Social sciences is a broad field that includes many disciplines like sociology, anthropology, and political science. The social sciences focus on human behavior and our systems and organizations. This degree's versatility and interdisciplinary nature have helped it become one of the most popular college majors in the country.

In a bachelor's in social sciences program, students can focus on human histories, societies, development, and institutions in a bachelor's in social sciences. Depending on their educational path, graduates may pursue many positions in social sciences. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 8% growth for this sector between 2020 and 2030, which is average for all careers.

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Many of the top online schools offer social sciences programs. Here, we look at the most popular online majors in social science, outlining what students can expect from the application process, the program, and potential careers.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Social Sciences Degree Program?

Earning an online bachelor's degree in social sciences affords students a great deal of choice. The discipline features tracks in anthropology, economics, history, psychology, and sociology. Degree-seekers typically complete 120 credits over four years for a bachelor's degree.

While a BA is the most common type of online bachelor's in social sciences, students may also pursue a BS degree. These degree types lead to similar opportunities, but learners may encounter differences in the program's emphasis. For example, BA programs focus more on theoretical explorations, whereas BS programs take a more analytical and scientific approach.

Social science students may have inquisitive and observant qualities that allow them to approach topics and problems with an open mind. Learners with strong communication and interpersonal skills may have an advantage in this field.

Some programs offer various concentrations or practicum requirements. For example, an economics degree may offer financial economics or public policy options. History programs may offer numerous specializations. Some programs offer practical training opportunities, such as psychology or anthropology internships.

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How Do I Know If an Online Program Is Popular?

A school or program's popularity may impact enrollment and employment decisions. Name recognition can attract prospective students and win favor with employers. However, popular programs may have larger class sizes and more competition. Name recognition is also subjective.

To determine popularity, prospective students can look at enrollment statistics and read college rankings. They can also verify if the popularity is warranted by checking graduation and job placement numbers with the National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) College Navigator tool. Applicants might also review student testimonials on the institution's websites and school review and rating websites.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Social Sciences Degree Program?

Diversity and Human Rights

In this course, students examine the relationship between diversity and access to human rights. Learners may approach this field from a philosophical, political, or sociological perspective.

Business and Commerce

Business and commerce courses may explore the history and development of the business system, the economics of commerce, and the psychological factors at play.

Justice and the Law

Social science students look at the justice and legal system from various angles, including the development of these institutions, the sociological effects they have on people, and the political influences involved.

Development through the Lifespan

Depending on the program, this course may explore psychological development, sociological influences on development, and the changes in development throughout the lifespan and history.

Issues in Sociology

Issues in sociology courses tackle various topics, including race, gender, immigration, and environmental concerns. These issues may crossover into studies of economic systems, psychological behaviors, and historical perspectives.

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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Social Sciences Degree Program?

The admission requirements for social science bachelor's vary. While most schools and programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or a GED certificate, some may request a minimum of 3.0 GPAs or specific prerequisite courses.

For admission into an online bachelor's in social sciences, applicants likely need the appropriate technical requirements.

Application

Every undergraduate applicationhas unique requirements and processes. Prospective students can apply to their school of choice directly using its online portal. If they plan to apply to multiple schools, they may choose to use a college application system to simplify the process.

Test Scores

Many schools ask applicants to submit scores from college entrance exams, though test waivers are becoming more common. These test scores help schools compare applicants and ensure prospective students can succeed in the program. At the undergraduate level, the most common tests include the SAT or ACT.

Letters of Recommendation

The typical college application requires 1-3 letters of recommendationfrom professionals or teachers who know the applicant and their skills. Other possible references include supervisors, managers, coaches, and school counselors.

Essays

The college application essay allows applicants to discuss their personal journey and education interests. Schools may provide students with a discipline-specific prompt to see how they approach the topic and assess their writing skills.

Official Transcripts

Official transcripts feature information about a student's previous education. Schools can gather important details about course prerequisites and GPAs from these records. Transcripts also help transfer studentsacquire transfer credits.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Social Sciences Degree?

Career Outlook

Social science skills apply to many fields. Understanding human behavior and how it shapes the world is important to various sectors, including the government, organizations, and education. These postgraduate options and opportunities have helped social sciences become one of the most popular online majors.

The BLS projects the addition of nearly 115,000 new jobs in the life, physical, and social sciences sector between 2020 and 2030, which is average for all occupations. Graduates may also use their communication and problem-solving skills to pursue business and financial careers.

Check out what a bachelor's in social sciences has to offer. Learn more about social science careers.

Career Paths

Human Resources Specialist

Human resources specialists handle many of the staffing needs for organizations, including interviewing, hiring, and onboarding new employees. They may also take care of the recruitment process, manage the employee records, and oversee the compensation and benefits structures and payments.

Median Annual Salary: $62,290

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists manage individual and organizational public images. They handle communications, run social media accounts, and coordinate appearances and interviews. These professionals ensure that all public-facing messaging is consistent with branding and received well by the public.

Median Annual Salary: $62,800

Social and Community Service Manager

These professionals develop and manage social and community service programs and organizations that support people and places. They identify needs through research and analysis, oversee the outreach and planning process, and handle the administrative duties for the program. They may also need to present operational data and outcomes to stakeholders and funding organizations.

Median Annual Salary: $74,000

High School Teacher

High school teachers educate students in their area of expertise, preparing them for college and future careers. They plan lessons according to curriculum requirements, manage classroom personalities, and support learners emotionally and educationally. Teachers need state certification or licensure for employment.

Median Annual Salary: $61,820

Management Analyst

Management analysts help organizations improve their processes and operations. They may look at ways to improve efficiencies and revenues, enhance performances and processes, or make management style changes. These professionals can specialize in an industry, such as healthcare or government agencies.

Median Annual Salary: $93,000

Social Sciences Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

Students with a bachelor's in social sciences can pursue careers or continuing education after graduation. Many social sciences careers typically require a master's degree at minimum, including psychologists, historians, and sociologists. Some graduate degree options are a master's in behavioral psychology, a master's in economics, and a master's in history.

Other programs help graduates use their social science background for other careers in communication, education, or healthcare. Some options include a master's in communication, a master's in journalism, a master's in health services, a master's in education, or a master's in criminal justice. With an advanced degree in these fields, graduates may pursue management and senior-level roles in various fields.

Should I Choose a Popular Online Bachelor's in Social Sciences Degree Program?

Graduating from a popular online bachelor's in social sciences has its advantages. Employers may recognize the school name, potentially giving these graduates preference over other candidates.

Conversely, popular programs attract competition. The admission requirements for these programs may be more challenging and the tuition can be more expensive. While students can consider popularity when choosing a program, they should take into account other factors.

Additional Program Factors to Consider

Cost

Prospective students usually look at tuition costs when comparing schools, including online and on-campus costs, public and private costs, and in-state and out-of-state rates. However, they should think about the true program cost. This includes additional expenses, such as room and board and travel, plus any lost income resulting from the program.

Program Format

Schools offer various types of program formats, particularly online learning programs. Prospective students can choose between synchronous vs. asynchronous learning, full-time and part-time studies, and even find accelerated programs. Before selecting a format, consider how it will impact your scheduling needs and learning style.

Location

The choice between online or on-campus learning can be challenging. Online learners can attend schools at much greater distances because of the reduced travel requirements. Be sure to check if your online program has any residency requirements before committing.

Accreditation

Online college accreditation should be the first thing prospective students look for in a school. Without this, they may not have access to financial aid support, employment, or continuing education opportunities.

Student Support

Prospective students should identify the most important student services for them. Online student services help learners academically, prepare for their postgraduate careers, and manage their mental health. Pay attention to the available internships and practicums and mentorship programs as well, since these opportunities can influence your career choices and success.

Most Popular Accredited Online Bachelor's in Social Sciences Degree Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.

The school programs listed in this ranking were selected due to their popularity among students — identified by the percentage of applicants who enrolled at a school after being offered admission. These programs were then ranked based on their overall academic quality and online offerings. To learn more about our different rankings, read our ranking methodology.

#1

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

School Information
Location Little Rock, Arkansas
Admission Rate 66%
Graduation Rate 43%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $280

Out of State | $280

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

UA Little Rock offers an online BA in sociology that teaches students broad skills in critical thinking, data analytics, and communication. The program's 120-credit curriculum includes courses like introduction to sociology, social statistics, sociological theory, and research methods. All students complete a senior capstone seminar in sociology as a culminating experience. 

Prospective students must submit official high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. 

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#2

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $390

Out of State | $390

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

Based in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty serves over 100,000 students. The school's online programs include a bachelor's degree in political science. The 120-credit curriculum includes courses in introduction to political science, American political processes, international relations, and American foreign policy. Each course lasts for eight weeks. 

Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. Incoming transfer students can earn up to 90 transfer credits when they enroll in the program.

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#3

McKendree University

School Information
Location Lebanon, Illinois
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $400

Out of State | $400

Credits to Graduate

43 (Major Credits)

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

Located in Lebanon, Illinois, McKendree offers an online bachelor's program in sociology and criminal justice that teaches students to think critically about social issues. The 43-credit major curriculum includes courses in juvenile delinquency, police and urban society, correctional institutions, and race and ethnic relations. Online students take two courses per eight-week term, and McKendree delivers all program coursework asynchronously. 

Prospective students need a high school or GED diploma to earn admission. 

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#4

Rutgers University-Camden

School Information
Location Camden, New Jersey
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 65%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Hybrid | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $577

Out of State | $577

Credits to Graduate

39 (Major Credits)

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

Rutgers-Camden offers an online bachelor's in political science program with three minors: general political science, international politics, or public administration and government service. The program's 39-credit major curriculum includes noteworthy courses like introduction to politics and the study of politics. 

Students can also earn credits for completing an internship, study abroad experience, independent study, or honors seminar or thesis. 

Prospective students must submit official high school transcripts. 

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#5

Madonna University

School Information
Location Livonia, Michigan
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 60%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 61% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $500

Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate

34 (Major Credits)

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

Located in Livonia, Michigan, MU offers an online bachelor's program in applied sociology that teaches students to use the scientific method to answer complex social questions. The program's 34-credit major curriculum covers major topics like applied research and practice methods in sociology, social problems, and social theory. All students complete a sociology internship and seminar as a capstone experience. 

Prospective students must submit proof of a high school or GED diploma. Once enrolled, online students can access online tutoring, a writing lab, and a remote library. 

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#6

University of Northern Colorado

School Information
Location Greeley, Colorado
Admission Rate 91%
Graduation Rate 52%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $403

Out of State | $403

Credits to Graduate

46 (Major Credits) 

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | N/A

Based in Greeley, UNC offers a bachelor's degree completion program in sociology that allows incoming students to start coursework in the fall, spring, or summer or in the middle of any term. 

Each course in the 46-credit major curriculum lasts for either six or eight weeks, and students take two courses at a time. The curriculum also includes three concentration options: social psychology, family, and the life course; inequality and institutions; and deviance and social control.

Applicants must have a minimum 2.4 GPA on all prior coursework. The program recommends that incoming students already have 60 college credits. 

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#7

Oregon State University

School Information
Location Corvallis, Oregon
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $346

Out of State | $346

Credits to Graduate

180

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

Based in Corvallis, Oregon State's e-campus offers an online bachelor's in sociology program that runs on the quarter system. Students can choose from two concentrations: crime and justice or environmental and natural resources. Sociology students complete core courses like introduction to sociology, introduction to research methods, qualitative data analysis, and sociological theory.

The program offers multiple start dates throughout the year, and all applicants must submit proof of a high school or GED diploma. 

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#8

University of Utah

School Information
Location Salt Lake City, Utah
Admission Rate 62%
Graduation Rate 70%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $260

Out of State | $260

Credits to Graduate

48 (Major Credits)

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

Based out of Salt Lake City, the U offers an online bachelor's in economics program. Core courses include microeconomics, macroeconomics, probability and statistical inference for economists, and mathematics for economics. Students also take courses in two of the following focus areas: history of economic thought, economic history, or econometrics. 

Applicants need a high school diploma or its equivalent. The program awards transfer credit on a case-by-case basis.

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#9

Maryville University of Saint Louis

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 71%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $500

Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate

128

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Maryville provides an online bachelor's degree in sociology with three concentration options: social work, social justice, or criminology. No matter their concentration, Maryville's sociology students take core courses like social analysis and thought, social issues in a changing world, domestic and international terrorism, and mental illness and society.

Prospective students must submit proof of a high school diploma or its equivalent with a minimum 2.5 GPA. 

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#10

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

School Information
Location Pembroke, North Carolina
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 41%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 60% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $42

Out of State | $208

Credits to Graduate

120

Program Information

Degree Completion Program | No

Program Accreditation | N/A

A member of the University of North Carolina System, UNCP offers all major coursework online for its bachelor's in sociology program. The 120-credit curriculum includes an 18-credit major curriculum that covers topics like social research, social statistics, sociological theory, sociological writing and rhetoric, and social problems in modern society. 

Students can also complete a concentration in a related area like community development, international sociology, medical sociology, gender studies, and substance misuse. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma to be considered.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Popular Social Sciences Degree Programs

Are popular online bachelor's programs more difficult to get into?

The most popular online majors are not always more difficult to get into, but they can be in some schools. Program popularity can increase the number of student applicants, which can make the selection process more competitive.

As programs get more popular, the schools may be more selective and raise the admission requirements. Conversely, programs may be popular because of their accessible admissions requirements.

What are the most popular college majors?

According to the NCES, the three most popular college majors based on student enrollment numbers are business, health professions, and social sciences. These broad fields feature multiple disciplines.

Another attractive feature of these programs is their wide application. Each field provides foundational training that graduates can apply in many different professions and educational pursuits. Most schools offer programs that fall within these three sectors.

How should I choose an online degree program?

The best methods for choosing a college depend entirely on the student. Prospective learners need to identify what factors mean the most to them and then seek out a school and program that best meets those requirements. Some students may prioritize cost, location, or reputation.

To get a better idea of what the school provides, degree-seekers can do research by reading all the school's information on its website, student reviews and testimonials, and school guides and rankings. They might also look at graduate outcome statistics, such as academic performances, graduation rates, and employment numbers.

Are the most popular online programs also the highest quality?

The most popular programs are sometimes the highest quality, but not always. Popular programs may be part of a recognizable school, feature the lowest tuition rates, or have successful graduate outcomes. To find out why a school is popular, look at the outcomes and listen to the current and former students.

What jobs can I get with an online bachelor's in social sciences?

The postgraduate job search process can be daunting and time consuming, but it should be taken seriously to ensure the best outcomes. Graduates with a bachelor's in social science can begin career preparation early by building a portfolio, completing internships, and acquiring references.

Schools often provide job search assistance, such as interview tips and resume-building workshops. They can also connect students with recruiters and job posts in their specific field. For additional assistance, look into mentorship programs or networking events to build connections prior to graduation.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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