Sociology examines individual and group interactions across society. Researchers dig into why people make decisions and how social structures impact people's daily lives. A degree in sociology can prepare graduates for careers in social work, human resources, and criminal justice.
More than 700,000 social workers practice across the United States, strengthening families, preventing abuse, and connecting clients with vital services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 13% growth in employment of social workers between 2019 and 2029. A bachelor's in sociology also lays the foundation for advanced study in law, counseling, and research.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Sociology Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|1||University of Florida||Gainesville, FL|
|2||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|3||University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL|
|4||California State University, Fullerton||Fullerton, CA|
|5||Arizona State University||Scottsdale, AZ|
|6||California State University, Bakersfield||Bakersfield, CA|
|7||California State University, Chico||Chico, CA|
|8||Fort Hays State University||Hays, KS|
|9||Texas State University||San Marcos, TX|
|10||Central Washington University||Ellensburg, WA|
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2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Sociology Programs
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University of Florida
|Gainesville, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
UF delivers online programs through the Canvas platform, enrolling over 3,500 distance learners annually. The university's undergraduate catalog includes an online bachelor of arts in sociology that focuses on the complex causes and consequences of human behavior. Throughout a 120-credit curriculum, learners gain the research and communication skills needed to pursue graduate studies or entry-level jobs in marketing, criminal justice, and social services.
Program coursework includes introduction to statistics and methods of social research. Students also delve into advanced topics like poverty and inequality, medical sociology with regard to aging, and family and gender studies. Students must pass a comprehensive exam to graduate from this online bachelor's in sociology program.
First-year applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA and adequate ACT or SAT scores. Transfer applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Florida International University
|Miami, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
With over 20 years of experience, FIU is a leader in distance learning. The university delivers more than 100 online certificates and degrees, including a fully online bachelor's degree in sociology and anthropology. After completing this comprehensive program, students are prepared to shape positive social change as counselors, policy analysts, and community organizers.
Required courses in the sociology track cover topics like societies in the world, sociological theories, and quantitative social research. Students use 42 elective credits to pursue specialized topics in the major or complete a complementary minor. FIU offers one-on-one support by pairing each student with a personal success coach.
Distance learners may enroll in the fall, spring, or summer. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.0 GPA and ACT or SAT scores.
University of Central Florida
|Orlando, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
UCF offers over 90 online academic programs through the Canvas platform. Distance learners can earn an online bachelor's degree in sociology to prepare for work as human resources administrators, behavioral analysts, and diversity training specialists.
The program's curriculum includes required coursework in applied social statistics and research. Students in the program can earn a BA or a BS. BA students must take two semesters of a foreign language or American Sign Language, while BS learners need to complete an advanced methods course. All students round out the program by completing a data analysis capstone project.
In addition to good ACT or SAT scores, first-year applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA. Learners can complete the program entirely online or take some classes at the Miami campus.
California State University, Fullerton
|Fullerton, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 68%||
Founded in 1957, Cal State Fullerton currently serves about 40,000 students. The university offers 55 undergraduate programs, including an online bachelor's degree in sociology. By taking accelerated classes that span five or eight weeks, learners can complete this degree completion pathway in under three years.
The program's curriculum includes courses like social behavior in organizations, race and ethnic relations, and deviant behavior. Students also examine sociological theories related to family dynamics and the aged population. Graduates can find work as market researchers, mental health counselors, and public administrators.
To gain full admission into this program, applicants must have completed at least 69 transfer credits with a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Arizona State University
|Scottsdale, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
One of the largest distance education providers in the nation, ASU serves approximately 30,000 students in over 200 online programs, including a bachelor's track in sociology. This program helps learners develop transferable critical thinking, analytical, and research skills. With six start dates each year and accelerated, 7.5-week classes, distance learners can complete their degree with plenty of flexibility.
ASU's bachelor's in sociology curriculum covers topics like applied statistics, history of social thought, and American cultural diversity. Learners also explore modern social problems like gender dynamics and racial/ethnic relations.
Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA, rank in the top 25% of their high school class, or meet ACT or SAT thresholds based on residency status. About 87% of ASU students receive job offers within 90 days of graduation.
California State University, Bakersfield
|Bakersfield, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 42%||
CSUB offers 21 online certificates and degrees, including an online bachelor's degree in sociology that focuses on the systematic examination of human behavior. Students in this degree completion program learn to help individuals and groups coordinate their activities to achieve diverse goals. Graduates can pursue careers related to teaching, family planning, and social work.
Learners complete courses like self and society, multicultural diversity and the U.S. education system, and social stratification. All learners take a quantitative analysis class, which provides an overview of descriptive and inferential statistics. They can also pursue an optional communications minor.
This degree completion program requires applicants to have at least 60 transferable credits earned with a minimum 2.0 GPA. CSUB powers distance education with the Blackboard Learn platform.
California State University, Chico
|Chico, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 66%||
Chico State was founded in 1887, making it the second-oldest school in the California State University system. The university offers eight degree completion programs for online learners, including a bachelor's in sociology. Through a curriculum that combines humanistic and scientific perspectives, students learn to evaluate current events and changes to the global economy.
Program coursework includes classes like statistical analysis, ethnic and race relations, and sociology of wealth and inequality. Students also develop grant writing skills and complete an internship to gain practical experience. The program culminates in an integrative capstone seminar.
The program maintains fall and spring entry dates. Prospective learners need at least 60 credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA. The university provides a variety of financial aid opportunities, including the general Wildcat Scholarship.
Fort Hays State University
|Hays, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
FHSU delivers online certificates and degrees through the Blackboard platform . Undergraduate students can earn an online BA or BS in sociology. Through electives and a concentration option, this flexible program allows learners to align coursework with their research interests and professional goals.
Both degree types require 120 credits and include coursework in advanced sociological research, cultural anthropology, and social inequality. BA students must satisfy a foreign language requirement. Students can also complete an optional addictions counseling concentration to learn how to deliver prevention, recovery, and crisis care services.
Applicants who live in Kansas need a minimum 2.0 GPA. Non-resident applicants need a GPA of at least 2.5. Additionally, applicants must rank in the top one-third of their high school graduating class or submit adequate ACT or SAT scores.
Texas State University
|San Marcos, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
Texas State serves more than 38,000 students and offers nearly 100 undergraduate degrees, including a bachelor of science in applied sociology. This hybrid program requires distance learners to take 51-75% of their classes at Texas State's San Marcos campus.
Major courses cover topics like sociological theory, statistics for the behavioral sciences, and applied data analysis. The program emphasizes hands-on skill development, requiring students to complete a 300-hour internship. Learners can collaborate with university partners in the Austin-San Antonio Corridor or find their own internship opportunities.
Texas State maintains a competitive admissions process that evaluates first-year applicants based on their class rank and ACT or SAT scores. Transfer applicants do not need to submit standardized test scores if they have 16 or more college credits.
Central Washington University
|Ellensburg, WA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
Based in Ellensburg, CWU delivers distance learning through the Canvas platform. Online students can choose from 21 undergraduate and graduate programs, including a fully online bachelor's in sociology. Learners develop the conceptual and methodological tools needed to pursue careers in market research, demography, and public administration.
The program's curriculum includes required courses in social theory and applied research methods. Students can pursue their own interests through electives, wth options like punishment and corrections, sociology of immigration, and death and dying. All students must complete a minor or second major and fulfill a foreign language requirement.
First-year applicants with a 3.4 GPA or higher do not need to submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer applicants must have a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Sociology Program?
To earn a bachelor’s in sociology, students must complete approximately 120 credits. Full-time students can graduate in around four years. The curriculum includes general education requirements, electives, and 60-65 credits in sociology. Students may also select a complementary minor in an area like business, psychology, or political science.
Many schools encourage students to seek out hands-on learning opportunities like internships and practicums.
Schools may offer a bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of science (BS) in sociology. A bachelor of science often provides a more significant focus on research methods and statistical analysis. A bachelor of arts features a liberal arts curriculum that builds critical thinking abilities. However, both programs cover the same core coursework.
Sociology often attracts individuals with a curiosity about social systems. Social workers, a popular career choice for this degree, need compassion to address complex issues like child abuse, addiction, and rehabilitation. Active listening, social perceptiveness, and critical thinking help social workers address deep-seated issues and connect their clients to resources and services.
Sociology offers opportunities to specialize your study. Popular concentrations include applied research and data analysis; law and society; medical sociology; and family, gender, and society.
Many schools encourage students to seek out hands-on learning opportunities like internships and practicums. These work-based programs help students gain practical experience and build professional networks. Faculty may also work with upper-level students on research projects.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Sociology Program?
An online bachelor’s in sociology includes general education courses in English, history, and science. Approximately half of the required 120 credits focus on sociology and students' chosen concentration. The following section highlights five common courses in online bachelor's in sociology programs.
- Introduction to Sociology
This foundational course introduces students to social systems, the field's history, and critical theories related to social structures. Instructors use various textbooks and historical readings to inform discussions on the impact of race, class, and gender on U.S. society, social deviance, and social movements. This course often serves as a prerequisite for continued sociological study.
- Sociological Research Methods
Sociologists conduct four primary forms of research: survey, field research, experiment, and data analysis. This course examines the pros and cons of each method and the differences between qualitative and quantitative research. Learners need an understanding of statistical analysis for this course.
- Sociology of Work
In this course, students examine theories of work and organizations to understand concepts like occupational differentiation and inequality, gender differences in employment, individual assessment of job satisfaction, and social policies related to the workplace. Instructors guide discussions of work organizations, industries, classes, unions, and labor market segmentation.
- Health Disparities
Research has found disparities in health outcomes among various racial and ethnic populations in the United States. This course examines the social and economic pressures that contribute to these inequalities. Students evaluate efforts to reduce those disparities, including successful intervention programs.
- Group Processes
This course incorporates concepts and theories related to group dynamics and group development in various contexts, including businesses, schools, and therapeutic settings. Learners gain the skills and competencies needed to design, lead, and evaluate team performance strategies effectively. Exercises and group activities develop students' understanding of innovation and collaboration.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Sociology Degree?
An online bachelor’s in sociology builds skills in logical reasoning, research, and critical thinking, all skills in high demand across multiple industries. This degree can prepare you for entry-level positions in criminal justice, community services, social work, and counseling.
Many graduates pursue community and social service occupations, a field the BLS projects to grow by 12% between 2019 and 2029. Workers in these careers reported a median salary of $46,090 in May 2019. However, businesses also need sociology graduates for market research, human resources, and management analysis positions.
See where a bachelor's in sociology can take you. Learn more about sociology careers here.
- Social Workers
Social workers assess clients' needs to help them overcome challenges like illness, unemployment, and divorce. They may specialize in healthcare, education, or child and family services. Social workers who provide mental health services must hold a master's degree.
- Community Health Workers
Community health workers collect community health information and educate individuals on available health services. They may work toward interventions on a specific health issue like smoking or obesity, providing community education and outreach services. They often work with nonprofit or government organizations.
- Substance Abuse Counselors
These specialized counselors work with individuals trying to overcome addiction, mental health, and behavioral problems. Counselors may work in inpatient treatment facilities, hospitals, private practice, or correctional institutions.
- Probation Officers
Probation and parole officers work with individuals convicted of or awaiting trial for a crime, ensuring they meet court-ordered requirements. They must maintain accurate case files and be prepared to testify in court.
- Market Research Analysts
Market researchers gather and analyze customer demographics, buying habits, and preferences. They may conduct focus groups, opinion polls, surveys, or individual interviews. That data helps determine new market opportunities, product upgrades, and pricing.
Sociology Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Sociology Programs
- Is a bachelor's in sociology worth it?
If you are interested in a career addressing societal problems, yes. A bachelor’s in sociology equips you with valuable data collection, analysis, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills. The degree can prepare you for entry-level roles in social services, criminal justice, and marketing research. The degree also readies you for advanced study in counseling, education, and law. If you aspire to any of these positions, the degree is worth it.
- What can I do with a bachelor's in sociology?
Many graduates with a bachelor’s in sociology work in research or social and community services. Others work in education, business, criminal justice, and healthcare. You can specialize in research, healthcare social work, criminology, or child and family development, tailoring your education to your career goals.
- Are sociology majors in demand?
Yes. The BLS projects 13% job growth for social workers between 2019 and 2029.
- How much money can I make with a bachelor's in sociology?
Social workers earn a median annual salary of $50,470, with the highest 10% reporting salaries of $82,540 and higher. Counselors, social workers, and other community social service specialists earn a median annual salary of $46,060. Keep in mind that education, experience, and industry all impact earning potential.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in sociology?
Market research analysts earn a median annual salary of $63,790. Market research analyst is likely the most lucrative position for graduates with an online bachelor's in sociology, but students can pursue more advanced, well-paying careers with a master's or doctorate degree.