2019 Best Accredited Online Sociology Degrees
Sociology is the study of society and the institutions and social behaviors that have led to and continue to lead to societal development. There are 87 accredited online colleges offering sociology degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's, or certificate level. The best online colleges for a bachelor's in sociology can be found on our 2019 ranking list, which highlights the top schools, based on tuition costs and alumni salaries provided by PayScale.
Prospective online sociology students should make sure to attend accredited colleges because this designation helps to ensure students receive a quality education that meets national standards. Those who want to become clinical sociologists should also seek certification from the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology.
Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools - Sociology Degrees (87)
Annual Tuition: $10,632 - $13,400
|Full List||Accreditation||Annual Tuition||Recommend Rate|
|Full List (93)|
|HLC||$20,456||50% (2 reviews)|
29 Programs, 2 in Sociology
|SACS COC||$16,136||Add Review|
45 Programs, 1 in Sociology
36 Programs, 5 in Sociology
|HLC||$6,880||71% (146 reviews)|
462 Programs, 6 in Sociology
|SACS COC||$22,109||100% (4 reviews)|
47 Programs, 1 in Sociology
|HLC||$15,691 - $27,372||71% (88 reviews)|
226 Programs, 2 in Sociology
|HLC||$14,778||50% (4 reviews)|
56 Programs, 2 in Sociology
|WASC WSCUC||$10,632 - $13,400||67% (646 reviews)|
212 Programs, 2 in Sociology
|SACS COC||$17,140||Add Review|
35 Programs, 2 in Sociology
|SACS COC||$23,606||100% (2 reviews)|
27 Programs, 1 in Sociology
|SACS COC||$23,153||50% (2 reviews)|
60 Programs, 1 in Sociology
|WASC WSCUC||$32,256||80% (5 reviews)|
52 Programs, 1 in Sociology
|WASC WSCUC||$19,228||Add Review|
9 Programs, 1 in Sociology
|WASC WSCUC||$18,730||100% (2 reviews)|
38 Programs, 1 in Sociology
|MSCHE||$15,326||80% (15 reviews)|
108 Programs, 1 in Sociology
|HLC||$5,760 - $23,770||100% (1 review)|
53 Programs, 2 in Sociology
|NWCCU||$22,010||100% (1 review)|
45 Programs, 1 in Sociology
|MSCHE||$15,636||100% (3 reviews)|
68 Programs, 1 in Sociology
|SACS COC||$16,920||20% (5 reviews)|
55 Programs, 1 in Sociology
|SACS COC||$27,480||Add Review|
164 Programs, 2 in Sociology
29 Programs, 1 in Sociology
|HLC||$29,200||100% (3 reviews)|
34 Programs, 1 in Sociology
|HLC||$11,788||100% (3 reviews)|
71 Programs, 3 in Sociology
|NWCCU||$19,682||80% (5 reviews)|
57 Programs, 6 in Sociology
|SACS COC||$16,791||100% (1 review)|
28 Programs, 1 in Sociology
2019 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Sociology Degrees
Prospective online sociology students will find 23 excellent options on this list. Annual tuitions for these top schools range from $5,763 at Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus to $31,570 at Albertus Magnus College. Our number one school is University of Northern Colorado, which offers a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Graduates of the program earn a median salary of $84,500, making University of Northern Colorado a great investment. Students looking for a bachelor of science program will find an affordable option at Arizona State University.
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition||Median Salary|
- Annual Tuition: $10,800
- Median Salary: $84,500
The University of Northern Colorado offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. This online program requires 120 credits, with 41 of these credits focusing primarily on sociology. Classes are taught in a mixture of 16-week and six-week increments, and students can start in any term. The program typically takes about two years for undergraduates to complete. In addition to the flexible “open entry” option, students can receive 12 credits each term taking only two courses at a time.
- Annual Tuition: $17,074
- Median Salary: $82,200
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Undergraduate applicants are not required to have taken the ACT or SAT, but if they have, they should include those scores. The online program is typically 120 credit hours, and students can take most of the online classes they need each semester. This makes it easy to jump in at any time. Some of the core classes include Social Statistics, Advanced Privilege Studies, and Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity.
- Annual Tuition: $14,940
- Median Salary: $78,400
The University of Colorado Denver offers a convenient online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Typical programs take about 120 credit hours, with 20 of these credits focused on sociology coursework and up to 36 of the credits being sociology related electives. Undergraduate students must earn a "C" or better in sociology related courses. Students without any transfer credits can expect to finish the program in about four years. Tuition for online students is $498 per credit hour.
- Annual Tuition: $8,993
- Median Salary: $75,000
Florida International University has an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology that focuses on sociology. The online program takes 120 credit hours, with 30 of these credits focusing primarily on sociology and the remaining focusing on general studies or electives. Tuition currently costs $212 per credit for in-state students and $329 per credit for out-of-state students. All online undergraduate students are paired with a success coach who helps them find success both academically and professionally.
- Annual Tuition: $15,900
- Median Salary: $75,100
Western Kentucky University has created an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. While not required, undergraduate students are encouraged to submit their ACT or SAT scores, if available. The program is typically 120 credit hours, with 31 of these hours focusing primarily on sociology. Students may major in general sociology or choose a special concentration that represents their interests and career aspirations. These concentrations include research methods, inequality and social change, family, gender, and sexuality, as well as community, environment, and development.
- Annual Tuition: $10,644
- Median Salary: $73,780
Arizona State University has a fully online Bachelor of Science in Sociology. ASU recommends applicants have a high school GPA of 3.0, an ACT score of 22, or an SAT score of 1120 for admission, though the Earned Admission track can also help admit those who do not meet these criteria. The program lasts for 120 credit hours, with 45 credit hours focusing on upper-division courses. Each class lasts for only 7.5 weeks, allowing for the potential of faster completion for undergraduate students on a quick academic timetable. ASU was rated among the top five colleges for producing well-qualified graduates.
- Annual Tuition: $12,369
- Median Salary: $73,200
Park University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. The online program is 120 credit hours, with 42 of these hours focusing primarily on sociology. Some of the core curriculum work includes Social Psychology, Social Theory, and a special capstone seminar. After graduation, undergraduate students will be uniquely prepared to enter career fields in market research, policy analysis, urban planning, population demographics, or even serving as a nonprofit director. The versatility of these career options represents the versatility of the program itself.
- Annual Tuition: $9,967
- Median Salary: $70,700
Thomas Edison State University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. The online program lasts for 120 credit hours: 33 credits focus on core sociology concepts, 21 credits focus on sociology electives, and 60 credit hours cover the general studies portion of the degree. Transfer undergraduate students may apply to the program as long as they have 18 credit hours or more in 300 or 400 level classes. The program provides students with a broad knowledge base of the liberal arts while developing a deeper understanding of sociology.
- Annual Tuition: $13,650
- Median Salary: $68,300
The University of Nebraska at Omaha offers an online degree in Sociology that is offered as either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. The online program is 120 credit hours and undergraduate students may choose coursework focused on a special concentration. These concentrations include areas such as anthropology, family and inequality, inequality and social justice, and work and organizations. Some of the core coursework focuses on courses such as Medical Anthropology, Sociology of Sexualities, and Social Justice and Social Change.
- Annual Tuition: $5,763
- Median Salary: $66,200
Eastern New Mexico University has an online Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Sociology. The programs are 120 credit hours and students can complete them solely online or through a combination of online and on-campus work. The programs typically take four years to complete. Online coursework is usually taught through a combination of web-based and captured lectures that help bring the classroom to life for distance learners. Students are encouraged to apply for scholarships.
- Annual Tuition: $9,000
- Median Salary: $64,800
The University of Central Florida offers an online Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Sociology. The online programs are 120 credit hours and focus on developing critical thinking skills that can help students get a job in fields such as education, mental health, and behavior analysis. Classes in the programs focus on areas such as crime, diversity and social inequality, and law and deviance. Tuition is $179.19 per credit hour for in-state students or $300 per credit hour for out-of-state students.
- Annual Tuition: $12,750
- Median Salary: $64,000
California State University, Fullerton offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology that can be completed in three years. Undergraduate students may not be fully admitted to the program until they have completed at least 60 credits of general studies. The sociology coursework consists of 17 courses that are taken one at a time in eight-week terms, making this program convenient for working students to complete in their free time. Tuition is $425 per credit for in-state students. CSU Fullerton offers online students guaranteed “seats” for class enrollment, as well as a cohort of fellow students. Out-of-state residents should verify that they are eligible to enroll in the program.
- Annual Tuition: $10,201
- Median Salary: $63,200
South Dakota State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Sociology. For freshman admission, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.6, an 18 or higher on the ACT, a 950 or higher on the SAT, or be in the top 60 percent of their graduating class. The program is 120 credits, with 33 credits focusing primarily on sociology classes. The Department of Sociology at SDSU does reward up to 12 credits for prior learning for students with experience in the military, law enforcement, community service, public office and other areas.
- Annual Tuition: $19,498
- Median Salary: $64,420
California State University, Chico offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. The program—which was designed to encourage critical thinking, as well as the theory and practice of various sociology concepts—typically takes 120 credits. Upper division course requirements include classes such as Classical Social Theory, Contemporary Social Theory, Ethnic and Race Relations, and Sociology of Gender. Graduates should be fully prepared to take on careers in public service, education, counseling, or nonprofit management and administration.
- Annual Tuition: $15,407
- Median Salary: $62,800
The University of Louisville offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. The program typically lasts for 120 credits, and prior to starting, students must score a “C” or better in Sociology 301 or an equivalent course. Tuition costs $497 per credit hour. This sociology degree is research-based and intended to prepare students for future careers or graduate education that may be research-intensive. The program is based around the study of diversity and inequality.
- Annual Tuition: $13,365
- Median Salary: $62,400
Oregon State University offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. These programs are 180 quarter credits, with 60 of these credits focusing on upper division courses. The programs are offered through Oregon State University’s School of Liberal Arts, and this school has been ranked No. 1 in the nation for online liberal arts degrees. Classes in this program include Rural Sociology, Environmental Sociology, and Sociology of Education, giving students a versatile understanding of this field.
- Annual Tuition: $11,329
- Median Salary: $61,880
Washington State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Sociology. The online program is 120 credit hours, with 16 of these credits forming the core of the students' sociology program. The Sociology department at WSU is consistently ranked as one of the top programs in the country. Undergraduate students must maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher to be certified as a sociology major at this university. Some available electives for this program include Social Problems, Social Inequity, and Youth and Society, allowing students to customize their sociological education.
- Annual Tuition: $22,336
- Median Salary: $57,780
William Paterson University of New Jersey offers the convenience of an online Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with a specialized track in sociology. William Patterson University's sociology program is 120 credit hours and can be completed fully online or through a hybrid of on-campus and online learning. In-state tuition is $6,468 and out-of-state tuition is $22,336 for an academic year. The program helps foster critical thinking and sociological theory while preparing students for a variety of careers related to sociology and beyond.
#19 Lamar University
- Annual Tuition: $7,440
- Median Salary: $54,900
#19 Lamar University
Lamar University offers an online Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Both programs require a total of 120 credit hours and give students a science based knowledge of the forms, structures, and dynamics of human interaction with a broad liberal arts education. Students can apply to the program at any time throughout the year. The tuition cost is $248 per credit hour, and this price already includes the distance learning fee for online learners. Sociology coursework in these programs includes classes such as Social Stratification, Aging Population and Health, and Population Problems.
- Annual Tuition: $19,485
- Median Salary: $52,900
Texas Woman’s University offers many online programs, including a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. This program requires a total of 120 credit hours, with 33 credits forming the core of the required courses. Undergraduate students may take either the standard sociology major or one with a concentration in Social Inequality. Some of the core course requirements include Social Research, Social Statistics, and a senior seminar in the theory and practice of sociology that will prepare students for direct entry into the field.
- Annual Tuition: $11,760
- Median Salary: $51,060
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is now offering its Bachelor of Arts in Sociology to online undergraduate students. The program typically lasts for 120 credit hours, with 30 credits forming the core of the sociology courses. Students must maintain a “C” or better average in all coursework pertaining to their major; otherwise, they may have to repeat a class. Some of the major coursework associated with this program includes classes in Political Sociology, Industrial Sociology, and Comparative Race Relations.
- Annual Tuition: $31,570
- Median Salary: $53,200
Albertus Magnus College gives students a variety of options with their online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. The program is 120 credit hours, with 33 credit hours forming the general requirement of coursework. Students may choose a concentration in Criminal Justice, Urban Studies, and Social Work and Social Welfare. Students will be given a solid foundation in sociological theory, data analysis skills, and research methods. Graduates will be well prepared for careers in fields such as social work, case managing, and teaching.
- Annual Tuition: $8,310
- Median Salary: $49,900
The University of North Alabama offers an online Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Sociology. The programs require a total of 120 credit hours, with a minimum of 28 credit hours dedicated specifically toward sociology classes. Some of the program classes include History of Social Thought, Modern Sociological Theory, and Social Psychology and Intimate Relationships. The program is available both online and on-campus, but students may not mix the two modes of learning. Graduates may find employment in fields such as human services, education, and policy and law.
Online Sociology Degree Overview & Career Information
Online sociology degrees are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. They can provide an educational foundation relevant to a variety of careers including counseling, teaching, library science, and human services. The most commonly available online degree level in sociology is a bachelor’s, although those that plan to teach at the college level, work in a clinical role, or conduct sociological research will need at least a master's degree.
Online classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level will cover topics in gender studies, minority studies, medicine, contemporary social issues, and modern research methods. Pursuing online graduate levels studies will enable students to focus more specifically on one particular area within the field of sociology.
An online associate degree in sociology can provide a solid foundation for individuals looking to continue their education in sociology or related fields at the bachelor's level. There are 5 schools offering associate degrees in sociology entirely online, often at a self-guided pace.
Schools offering online associate degrees in sociology usually require a high school diploma or GED for admission. Most associate degree programs consist of 60 semester hours of college credit. Though online courses offer flexibility with the time-frame, most sociology students finish their associate degrees within two years.
Most of the courses in an online sociology associate degree program are general education, which allows students to later pursue a bachelor's degree in most liberal arts fields. However, students will likely take about six hours of sociology credits. Sociology-specific courses may include sociology of death and dying, sociology of religion, sociology of gender, and social problems among others. Most students who earn online associate degrees in sociology go on to complete a bachelor's degree. Often, the credits from an associate degree transfer directly to a bachelor's degree. In a bachelor's degree program, students will have the opportunity to make more courses in sociological theory and research methods.
Online bachelor's degrees in sociology are available in two forms: a bachelor’s of arts or a bachelor’s of science. In general, a bachelor's of science tends to have a more quantitative focus than a bachelor's of arts. Both are good choices for students hoping to pursue further education in sociology or want an education in the organization of human society.
A bachelor's degree in sociology usually requires a minimum of 120 credit hours. Applicants to all online bachelor's degrees will need a high school diploma or equivalent. Some schools have minimum GPA or standardized test score requirements for admission. Transcripts and test scores often must be submitted prior to acceptance and enrollment.
In most bachelor's degree programs, students will take a variety of general education requirements. In addition, they will take courses such as social theory, statistics for behavioral sciences, and research methods. More niche classes may include sociology of the family, gender and society, racial and ethnic relations, and sociology of religion. Some online institutions also require that sociology students engage in an internship. These can often be completed at approved local locations, although in some cases, students should be prepared to travel or should choose an online program from a nearby school.
A master's degree in sociology is often the lowest level of education needed to pursue a career as a sociologist or educator. It is also necessary for those students with plans to seek a doctorate in sociology, although there are currently no online doctorate degrees available. Online master’s degrees in sociology may have specific focuses like community development or medical sociology or they may be general degrees.
Most online master's degrees in sociology require an undergraduate degree in sociology or a related field. Most programs also require students to have a minimum GPA, although this varies greatly by school. Applicants may be required to submit a writing sample, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and/or official transcripts and GRE scores. An online master's degree usually takes about two years to complete.
Coursework for an online master's in sociology is similar to coursework for a bachelor's degree but it involves more in-depth and advanced content. Students will take classes in statistics, theory, research methods, and various topical classes like seminars on social inequality or sociology of aging. Some online master's programs culminate in a thesis project in which students conduct research on a topic of their choosing. Other master's programs may require a final comprehensive exam or capstone internship project in lieu of a thesis.
Online sociology certificates are available at the undergraduate or graduate level, and can cover topics like aging, medicine, research methods, contemporary social issues, and family relations. They often take one year and range from 12-18 credits. Undergraduates may choose to enroll in an online certificate program to supplement their bachelor's degree education. Graduate certificates are useful for professionals who want to gain a more in-depth understanding of a particular aspect of sociology.
An online degree from an accredited institution is important for sociology students to ensure that the school has a rigorous curriculum and that graduates will be able to transfer credits. If a student receives an associate or bachelor's degree from an unaccredited school, it is unlikely that he or she would be accepted into a graduate degree program. Also, accreditation is an important indication to prospective employers that a student has received a relevant and valuable education.
For graduates pursuing careers in applied and clinical sociology, versus focusing on research or academia, it is important for them to consider programs accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Programs in Applied and Clinical Sociology (CAPACS). This designation ensures that a program has quality practical, hands-on experience as well as provides a solid, well-rounded educational foundation.
Licensure and certification may be required for certain positions within the sociology field and related careers. Practicing sociologists with master's or doctoral degrees are eligible to apply for certification from the Association for Applied & Clinical Sociology. People may choose to become certified because it indicates to others that they have been evaluated by professionals in the field and that their skills and practices have met national standards for applied and clinical sociologists.
Individuals who use their sociological education to pursue a career in social work will need to be licensed in most states and may require certification from the National Association of Social Workers. Careers within healthcare and teaching similarly often require their own certification. This will vary from state-to-state, so students should research their state’s specific requirements for any career they are considering.
Online classes for sociology degrees may vary depending on the emphasis that the student chooses, like women’s studies, minority studies, medicine, or modern communications. All undergraduate degrees will require general education courses like math, science, and liberal arts. Students will also take classes like general sociology, quantitative research methods, and social theory. Electives may include courses like cultural anthropology, mass media, criminology, and human sexuality.
- Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology. Accessed February 21, 2018. https://www.aacsnet.net/
- Commission on the Accreditation of Programs in Applied and Clinical Sociology (CAPACS). Accessed February 21, 2018. http://www.sociologycommission.org/
- Sociologists - Bureau of Labor Statistics. Accessed February 21, 2018. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/sociologists.htm
- Sociology (BS). Accessed February 21, 2018. http://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/undergraduate/bachelor-science-sociology
- Sociology (Certificate). Accessed February 21, 2018. http://distance.appstate.edu/graduate-programs/52