2020 Best Accredited Bachelor's Online Sociology Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 11/24/2020
Quick Facts
Accreditation: Institutional
Degree Levels: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Certificate
Average Tuition: $20,460
Average Salary: $64,927

Sociology is the study of the structure, development, and function of human society. Accredited colleges offer online sociology degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and certificate levels. The best online colleges for a bachelor's in sociology can be found on our 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. This designation helps 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.

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2020 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Sociology Degrees

2020 Best Online Colleges Offering Bachelor's in Sociology Badge

The following 25 schools offer the best online bachelor's in sociology degrees, based on their low tuition rates and high mid-career salary potentials. The University of West Georgia is the #1 school, with an average alumni salary of $86,100. Tuition for their Bachelor of Science in Sociology is only $5,463. At #2, the University of Northern Colorado offers a tuition rate of $11,315 per year for its Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 University of West Georgia $5,463 $86,100
# 2 #2 University of Northern Colorado $11,315 $84,500
# 3 #3 University of Colorado Colorado Springs $15,412 $82,200
# 4 #4 University of Colorado Denver $15,270 $78,400
# 5 #5 Florida International University $10,376 $75,000
# 6 #6 Western Kentucky University $16,200 $75,100
# 7 #7 Park University $12,865 $73,200
# 8 #8 Arizona State University $15,900 $73,780
# 9 #9 Saint Leo University Online $11,100 $71,300
# 10 #10 Thomas Edison State University $9,856 $70,700
# 11 #11 Western Illinois University $8,883 $68,900
# 12 #12 Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus $7,492 $66,200
# 13 #13 University of Nebraska at Omaha $13,200 $68,300
# 14 #14 California State University-Chico $5,742 $64,420
# 15 #15 California State University-Fullerton $7,650 $64,000
# 16 #16 Northern Kentucky University $13,440 $65,800
# 17 #17 University of Central Florida $11,515 $64,800
# 18 #18 South Dakota State University $10,537 $63,200
# 19 #19 University of Missouri $11,622 $62,680
# 20 #20 University of Maryland Global Campus $14,970 $63,500
# 21 #21 Washington State University $11,550 $61,880
# 22 #22 Oregon State University $13,905 $62,400
# 23 #23 University of Louisville $16,709 $62,800
# 24 #24 Old Dominion University $12,210 $57,800
# 25 #25 University of Southern Mississippi $8,624 $55,420
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges Offering Sociology Degrees - Ranking Details

#1 University of West Georgia

  • Annual Tuition: $5,463
  • Median Salary: $86,100
  • Locations: Carrollton (GA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The College of Social Sciences at the University of West Georgia (UWG) is home to a fully online Bachelor of Science in Sociology. The Department of Sociology aims to prepare its graduates for advanced study in the field or immediate employment. Students will learn the fundamentals of sociology and research techniques. Courses include Communicating Sociology, Globalization, Social Inequality, Sociology of Race, and Sociology of Emotions. All online coursework is accessible through CourseDen, which is an extension of the Desire2Learn learning management system. Learning is primarily synchronous, and while students have the flexibility to study whenever and from wherever, they are expected to work at the same pace as their classmates. The complete bachelor's program requires 120 credit hours. Transfer students, upon credit evaluation, may receive up to 90 transfer credits toward the degree. To apply to the program, students should submit their high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores, and complete an online application. Those studying remotely at UWG can take advantage of many of the same resources as traditional students, such as the counseling center, career services, tutoring, and IT support.

#2 University of Northern Colorado

  • Annual Tuition: $11,315
  • Median Salary: $84,500
  • Locations: Greeley (CO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Northern Colorado (UNCO) hosts an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology for students pursuing a liberal arts degree within an online platform. Applicants will benefit from a flexible enrollment schedule, as classes run every six to eight weeks. This program is a bachelor's completion degree, meaning that interested candidates are recommended to have approximately 60 hours of transfer credit. The program requires 120 total credit hours and spans about two years, depending on the number of credits transferred. The online program is subject to the same academic standards as the on-campus degree and has an identical curriculum. Students can expect to take classes such as Classical Social Theory, Contemporary Social Theory, and Methods of Sociological Research. Coursework is accessible through Canvas, a learning management system that students can use to watch recorded video lectures, submit assignments, track their grades, and participate in classroom discussions using message boards. UNCO supports distance learners through the Student Success Resource Center, with services such as academic advising, tutoring, career readiness tools, and mental health support. Interested students can apply to begin during the term of their choice by submitting their academic transcripts and an online application. Following acceptance into the program, an advisor will help develop a degree plan based on students' transfer courses.

#3 University of Colorado Colorado Springs

  • Annual Tuition: $15,412
  • Median Salary: $82,200
  • Locations: Colorado Springs (CO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs offers an online bachelor's degree completion program. Qualified individuals can complete a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology online. Hosted through the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, the program requires interested applicants to either have 60 completed UC Colorado Springs credits or transfer to UC Colorado Springs with an Associate of Arts. In addition, applicants should have at least a 2.0 GPA from their previous coursework. Eligible students can submit an online application, as well as their previous academic transcripts for consideration. The curriculum includes coursework in criminology, family services, and research techniques. Honors students will have the opportunity to complete a capstone project. UCCS also offers an online Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice/Sociology dual degree. Students in this program complete 34 credit hours of sociology courses and 25 credit hours of criminal justice courses. Online classes are delivered using the Canvas learning management system and may include pre-recorded video lectures, interactive assignments, quizzes, and assigned readings. While students study independently, time management will be essential in order to stay on track. Student success is fueled by support services such as academic advising, the Career Center, disability services, and wellness resources.

#4 University of Colorado Denver

  • Annual Tuition: $15,270
  • Median Salary: $78,400
  • Locations: Denver (CO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Colorado-Denver's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences hosts a fully online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, with concentrations in Gender and Society, Criminology, Families and Social Welfare, and Sociology of Health and Medicine. Motivated individuals may choose to pursue the four + one option, combining the bachelor's and master's programs into five years. The bachelor's program requires a total of 120 credits hours, including 15 credits of core courses and 12 credits of department electives. Students can expect to take classes in sociological theory, qualitative methods, quantitative methods and analysis, and inequalities in the social world. The readings, video lectures, class discussions, and assignments for online courses are available through the Canvas learning management system. Students can also use Canvas to email their instructors and participate in classroom discussions. The application process requires students to submit an online application, test scores, and academic transcripts. The average GPA for applicants is approximately 3.5, and the average SAT and ACT scores are approximately 1115 and 23, respectively. While in the program, students can use the myriad student support services, which include virtual access to the Strauss Health Sciences Library, IT support, mental health counseling, tutoring services, and the writing center.

#5 Florida International University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,376
  • Median Salary: $75,000
  • Locations: Miami (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Florida International University (FIU) Online hosts a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology through the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. Students can choose to focus their studies in sociology or anthropology. Classes are taught entirely online by a team of research faculty. The FIU Online platform, which is an extension of Canvas, allows students to interact with classmates, view lectures, and get feedback from their professors. Students can also form groups within Canvas to support each other throughout their studies and share time management tips and study techniques. Additional resources include online tutoring, career development services, and access to a personalized success coach who can mentor and assist students with program planning. The bachelor's degree requires 120 credit hours to complete and may include classes such as Sociological Theories, Introduction to Quantitative Social Research, and Societies in the World. Students can apply for admission for any of the three program start dates by submitting their transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and an online application that takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete.

#6 Western Kentucky University

  • Annual Tuition: $16,200
  • Median Salary: $75,100
  • Locations: Bowling Green (KY)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Western Kentucky University (WKU) provides a program that values effective communication, teamwork, and problem-solving; WKU strives to prepare its BA in Sociology graduates for a variety of career opportunities. Online sociology courses share the same faculty as WKU's sociology department. Individuals accepted into the program have the opportunity to choose a general plan or to focus their education in a concentration area. Four options are available: Research Methods, Inequality and Social Change, Family, Gender, and Sexuality, and Community, Environment, and Development. Students are expected to complete the 39-credit Colonnade Program (general education requirements) through WKU's online pathway. The bachelor's degree requires at least 120 credit hours; 31 of those credits are directly from the sociology major. Students are required to take a senior seminar course. WKU's online sociology degrees are facilitated through the Division of Extended Learning & Outreach (DELO). Online classes run in four terms (fall, winter, spring, and summer), and rely on Blackboard learning management software. Most courses are asynchronous. Online learners have access to career services, tutoring, library resources, and the Writing Center. These are all explained in detail during the online student orientation. Interested candidates are required to send in a completed application and fee, official copies of high school and transfer transcripts, and ACT or SAT scores. 

#7 Park University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,865
  • Median Salary: $73,200
  • Locations: Parkville (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Park University offers a 122-credit Bachelor of Arts in Sociology that can be completed online or through face-to-face courses at one of Park University's 41 campus centers around the United States. A total of 30 credit hours must be completed at a Park University facility to fulfill the residency requirement. Online classes run in five different eight-week terms. The sociology major requires 39 credits of core classes, covering topics in social theory, research, and statistics. Successful graduates must complete a capstone seminar in their senior year. The seminar includes the creation of a professional portfolio, a comprehensive exam, and professional development. Park's online classrooms are facilitated with Canvas learning management tools and are recognized by Quality Matters online education standards. Online learners can access tutoring services, career development, and disability services. Two IT help desks are set up for technical support. Interested individuals can apply for start dates in the spring, summer, and fall. Applicants need only submit a completed application form, fee, and official transcripts. Park University provides additional benefits for students in the military.

#8 Arizona State University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,900
  • Median Salary: $73,780
  • Locations: Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Sociology. This degree covers subjects including technology’s impacts on society, population studies, and perspectives on race, religion, and gender. ASU's online sociology program shares the same faculty as the on-campus program. Most classes are asynchronous and rely on students to hold themselves responsible for completing assignments by the due dates. The curriculum is comprised of a liberal arts core that emphasizes research and critical thinking skills. The complete BS in Sociology requires 40 courses for a total of 120 credit hours. Classes are taught in 7.5-week sessions. There are six start dates throughout the year. Applicants without previous college experience can apply as freshmen. First-year students must meet a 2.5 GPA requirement and have achieved a 22 ACT score or an 1120 SAT score (24 and 1180 respectively for non-Arizona residents). The complete application requires transcripts, test scores, application form, and fee. Students who don't meet these requirements can access the Earned Admission Pathway, a program that allows students the opportunity to gain admission by completing a set of online courses. These individuals must maintain a 2.75 GPA during this period. Online students will be assigned an academic advisor and have access to a 24/7 IT help desk. Graduates from ASU Online are welcome to join the on-campus graduation ceremonies.

#9 Saint Leo University Online

  • Annual Tuition: $11,100
  • Median Salary: $71,300
  • Locations: St. Leo (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Saint Leo University Online offers prospective sociology undergraduates a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with two available tracks: Diversity and Inequality or Applied and Clinical. Subjects covered in the major classes include globalization, environmental concerns, and perspectives on race and gender in society. The Diversity and Inclusion concentration prepares students for careers in public relations, counseling, and human resources. The Applied and Clinical concentration is more appropriate for prospective support group facilitators, mediators, and community advocates. The sociology core requires 36 credit hours and emphasizes research, writing, and critical thinking. Students must complete a senior seminar in sociology and a comprehensive exam. The degree also requires 21 elective credits and 42 general education credit hours. The total BA in Sociology is 120 credits. The Applied & Clinical track includes an internship component. Online students have access to career services, peer advisors, and an online sociology club. Individuals can apply for six start dates throughout the year. A completed online application, proof of high school graduation, official academic transcripts, standardized examination scores, and any professional training documentation are required for admission consideration. 

#10 Thomas Edison State University

  • Annual Tuition: $9,856
  • Median Salary: $70,700
  • Locations: Trenton (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The Heavin School of Arts and Sciences at Thomas Edison University has an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology that combines a liberal arts education with intensive study in the field of sociology. Students will engage in discussions about social dynamics and perspectives on gender, race, culture, and crime. The degree is available entirely online and designed with working adults in mind. Classes for this bachelor's in sociology online degree run in 12-week sessions. Options are available for classroom interaction or more independent study, depending on the student's preferred learning style. The full bachelor's degree is 120-credit hours and includes a combination of electives, general education requirements, sociology major classes, and a liberal arts capstone project. Dozens of elective classes are available. Virtual learners can access disability support services, military and veteran student resources, academic advising, and an IT help desk. Transfer credits are available for previous college experience, military training, professional licensures, and a portfolio assessment. Interested individuals can apply anytime. Applicants must be 20 years of age or older (unless active military) and a high school graduate. Candidates are not required to submit standardized tests for admission.   

#11 Western Illinois University

  • Annual Tuition: $8,883
  • Median Salary: $68,900
  • Locations: Macomb (IL)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Western Illinois University (WIU) has an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology available through the College of Arts and Sciences. This program is designed for working adults, active-duty military, and those seeking the flexibility of a distance learning program. Students will learn about daily issues in society and discuss topics including race, gender, crime, and mental illness. The BA in Sociology curriculum is composed of general education courses and additional requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences. The sociology core is 36-credit hours and requires a minor in a related field. The complete bachelor's degree requires 120-credit hours. While concentrations are offered (Deviance and Criminology, Environmental and Community, Social Inequality, and others), only the general emphasis is available for online learners. Online classes are asynchronous and can be completed anywhere at any time. Regular attendance in a classroom is not required. Sociology students have access to academic advising and career services. Virtual learners can utilize the uTech Support Center, including live-chat features for IT help. Applicants who have recently graduated high school must meet a 2.75 GPA requirement. Students must submit ACT or SAT scores (unless they have a GPA over 3.29). Transfer students must have earned at least 24 hours of college credit, and should send official transcripts and test scores for admission. 

#12 Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $7,492
  • Median Salary: $66,200
  • Locations: Portales (NM)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Office of Distance Learning at Eastern New Mexico State's (ENMU) Main Campus supports the school's online degree programs. Individuals seeking an undergraduate degree in sociology have the option of a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. The program is designed as a four-year degree and can be completed online via virtual lectures and using the tools available in Mediasite and Blackboard. Bachelor’s in sociology online classes contain a blend of discussions, readings, tests, and projects. Coursework is focused on social interactions and topics in race, gender, class, religion, and inequality. The complete bachelor's degree requires 120 credit hours, which combines university requirements, general education courses, major courses, and electives. Students can choose a specialty class in either Family, Media, Medicine, Law, or Drugs and Society. An online Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Criminal Justice/Sociology concentration is also offered at ENMU. It is a degree completion program that requires applicants to hold an associate degree with a technical or vocational major. Those with law enforcement or military training may be able to receive college credit for their experience. Online students at ENMU benefit from the same resources as on-campus students, including financial aid, career-search assistance, and counseling. Students correspond with their advisors via phone and email. Online students can access library services and tutoring, including the Online Writing Center (OWL). High school graduates must submit a completed application, official high school transcripts, and test scores (ACT or SAT). Military students and veterans are encouraged to apply and will receive additional support services. 

#13 University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Annual Tuition: $13,200
  • Median Salary: $68,300
  • Locations: Omaha (NE)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Prospective sociology students interested in attending an online sociology program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) have a range of options. Students may pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, a Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies (BMS) in Sociology, or a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. Five concentrations are available for both the BA and BS: anthropology, families and inequality, inequality and social justice, health and society, and work and organizations. Health and society is the only concentration available online. These degrees are offered through the College of Arts and Sciences. Each degree requires 120 credit hours. The BMS program's concentration in sociology, while providing its students with sociology fundamentals, also allows students adaptability in their program, including an independent study requirement. The UNO BS and BA in Sociology combine major courses and some anthropology courses. The BA and BS include a team research seminar, a senior thesis, an optional internship, and an independent study. Online learners have access to the UNO library databases, academic advising, and real-time appointments via the UNO Writing Center. Interested applicants can apply for either the fall or spring semester. Recent high school graduates must submit a high school transcript and official ACT and SAT scores. Transfer students may be awarded up to 64 credits.

#14 California State University-Chico

  • Annual Tuition: $5,742
  • Median Salary: $64,420
  • Locations: Chico (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

California State University, Chico has an online, degree-completion Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. The curriculum is designed to teach computer and research skills, develop ethical considerations, and understand perspectives in society. The sociology programs require 40 credit units to complete, including electives and an upper-division capstone course. Students are also expected to complete an applied sociology internship and a grant writing course. Subjects covered include gender, inequality, race relations, and world affairs. Online classes through CSU Chico's Distance and Online Education program are entirely online, using synchronous video streaming and lectures. Virtual materials rely on Blackboard learning management software. Online learners can access IT support services and sociology program's academic advisors. Students can apply for the spring and fall terms. Candidates must complete a Cal State application (with fee) and submit transcripts. Degree completion programs at CSU Chico are appropriate for individuals who have two years of community college experience, or at least 60 credits from an undergraduate program. Lower-division general education courses must already be completed before applying.

#15 California State University-Fullerton

  • Annual Tuition: $7,650
  • Median Salary: $64,000
  • Locations: Fullerton (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

California State University, Fullerton (Cal State Fullerton) has an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology degree completion program hosted through its Extension and International Programs. This program is appropriate for students from any background, as students will complete the upper-level sociology courses within the curriculum. The BA in Sociology follows a cohort format, encouraging students to engage and network with their peers. Classes are entirely online and can be accessed anywhere at any time, yet share the same faculty as the on-campus sociology classes. Most instructors rely on pre-recorded lectures and discussion boards maintained through the TITANium learning management system. The program runs for three years, consisting of 17 total classes. Fall and spring semester classes are eight-weeks in length, while summer session classes are five-weeks in length. Students take two courses each semester, totaling 51 credit units. Topics covered include criminology, social inequality, race relations, and research methods. The application process requires incoming candidates to have at least 60 transfer credits that meet the threshold for general education and lower-level classes. The degree requires a total of 120 credit hours for graduation. Students must have a 2.5 GPA. Applications are only accepted for the fall term. Online learners can access academic program advisors and online tutorials. 

#16 Northern Kentucky University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,440
  • Median Salary: $65,800
  • Locations: Highland Heights (KY)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Northern Kentucky University (NKU) has an online Bachelor of Science in Sociology that emphasizes discussion of social issues and critical thinking skills. The full degree requires 120 credit hours and includes a senior seminar capstone course. Students have the option of elective classes in subjects including criminology and popular culture. The full curriculum is a combination of core courses, general education requirements, electives, minor credit hours, and free courses. Classes run in seven-week terms. Online learners at NKU receive technical support through the IT help desk and a live chat online tool. NKU also provides access to the W. Frank Steely Library materials. A Veterans Resource Station provides students involved in military service with additional information and benefits. Online delivery methods vary, but all materials are recorded so students can access lessons at any time. Interested individuals can apply for six start dates throughout the year. Both freshmen and transfer applicants are required to submit all transcripts and test scores (along with completed applications and fees). Transfer students must have earned a 2.0 GPA for prior college work. Incoming freshmen must meet minimum test score requirements.

#17 University of Central Florida

  • Annual Tuition: $11,515
  • Median Salary: $64,800
  • Locations: Orlando (FL) (and 7 others)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The University of Central Florida (UCF) Online offers sociology students both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Courses cover a range of topics that explore human behavior and emphasize research skills. Sociology classes share the same faculty as the on-campus versions. Hosted by the College of Sciences, the sociology curriculum is comprised of 36 general education credits, 15 credits of major classes, 27 credits of electives, and a 4-credit data analysis capstone course. The online bachelor's degree requires a total of 120 credit hours and spans four years. Online instructors use a variety of digital tools for class delivery. These modalities include traditional web-based courses and video streaming lectures. Online students have access to the Writing Center, the UCF Library (including online databases, personal librarian assistance, and how-to videos), disability support services, and access to the academic resource center (including online peer tutoring and academic success workshops). Interested applicants need to submit a high school transcript (or previous college transcripts for transfer students), an official ACT or SAT score, an essay, and a completed application (with fee). 

#18 South Dakota State University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,537
  • Median Salary: $63,200
  • Locations: Brookings (SD)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The Continuing and Distance Education Department at South Dakota State University (SDSU) uses D2L learning management software to facilitate its online degrees. These programs share the same faculty as SDSU's on-campus classes. Courses follow an asynchronous format, allowing students to review materials and complete assignments on their own time. Online resources include an information technology help desk, academic advising, and access to the Hilton M. Briggs Library, which includes a live chat with librarians (Sunday through Friday). Library online materials are available 24/7. The Bachelor of Science in Sociology covers a range of subjects; participants are encouraged to develop strong research and presentation skills. A criminal justice minor is optional. The full degree requires 120 credit hours to graduate and includes general education classes, requirements from the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, major courses, and electives. Seniors will complete a capstone course that includes a research project. Undergraduate applicants must submit the following: a completed application (with fee), test scores, and all transcripts. Credit for prior learning may be awarded through past service-learning or internship opportunities. 

#19 University of Missouri

  • Annual Tuition: $11,622
  • Median Salary: $62,680
  • Locations: Columbia (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Missouri (Mizzou) Online has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology degree housed in the College of Arts and Sciences. This program is entirely online and requires 120 credit hours to graduate. Coursework covers topics such as social inequalities, social policy, and the sociology of athletics. The curriculum combines general education courses, requirements specific to the College of Arts and Sciences, major courses, and electives. Seniors are required to complete a capstone course in policy analysis, which includes a thesis component. Mizzou online courses are just as rigorous as the campus-based versions. Most classes follow an asynchronous format, with no required login times. Students are responsible for completing assigned readings and engaging in discussion boards with their peers. Online learners have access to academic advising, disability services, the career center's e-resources, an IT help desk, and materials through the Mizzou library system. Transfer students must have at least 24 credit hours of college-level experience; otherwise, incoming students should apply as freshmen. Freshmen applicants must submit an ACT or SAT score and high school transcripts. Transfer students must have earned at least a 2.5 GPA in previous college classes. 

#20 University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $14,970
  • Median Salary: $63,500
  • Locations: Adelphi (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC)'s online learning platform is designed to integrate a fully digital, collaborative learning environment. Students use free virtual materials, including electronic textbooks, UMGC library resources, and have 24/7 access to class assignments. Classes are asynchronous; most have bi-weekly assignments, so students are responsible for meeting consistent due dates. Students engage with faculty in online discussions and have access to virtual networking opportunities. The online Bachelor of Science in Social Science at UMGC runs in eight-week sessions with multiple start dates throughout the year. The curriculum is multidisciplinary, but online bachelor's degree students can select from one of four concentrations, including one in sociology. The sociology focus includes coursework in gender studies, global perspectives, and contemporary social issues. Seniors must complete an advanced seminar in social sciences. The total degree is 120 credits, which combines major coursework, minor and elective options, and general education requirements. UMGC employs rolling admissions, so interested applicants don't have to meet specific deadlines. Credit is awarded for previous college coursework, military experience, and professional training. Applicants must submit the online application form and fee, as well as provide transcripts. Test scores are not required. 

#21 Washington State University

  • Annual Tuition: $11,550
  • Median Salary: $61,880
  • Locations: Pullman (WA)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Washington State University's Global Campus hosts a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences with a concentration Sociology entirely online. Students in both programs will develop research methods and communication skills while studying courses in diversity, society and technology, the environment, and other topics relevant in today's society. Seniors will complete an internship capstone. Sociology major classes and electives make up 31 credits in the BA program. The WSU Global Campus pairs students with a personal academic advisor and offers 24/7 tech support for their online learning platforms. Features that support online distance learning include access to online library databases and online tutoring services. Students may access WSU’s career counseling service before they apply. Programming in the form of virtual webinars and clubs, including student government, is offered to the online student community. A financial reimbursement program offers compensation for subscriptions to gyms, technology assistance, and childcare that might otherwise have been accessible on a physical campus for enrolled students. Online learners will earn the same diploma as WSU on-campus students. Various methods are used to bring classes online, but most materials and grades are available through Blackboard learning management software. Faculty employ synchronous and asynchronous formats for classes. Interested freshmen applicants must submit high school transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and (if over the age of 25) a resume and a brief essay. All WSU graduates will complete a writing portfolio upon completing 60 credits; transfer students should be mindful of this requirement if transferring into junior year.

#22 Oregon State University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,905
  • Median Salary: $62,400
  • Locations: Corvallis (OR)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

A Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology are available online through Oregon State University's (OSU) eCampus. Graduates from OSU's online programs receive the same diploma and share the same faculty as the residential programs. There are four start dates each year, and classes run in quarters for 11-week sessions. Online courses utilize Canvas learning management software for class materials and delivery through videos and lectures. The complete bachelor’s in sociology online degrees require 180 quarter credits, which equals 120 semester credit hours. Students will engage in courses that emphasize research and policy, assisting in the development of strong writing and communication skills. Both bachelor's degrees are comprised of the liberal arts core and major requirements. Two concentrations are available: Crime and Justice or Environment and Natural Resource. Students also have the option to add a minor to specialize their education further. Virtual learners have a range of resources through the eCampus program, including library resources, free tutoring, and career services. Recent high school graduates must complete an application form and submit high school transcripts (with a preferred 3.0 GPA), and SAT or ACT scores. Transfer students (individuals with over 24 credit hours earned) should send official college transcripts (with a preferred 2.5 GPA).

#23 University of Louisville

  • Annual Tuition: $16,709
  • Median Salary: $62,800
  • Locations: Louisville (KY)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville hosts an online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology designed for working adults. Students will focus on social policies, particularly regarding diversity and inequality. This research-based, BA in Sociology is available entirely online. The full degree requires 121 credit hours to graduate. The online sociology degree combines general education classes, College of Arts and Science programming classes, sociology-major courses, and electives. Online courses share the same faculty as the residential sociology program, yet can be completed on a student's own time. Online learners are assigned an academic advisor and receive career guidance. As a designated military-friendly institution, members of the armed forces receive additional military benefits. Online degrees are the same as those awarded to on-campus graduates. Individuals interested in applying must submit the following for admission consideration: a completed application form (with fee), official transcripts (high school and college), and standardized test scores. A GPA of 2.5 and minimum test scores are required. Transfer credit is available for students with previous community college or four-year college experience. Students can enroll in fall, spring, or summer terms. 

#24 Old Dominion University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,210
  • Median Salary: $57,800
  • Locations: Norfolk (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

ODU Online, the distance learning platform from Old Dominion University, offers an online Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Offered through the Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice, these programs can be adaptable as full, 120-credit degrees or as degree completion programs for those with at least 30 previously earned college credits. The curriculum for either program covers topics such as gender roles, race, education, and inequality. Students can also add a concentration in Criminal Justice. Graduates must complete a capstone research project. Most online classes at ODU are asynchronous, with instructors assigning due dates or specific times for exams. Professors hold virtual office hours, students can engage in web conferencing and discussion boards, and all materials are available through Blackboard learning management software. If teachers do hold a real-time class, students can access the recorded lecture. Online learners will receive 24/7 technical support, tutoring, academic advisement, and career services. Interested applicants have access to a free transfer evaluation for any previous college credit. Candidates can enroll in fall, spring, or summer terms. A completed application and official transcripts are required before speaking with an enrollment coordinator for additional information. 

#25 University of Southern Mississippi

  • Annual Tuition: $8,624
  • Median Salary: $55,420
  • Locations: Hattiesburg (MS)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The Bachelor of Science in Sociology degree from the University of Southern Mississippi (Southern Miss) is entirely online and designated Military-Friendly. The Office of Online Learning uses Canvas learning management software to deliver coursework. Students will engage with peers and faculty through video (Skype), presentations, and other interactive assignments, including cell phone activities and video quizzes. Courses cover topics such as globalization, social movements, mental illness, and research. Students will complete a curriculum comprised of general education requirements, major courses, and a sociological theory capstone project. A total of 124 credit hours are required to graduate; 30 credit hours are dedicated to major sociology courses. Online learners have access to the Writing Center, disability accommodations, 24/7 technical support, and student academic success services. Students can apply for fall, spring, and summer terms. Freshmen must complete an application form, have a minimum high school GPA of 2.5, and meet a test score requirement. Transfer students should hold at least 30 credits and a 2.0 college-level GPA.

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.

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Sociology

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.

Program Requirements

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.

Curriculum

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.

The Importance of an Accredited Online Sociology Degree

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.

Licensing and Certification Process

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.

Common Online Classes for Sociology Students

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.

References

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