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Staff Writers
Updated March 24, 2021

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By BVS Staff

Sociology and anthropology are two sides of the same coin. Sociology is the study of the advancement of society and growth of social relationships. Anthropology, meanwhile, studies the growth and context of human behavior. These two aspects of human nature are built into many different high-demand fields including real estate, media, and law.

Start your college search at our list of the 20 best small colleges for sociology and anthropology majors on a budget. To make it onto our list, each college must have at least three relevant programs for both sociology and anthropology, along with a related area. Each college listed maintains an undergraduate graduation rate of at least 50%. On top of all that, each of these colleges boasts an estimated annual cost of less than $35,000 a year (as reported by College Navigator.)

What college has the best value of them all? Scroll to #1 to find out!

#1 University of Minnesota-Morris Morris, MN
#2 Haverford College Haverford, PA
#3 Vassar College Poughkeepsie, NY
#4 Swarthmore College Swarthmore, PA
#5 Hamilton College Clinton, NY
#6 Wesleyan University Middletown, CT
#7 Millsaps College Jackson, MS
#8 Augustana College Rock Island, IL
#9 Bowdoin College Brunswick, ME
#10 North Central College Naperville, IL

Featured Online Programs

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  1. University of Minnesota-Morris

    Morris, MN



    As the most affordable school on this sociology programs ranking, UM Morris already has a distinct advantage in attracting applicants. But UM's strong focus on research makes it a top choice for any student regardless of budgetary concerns. The most prominent example of this focus is the Morris Academic Partnership program, which gives exceptional undergrads the opportunity to pursue research under the advisement of a faculty member (and with the benefit of a stipend). In addition, the school encourages sociology majors to attend conferences, contribute to faculty papers, and even perform first-hand research of their own. Few other universities have such a research-friendly environment for sociology - especially not at UM Morris's incredibly affordable price.

    Net Price: $13,352/yr

  2. Haverford College

    Haverford, PA



    Teaching how to "do sociology" is the goal of Haverford College's top undergraduate sociology program - an approach that distinguishes the school from others that focus more on theory than practice. Haverford's well-developed program also includes a number of interdisciplinary concentrations, including Peace, Justice, and Human Rights and Middle East and Islamic Studies. In addition to courses at Haverford, sociology majors have access to classes at Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, and the University of Pennsylvania and can earn course credit from those institutions (with permission from the department). The depth of Haverford's offerings, plus its relationships with other well-regarded schools, make it a great option for those who want to study more esoteric areas of sociology.

    Net Price: $21,056/yr

  3. Vassar College

    Poughkeepsie, NY



    Those interested in the intersection of culture and environment will appreciate Vassar's geography-anthropology interdisciplinary major. This unique program combines the two social sciences to provide a perspective on both, and a degree unlike any other on this list of affordable small colleges for anthropology and archaeology. Vassar encourages students who choose this option to pursue either fieldwork or study abroad experience, and it facilitates the former through a Field World Office that helps place students in for-credit positions over the summer. Those opportunities usually center in Poughkeepsie and the Mid-Hudson Valley and include organizations like the Dutchess County Historical Society.

    Net Price: $21,265/yr

  4. Swarthmore College

    Swarthmore, PA



    Swarthmore combines its affordable anthropology undergraduate program with the sociology department, giving students the option to jump between the two fields and the multitude of courses that each major offers. In addition to dozens of classes that fall into one field or the other, Swarthmore provides a set of courses that straddle both, like "Race, Gender, Class and Environment" and "Dancing Desire in Bollywood Films." In addition, both sociology and anthropology professors teach intro-level courses, which means incoming freshmen will have the privilege of learning from experts in multiple fields.

    Net Price: $21,580/yr

  5. Hamilton College

    Clinton, NY



    Hamilton College is a liberal arts institution that traces its roots back to the 18th century. Throughout its rich history, Hamilton has supported traditional, humanities-oriented academics that give students considerable freedom to indulge their curiosities. The school's "open curriculum" system enables every undergraduate to work closely with a faculty advisor and to build a set of classes that fits his or her interests. This freedom - which makes it possible to explore anthropology, archaeology, and sociology topics within a single degree - is a big part of what makes Hamilton one of the best small colleges for sociology and anthropology majors in the country. Students also benefit from the Hamilton Senior Program, in which they pursue research on a topic of their choosing under the advisement of two departmental faculty.

    Net Price: $21,907/yr

  6. Wesleyan University

    Middletown, CT



    Wesleyan is the largest school on this sociology programs ranking, and as such this Connecticut institution offers an incredibly broad range of options. The anthropology major, for example, gives students the option to pursue one of ten separate concentrations in subject areas as specific as "Producing and Consuming Culture" and "Embodiment and Biopolitics." The archaeology major is similarly varied, with four separate tracks that provide an incredibly deep dive into particular subject areas. The Art History track, for example, covers everything from the archaeology of food to the art of Anglo-Saxon England. Wesleyan's multitude of specialization options and attractive price point make it one of the best small colleges for anthropology and archaeology in the country.

    Net Price: $22,257/yr

  7. Millsaps College

    Jackson, MS



    The archaeology program at Millsaps is one of the best in the country, which is an especially impressive superlative considering the school's relatively small size. The department is particularly well-known for its work in the ancient Mayan city of Kiuic, where Millsaps students helped make discoveries that have led to a radical rethinking of previous ideas about Mayan history (not to mention a National Geographic documentary). This top small college for anthropology and archaeology punches far above its weight, providing its students with unique opportunities to explore some of the hottest digs in the world.

    Net Price: $22,512/yr

  8. Augustana College

    Rock Island, IL



    No school on this sociology programs ranking is more focused on the topic of ethnic and cultural tolerance than Augustana College, which is home to a designated Center for the Study of Pluralism. Augustana's chair of the Sociology, Anthropology and Social Welfare department runs this unique facility, which brings well-known speakers to campus, supports student research, and provides a supportive workspace for researchers investigating these topics. Augustana's sociology catalog also provides plenty of courses to complement the Center, covering topics like immigration, American race and ethnic relations, and gender relations.

    Net Price: $22,715/yr

  9. Bowdoin College

    Brunswick, ME



    Seafood lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will find a happy home at Bowdoin College, which is located in Brunswick, Maine and provides exciting opportunities for student research in the surrounding areas. Past anthropology majors have studied the state's traditional boat-building community, Northern Maine's potato industry, and the Harriet Beecher Stowe House (which Bowdoin actually owns). But this top small college for anthropology and archaeology also works with other departments to enable students to gain a broader perspective. For example, the African Studies department offers courses on the African-American experience like Race, Biology, and Anthropology and Race and Ethnicity.

    Net Price: $23,156/yr

  10. North Central College

    Naperville, IL



    For those who can't choose between sociology and anthropology, North Central College in Naperville, Illinois offers a double major that covers both fields. The affordable undergraduate sociology program also includes a few optional concentrations (in criminal justice, community studies, and general sociology) while the anthropology major puts a strong focus on studying abroad. Students pursuing the latter degree can also dig into a number of sub-disciplines, like archaeology or language and linguistics, and Chicago's Field Museum is a common internship choice. One unusual feature of North Central College is its trimester schedule, which includes three 10-week terms.

    Net Price: $23,565/yr

Want to find out exactly how much it will cost for you to attend one of these affordable small college sociology programs? Check out the U.S. Department of Education's Net Price Calculator Center.

See also: Top 10 Cheap Online Sociology Degree Programs (Bachelor's) 2016


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