sociology degree, ASU Online emphasizes learning through collaboration and ensures online courses are connecting students to the extensive resources available at the university.

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3 Central Washington University 63.50 2/5 Ellensburg, WA

In the heart of historic Ellensburg, Washington is the top-rated four-year university CWU, where students have access to one of the best online sociology programs around. With its low student-to-faculty ratio, the university is proud to provide students with hands-on learning and individualized attention, helping them achieve success well past classrooms and books.

Students pursuing an online sociology degree enroll in Central Washington University’s Online Learning program. Students of this program will benefit from working in small classes with student-focused faculty who care about individual success. In addition, they are required to complete either a minor or a second major in another discipline, expanding their skills and job outlook. Distance learners also have the assistance of the comprehensive student support services both online and in-person.

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4 Brandman University 62.06 3/5 Irvine, CA

Brandman University’s mission is focused on providing students with a dynamic education based on excellence and flexibility. Brandman understands how busy students’ lives can be, which is why the school offers online bachelor’s degrees, including one of the best online sociology programs around.

Students pursuing a sociology degree online will find themselves in good company at Brandman University, which offers online degrees in such areas of study as education, arts & science, and nursing & health professions. As part of the Chapman University System, students of Brandman University have access to a wide range of personalized online services, such as the online writing and math community and the forms center.

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5 University of Colorado Denver 61.86 2/5 Denver, CO

Nestled downtown among the green trees and breathtaking mountain vistas of Denver sits the prestigious UC Denver. The school offers an array of online programs, including one of the best online sociology programs in the country. When enrolled in this program, students get the opportunity to engage in social questions through peer-group work, classroom discussions, and connecting with faculty.

Students earning an online sociology degree will benefit from gifted faculty who integrate theory and practice and make sure to involve students in research and discovery. UC Denver prides itself in providing students with opportunities that help them find and follow their own journey through life.

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6 University of Nebraska at Omaha 61.69 2/5 Omaha, NE

UNO and Omaha city share the same long-term goals of changing the lives of students and residents while at the same time making the global community a better place to live. With the flexibility of taking more than 20 fully online and blended programs, including one of the best online sociology programs in the nation, even students wishing to pursue distance learning at University of Nebraska Omaha can be part of the Omaha community.

Students pursuing an online sociology degree who still wish to contribute to the Omaha community will benefit from the passionate community engagement programs offered through UNO, such as The Service Learning Academy and Office of Civic and Social Responsibility.

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7 Fort Hays State University 60.61 2/5 Hays, KS

FHSU is located in Hays, Kansas in the heart of the state. With a passion for forward-thinking, entrepreneurial education, the university is proud of its goal-oriented student body. The school offers over 40 online degrees through its Virtual College system, including one of the best online sociology programs in the country. When you become a tiger, whether you are an online student or a student on-campus, you are part of the community and are treated as such. The community of Hays, Kansas is a place that loves their frontier roots while not ignoring their modern sensibilities. Students pursuing an online sociology degree from Fort Hays State University will feel the support of this unique community through online support services such as Free Online Tutoring and Library Services for Virtual College Students.

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8 Oregon State University 59.75 3/5 Corvallis, OR

As a school that encourages students to “do what you love, push up your sleeves, make the world better,” students at Oregon State thrive no matter their area of study. Through their online education program, students can pursue one of over 45 online degree programs. For students interested in pursuing an online sociology degree, Oregon State is proud to offer one of the best online sociology programs around.

Remote students taking courses through Oregon State University’s online education system receive the support Oregon State’s Corvallis community. With access to career services, library services, and even online tutoring, you’ll never feel far from the rest of the Oregon State University family.

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9 North Dakota State University-Main Campus 59.66 3/5 Fargo, ND

The vision of North Dakota State University is one of “a vibrant university that will globally be identified as a contemporary metropolitan land-grant institution.” With focuses on diverse populations, scholarships, ethics, and learning, it’s no wonder one of the best online sociology programs is found at the North Dakota Distance and Continuing Education program.

For students pursuing a sociology degree online, access to academic advising support is available. The Advising Resource Center (ARC) strives to connect with students who may be unable to reach the main campus in Fargo, providing email and phone support with a response given within 24hrs during weekdays. Through the NDSU Distance and Continuing Education website, interested students can access a handy “Getting Started Guide”, which walks them through the necessary steps to beginning their online program.

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10 South Dakota State University 59.11 3/5 Brookings, SD

Located in Brookings, South Dakota, this university is the largest in the state. Home to the vibrant McCrory Gardens, a colorful treasure of over 70 acres of combined formal displays and an arboretum, SDSU also offers one of the best online sociology programs around.

Students pursuing an online sociology degree through the school’s Continuing & Distance Education program will have access to course discussion boards, chats, and other interactive methods to keep students engaged with their classes. An online sociology degree is the best way to find a personalized academic plan, while learning about the ways in which our social world is shaped. Students who are interested in the SDSU Continuing & Distance Education programs can utilize the “Getting Started with SDSU Distance Education” guide, which provides step-by-step guidelines for prospective students.

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11 University of Nebraska at Kearney 58.72 3/5 Kearney, NE

At UNK, students can look forward to turning ideas into action. And for students hoping to enroll in one of the best online sociology programs in the nation, University of Nebraska Kearney is the place to go. Through their eCampus online education program, students can choose from online degrees in criminal justice, business administration, and early childhood inclusive, among other areas of study. Students pursuing an online sociology degree will be able to benefit from such supportive resources as online tutorials, help with technology, and library resources.

Located in the heart of Kearney, Nebraska, online students visiting the main campus will be welcomed by a historic downtown with quality schools, government services, and a consistently low unemployment rate.

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12 Dallas Baptist University 58.65 3/5 Dallas, TX

“Developing Servant Leaders. Transforming Lives” -- this is the slogan by which Dallas Baptist leads its students to academic success. With a focus on Christ-centered quality higher education, students looking to explore online education, including one of the online sociology programs in the nation, can do so through one of Dallas Baptist University’s 61 fully online programs. Students pursuing an online sociology degree will never be far from the support found on campus, with the 24-hour help line always available. In addition, students enrolled in online education programs also get the added benefit of the Dallas Baptist University Writing Center and DBU Online Office. At Dallas Baptist, students will become Christ-centered leaders who are helping to transform the world.

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13 University of Memphis 57.60 2/5 Memphis, TN

University of Memphis offers an online sociology degree with curriculum that is identical to that offered on-campus. Whether a student is hoping to complete an online sociology degree fully online or whether they would like to combine on-campus courses with online courses, UofM is ready to encourage each student in their endeavors. With support resources such as online library services, financial aid, and career preparedness available, this school from Memphis, Tennessee is equipped to help its students succeed.

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14 Kennesaw State University 56.77 3/5 Kennesaw, GA

Kennesaw State University is proud to help its student body become empowered to have “the vision, ability, and courage to transform the future.” One of the ways the school help students achieve this kind of academic success is through its many online degree programs, including one of the best online sociology programs around. With over 70 online degree programs offered fully online, students hoping to earn a sociology degree online will benefit from the fully accredited KSU Online program that is holds itself to the same standards, rigors, and expectations of quality as all the courses students can take on-campus. For students who are worried about missing out on any of the benefits of the main campus, they have nothing to fear. In addition, remote learning students will never feel like they are actually that far from the main campus in Kennesaw, Georgia, as they have access to a number of resources such as tutoring & academic support and advising support.

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15 Saint Leo University 56.28 3/5 Saint Leo, FL

One of the core values students will find at Saint Leo University is excellence. Above all else, Saint Leo believes in providing students with top quality education, which is why the school is proud to offer a wide variety of online degree programs, including one of the best online sociology degree programs in the nation.

Students pursuing an online sociology degree at Saint Leo will be surrounded by accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience. Additionally, online students still have ample opportunities to feel as if they are part of the community of Saint Leo, much like the students who take courses on campus in Saint Leo, Florida. With everything from clubs & associations, to library access & research assistance, students taking online courses are just as much part of the Saint Leo community as on-campus students.

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16 Western Kentucky University 55.39 3/5 Bowling Green, KY

With a breathtaking hilltop campus located in Bowling Green, students at Western Kentucky University are connected with the neighboring community and distant countries. Through Western Kentucky Online, students have access to over 1,700 web classes and over 80 online degree and certificate programs, including one of the best online sociology programs. With so much opportunity, even the busiest of students can find a program that will fit their busy lifestyle and schedule. Students interested in an online sociology degree will find added academic support with the Student Resource Portal, a central location for services including presentation coaching, an online writing center, and an academic calendar. Western Kentucky is proud to provide lifelong learning opportunities to all its students.

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17 California State University-Chico 55.38 2/5 Chico, CA

At CSU Chico, students are encouraged to “Experience Excellence” through their outstanding faculty, commitment to service, and a sustainable campus. Students also get a chance to experience this excellence through the Chico Distance & Online Education program, which offers an online sociology degree. Distance learners can pursue a bachelor of arts in sociology degree completion program, allowing them to complete their online sociology degree with the flexibility of taking courses remotely. Located several hours north of San Francisco in Chico, California, students pursuing an online sociology degree who wish to visit the main campus can enjoy such local perks as the Thursday Night Market, Chico Museum, and the World Music Festival.

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18 New Mexico State University-Main Campus 53.31 2/5 Las Cruces, NM

As a comprehensive research land-grant university, New Mexico State prides itself in taking on the more complex challenges facing its community and helping its students prepare for the future. Located on a 900-acre campus in the vibrant city of Las Cruces, students also have the flexibility of taking online courses including one of the best online sociology programs in the United States. NMSU understands how busy the lives of its students can be, which is why it provides solutions for students who may struggle with "distance, time constraints, or family and work responsibilities."

Through the NMSU Distance Education program, students earning a sociology degree online will be able to take advantage of courses utilizing the most innovative technology, such as Interactive Television and faculty exchanges. With an abundance of resources available at students’ fingertips, including academic advising and the Learning Resource Center, students taking part in NMSU Distance Education degree programs will still benefit from the same support on-campus students receive.

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19 Columbus State University 52.32 2/5 Columbus, GA

For students seeking a “creative, deeply personal and relevant college experience,” Columbus State University is the place to go. While paying attention to the ever-evolving needs of modern students, Columbus State offers students flexible degrees online through their CUS Online program—including one of the best online sociology programs in the nation.

Students earning an online sociology degree have access to resources such as extensive library services. Located a few hours outside Atlanta in Columbus, Georgia, Columbus State is proud to contribute culturally significant offerings to the community, such as the Riverside Theatre Complex and the Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians.

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20 Troy University 51.65 3/5 Troy, AL

First founded in 1887, this Alabama-based university has a long history of being committed to student success. In keeping up with contemporary trends, Troy offers a variety of online degrees and is here to help make sure you “Make your degree a priority.” The school offers dozens of online degree programs, including an online sociology degree. Troy makes it a priority to support and engage online students no matter where they are in life; Troy’s online programs provide students with one-on-one attention, ensuring they are being set up for success.

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21 McNeese State University 51.59 2/5 Lake Charles, LA

With a university motto that reminds students they are embarking on an academic experience immersed in “Excellence with a Personal Touch,” McNeese State is committed to finding new ways of helping students achieve this excellence. Designed to help you earn your degree at your own pace, the online learning programs offered at McNeese provide students the ability to focus in areas of study such as nursing, criminal justice, and management. The school also offers one of the best online sociology programs in the state.

Located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, McNeese has a history steeped in serving the community around it. In 2005, McNeese was able to provide shelter to residents of New Orleans and students affected by Hurricane Katrina. As a major contributor to the success, culture, and economics of Louisiana, McNeese holds itself to the highest of academic standards.

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22 Westfield State University 51.32 3/5 Westfield, MA

Westfield State is a proud part of the Massachusetts public higher education system, helping students with “the knowledge, skills, and experiences they need to succeed.” The school’s vision focuses on being an inclusive community, maintaining excellence in all areas, and being transparent in its decision-making. Students will find one of the best online sociology programs in the nation at Westfield State.

For students hoping to receive an online sociology degree, Westfield offers an online degree completion program, allowing students to complete their bachelor’s degree fully online. Academic resources such as peer tutoring, the Reading and Writing Center, and the Academic Advising Center are available to online students, and distance learners will benefit from the same support students receive on the campus in Westfield, Massachusetts.

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23 Northern Arizona University 49.98 3/5 Flagstaff, AZ

Committed to all students having an equal chance at an education, Northern Arizona provides flexible learning options through online programs and multiple campus locations. With one of the best online sociology programs, Northern Arizona supports its students through every step of their academic career, offering such resources as Progression Plans, which help students plan out their coursework.

The city of Flagstaff doesn’t necessarily reflect the typical “Arizona desert city”, and is surrounded by pine forests and sweeping mountain vistas. Campus is a 1.5-hour drive from the Grand Canyon. With values rooted in student success, diversity, integrity, and distance education, any student pursuing an online sociology degree from Northern Arizona University is in good hands.

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24 University of Northern Colorado 49.30 3/5 Greeley, CO

The University of Northern Colorado is strongly committed to providing equal learning opportunities for all students. With a focus on small classes taught by full-time faculty, students enrolled at University of Northern Colorado will quickly learn they are in a student-centered atmosphere focused on integrity, honesty, and respect. UNC offers a variety of flexible learning programs, including a sociology degree online.

All liberal arts online bachelor’s degree completion programs are offered through the school’s extended campus. The majority of extended campus programs are taught by the same faculty who teach courses on the main campus in Greeley, Colorado. With its first online program being offered almost two decades ago, UNC prides itself in adapting to the modern day needs of students.

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25 National University 49.10 4/5 La Jolla, CA

With a commitment to diversity, National University is proud to award more master’s degrees in education to minority students than any other university or college in California. One of the ways it reaches such high standards of academic success is by meeting the varying needs of its students; the school offers more than 70 degree programs entirely online, including one of the best online sociology programs. Students have access to coursework and support 24/7. National university directly links online sociology degree students to their professors, their other classmates, readings, lectures, and more.

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Online bachelor’s in sociology programs can vary widely in scope and content, and no two curricula are exactly alike. While every school offers different courses, concentrations, and program formats, the following overview offers a quick look at what online colleges for sociology have to offer.


Concentration Description Careers this concentration prepares for
Community Health Covering major perspectives in sociological theory, this concentration explores the role of inequality in public health crises. Through coursework, students learn to apply abstract sociological concepts to issues facing communities around the world, while learning about the root causes of structural problems in the public health system. Health policy lobbyist; Public Health Educator; Caseworker
Diversity and Inequality Students who select this concentration gain an understanding of the causes of social inequality, while developing the integral skills necessary to work with diverse populations. Addressing topics in race, economics, and gender, this program offers a selection of the most recent sociological theories pertaining to diversity. Human Rights Analyst; Diversity Trainer; Case Manager
Clinical Sociology A specialization in clinical sociology is designed for students interested in client-based careers. Coursework provides a broad foundation in concepts pertaining to the family and human life stages, as well as sociological research methods. A concentration in applied sociology typically includes an internship or practicum component. Counselor; Community Consultant; Mediator


From concentrations to curricula, all sociology programs online have different strengths. Some courses, however, are found in nearly every program. Anyone earning an online bachelor’s in sociology is bound to come across some variation of the following courses:

  • Sociological theory: This course provides a broad introduction to important sociological concepts and the thinkers who devised them. Readings from social scientists and scholars such as Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, and Michel Foucault are central to the course, and crucial for anyone intending to pursue a graduate level sociology degree online.
  • Social deviance: Through this course, students will define the concept of social deviance as they examine how this concept is constructed by society at large. Ideal for learners considering careers in criminal justice, this course explores the real and perceived causes of deviance, as well as common methods of containing and preventing it.
  • Race and ethnicity: Designed to introduce concepts in racial and ethnic relations, this course also provides students with an understanding of racial discrimination and how it developed historically within various social spheres. Topics covered may include institutional racism, immigration, and the role of race in political policy.


While the average online bachelor’s in sociology program requires around 120 credit hours to graduate, many others are significantly longer or shorter. The length of an online sociology degree program depends on several aspects, including whether or not an internship is required. However, the main factor influencing a program’s duration is its pace.

Many online sociology degree programs are offered asynchronously, and allow students to take courses at their own pace. Offering maximum flexibility and less stringent schedules, asynchronous courses allow students to study at their convenience, often while balancing work and personal responsibilities. Without the requirement of logging in for digital meetings at specified times, students can progress through coursework quickly. Programs based on a cohort model are somewhat longer and less flexible, but offer a group-based learning experience that many prefer for its emphasis on student-faculty relationships. Students in a cohort are expected to be present online at designated times, and typically participate in group discussions or collaborate with “classmates” on projects.

The best online bachelor’s in sociology programs are those offered by accredited institutions. An accredited school is one that adheres to the standards defined by a quality assurance group known as an accrediting organization. Schools can be nationally or regionally accredited, depending on the organization they’re assessed by. These terms are more than just labels, and it’s important for anyone seeking an online sociology degree to understand what they mean.

Any school meeting certain criteria can be nationally accredited by any accreditation group, but there are only six organizations that can designate an institution as regionally accredited. Most regionally accredited schools are not-for-profit and focused on academics, while nationally accredited schools are most often for-profit vocational or technical colleges. Credits from regionally accredited schools can be transferred to virtually any other institution or program, while those from nationally accredited schools cannot. Anyone interested in potentially transferring or entering a graduate program should take accreditation into account before they apply.

Accreditation can also affect the cost of a degree. The Department of Education relies on accrediting agencies to determine which schools are eligible for financial aid, and some nationally accredited schools don’t qualify. Non-governmental organizations like the Council for Higher Education Accreditation ensure that accrediting bodies adhere to the proper standards, making it easier for the government to provide schools with funding. Additionally, CHEA provides information to the public on the importance of accreditation and the danger of so-called degree mills and non-accredited programs. If you’re searching for the best online bachelor’s in sociology programs from accredited institutions, take a look at CHEA’s extensive database of accredited schools.

Job Placement

The employment outlook for sociology bachelor’s degree recipients is comparable to the national average for all occupations. A recent survey by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that college graduates between the ages of 25 and 29 with a degree in sociology face an ; comparatively, the national unemployment rate for all jobs is currently set at 4.9%.

The following table weighs the unemployment rate for these sociology majors against the rates for other social science degree-holders in the same age bracket.

Bachelor’s Degree Field of Study Unemployment Rate for Bachelor’s Degree- Holders Between 25 and 29 Years of Age
Sociology 5.1%
Social Work and Human Services 4.3%
Communications and Communications Technologies 4.8%
Economics 4.8%
Marketing and Marketing Research 5.0%
History 5.8%
Psychology 5.8%
Criminal Justice and Fire Protection 6.2%
Political Science and Government 8.2%

Source: Employment Outcomes of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients’ by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

As the table shows, sociology degree-holders face a middle-of-the-road unemployment rate after a few years in the workforce. The average unemployment rate for all degree majors on the survey was 4.8%.

Earning a Living

According to the 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report, students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in sociology earn a median annual salary of $40,400 during their first five years on the job and $62,300 after 10 years. The table below looks at salary expectations for students who earn degrees in sociology and other related fields after a decade in the workforce.

Bachelor’s Degree Field Median Early Career Salary (0-5 years) Median Mid-Career Salary (10+ years)
Economics $53,900 $100,000
Organizational Behavior $47,000 $84,400
Advertising and Marketing Communications $43,400 $79,800
History $42,200 $73,600
Urban Studies $44,500 $72,300
Public Relations and Communication $39,800 $71,200
Human Resources $41,900 $66,300
Sociology $40,400 $62,300
Psychology $38,300 $62,100
Anthropology $39,900 $60,500
Social Science $39,700 $60,000
Social Work $33,800 $46,700

Source: The 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report

Of the 12 degree fields listed on the table, sociology degree-holders ranked fifth for mid-career salary and second-to-last for entry-level salary. Sociology majors experience a 54.4% salary increase between the entry-level and mid-career stages; by comparison, the average earnings growth rate for all 12 majors is 65.0%.

However, bachelor’s degree field of study is not the only factor that impacts earning potential. Salaries in sociology will vary by specific job title, as well as other factors like company size and city/state of employment. The next table looks at career salary projections for five of the most common sociology career pathways.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
Human Resources Specialist $44,843 $50,172 $53,529 $59,188
Human Resources Generalist $48,879 $53,520 $54,969 $56,232
Employee Relations Specialist $49,000 $60,000 $62,000 $78,000
Public Relations Specialist $41,894 $51,732 $60,650 $57,808
Social Worker $40,041 $46,268 $49,987 $55,162

Source: PayScale

Of these five careers, employee relations specialists saw the highest rate of career salary growth: a 59.2% increase between the entry-level and late-career stages. The remaining four careers experienced a similar earnings trajectory, making $40,000 to $49,000 during the first five years and $55,000 to $60,000 after 20 years on the job.

Career and Further Education Opportunities

Students who leave school with a bachelor’s degree in sociology will be qualified for dozens of entry-level jobs, as well as some select positions normally reserved for candidates who have received an undergraduate education. Four of the most common occupations for sociology bachelor’s recipients are outlined below.

Sociologists: Professional sociologists conduct research pertaining to the behaviors of different groups, as well as society as a whole. Many sociologists specialize in niche areas of their field, such as socioeconomics or cultural sociology. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most sociologists are employed by colleges and universities, government agencies and research organizations.

Public Relations Specialists: These professionals (also known as PR specialists) are responsible for generating and promoting a positive public image for the clients they represent; some PR specialists work with individuals or groups, while others offer their services to companies and organizations. Their duties include writing press releases, coordinating appearances at events and speaking to members of the media.

Human Resources Specialists: Human resources specialists (or HR specialists) are involved with the recruitment, screening and hiring of new employees at their company or organization. Depending on the size of their organization, they may also develop employee orientation programs, assist with questions about compensation and/or benefits and offer mediation for employee conflicts.

Social Workers: Employees in this broad profession work with other people to help them explore solutions for specific problems in their lives. Social workers may focus on careers and employment, education, personal finance or mental health counseling; clinical social work roles usually require a state-issued license.

Occupation Median Annual Salary
Sociologists $73,760
Public Relations Specialists $56,770
Human Resources Specialists $58,350
Social Workers $45,900

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to sociology is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you’ll find three of the country’s most prominent organizations established for sociology professionals. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates.

  • American Sociological Association: Founded in 1905, the ASA today represents more than 13,000 members and publishes nine academic journals. The association’s website features a robust research library, professional development courses, a career center and fellowship opportunities.
  • Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology: The AACS awards a credential known as the Certified Sociological Practitioner/Certified Clinical Sociologist designation. The association also holds an annual conference and publishes a peer-reviewed online journal.
  • Association for Humanist Sociology: The AHS was founded in 1976 to provide an outlet for sociologists seeking alternative research methods. Benefits for registered members include complimentary journal/magazine subscriptions and reduced fees at official association events.
Despite the relative affordability of online criminal justice master’s programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.


Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.


Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.


Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.


Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.


Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.


Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.