Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Sociology Programs 2021

Updated November 14, 2022

Start your education in sociology with an online bachelor's program. An online program is one of the most affordable ways to earn a degree. 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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Sociology concerns the national, cultural, and institutional factors that influence people's life experiences and decisions. This broad field of study involves multiple subjects, such as religion, education, law, and social movements. Sociologists analyze events and trends within these and other subjects to draw conclusions and make predictions.

Students pursuing an online bachelor's in sociology benefit from an analytical mindset and strong research, communication, and interpersonal skills. The major's relevance to multiple jobs makes it an attractive option for degree-seekers unsure about a career path.

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Sociology Programs 2021

#1 American Public University Charles Town, WV
#2 West Texas A&M University Canyon, TX
#3 Columbia College Online Columbia, MO
#4 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
#5 University of Wisconsin e-Campus Madison, WI
#6 CUNY School of Professional Studies New York City, NY
#7 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
#8 University of North Carolina Pembroke Pembroke, NC


What is sociology?

Sociologists study how different factors create what people refer to as culture. These factors include government, faith, economics, and historical events.

Can I study sociology online?

Many top colleges and universities offer online bachelor's in sociology programs. Some programs may offer fully online formats, while others offer hybrid formats.

How long does it take to earn a bachelor's in sociology online?

Full-time students can typically earn a bachelor's in sociology online in approximately four years. Prior college experience can reduce the time needed to graduate.

What is the difference between sociology and psychology?

Although both fields study people's actions, psychology focuses more on individual development, while sociology focuses more on groups and culture.

What is the difference between sociology and social work?

Social work concerns helping individuals and communities resolve problems. Sociology relies on theory and experimentation to draw conclusions about culture and society.

Career and Salary Outlook for Sociology

Online sociology bachelor's programs prepare learners for diverse career paths. College and university career counselors can help degree-seekers explore their interests, develop a resume, and prepare for a job hunt.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects many sociology-related careers to grow significantly between 2019-2029. The following four positions represent just a few of the many careers open to graduates from online bachelor's in sociology programs. However, some opportunities require additional education or training.

Market Research Analyst

Companies hire market research analysts to analyze how marketing campaigns influence consumers. These professionals may gather information through polls, surveys, and interviews. Other typical job responsibilities include researching competitors' practices and making recommendations for how companies can attract and retain customers.

Human Resources Specialist

Human resources specialists work with senior managers to make hiring and retention decisions. Primary responsibilities include interviewing job applicants, reviewing resumes, and processing paperwork. The position requires continuing education, as relevant laws and regulations change continuously.

Social and Community Service Managers

Organizations hire social and community service managers to meet a specific population's needs. These managers may specialize in children, veterans, senior citizens, or another group that requires assistance. They help people by developing and implementing service programs. This process involves following a budget and determining the program's effectiveness.

Social Workers

People in need turn to social workers for support, guidance, and resources. Social workers meet with clients to discuss their problems, discover underlying issues, and find solutions. Social workers provide clients with information regarding private and government resources, such as mental health counseling and childcare. Clinical social workers need a master's degree and license to practice.

Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2019-2029)
Market Research Analyst $63,790 18%
Human Resources Specialst $61,920 7%
Social and Community Service Managers $67,150 17%
Social Workers $50,470 13%

Source: BLS

Students considering the most affordable sociology bachelor's online programs should always verify a potential school's accreditation status. Accreditation indicates that a school meets high standards with respect to factors like student learning outcomes, faculty qualifications, and academic rigor. Schools may hold regional or national accreditation, with regional accreditation generally considered the more prestigious of the two.

Postsecondary institutions that educate online students should also hold accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). DEAC accreditation indicates that an online program meets the same academic standards as on-campus programs.

Programs within a school may also hold accreditation. Sociology programs may hold accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Programs in Applied and Clinical Sociology.

Students can verify a school or program's accreditation status through the U.S. Department of Education's database.

Courses in Online Sociology Programs

Online sociology bachelor's programs emphasize content knowledge and the transferable skills students need to pursue entry-level careers and graduate study. The following sample curriculum represents courses commonly found in online bachelor's in sociology programs.

[tabs] [tab-item title="Introduction to Sociology"]Introduction to sociology exposes students to the questions that sociologists consider when studying people and culture. Course topics include social change, social systems, and social norms. The course also challenges learners to evaluate their own beliefs. Degree-seekers can use the course to decide which aspects of sociology they want to study more in depth. [/tab-item] [tab-item title="Sociology of Social Problems"]Many regions encounter social problems such as racism, sexism, and environmental degradation. This course introduces students to these and other social problems. Students often conduct research and write reports to examine various social problems and potential solutions. [/tab-item] [tab-item title="Sociology of the Family"]In this course, students analyze different family structures and responsibilities across cultures. They may study topics like how recent cultural changes, such as same-sex marriage and the rise in divorce, affect family dynamics. [/tab-item] [tab-item title="Methods of Social Research"]Sociologists must know how to perform original research and interpret the results. In this course, degree-seekers use technology, research design, and the scientific method to complete research projects. [/tab-item] [tab-item title="Introduction to Statistics"]Sociologists use statistical analysis to interpret the data they collect. This course provides students with the mathematical tools they need to understand large data sets. Learners study topics like sampling distributions, linear regression, and probability concepts. Learners also practice using statistical software applications. [/tab-item] [/tabs]

Students in online bachelor's in sociology programs can explore financial aid opportunities to help offset the cost of college, such as loans, grants, and scholarships. The following list outlines several scholarship opportunities for online bachelor's in sociology students.

Boren Scholarship for International Social Study

Who Can Apply: The scholarship funds undergraduate degree-seekers studying abroad in an approved country for at least 12 weeks. Candidates' study abroad curriculum must contain a significant foreign language component.
Amount: $12,500-$25,000

Udall Undergraduate Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Undergraduate sophomores with a history of public service to the Native American community can apply. Applicants must be members of a Native American tribe and submit a faculty recommendation.
Amount: $7,000

Society Farsarotul Financial Awards

Who Can Apply: The scholarship supports undergraduate sociology students specializing in the Balkans. Application requirements include a minimum 3.0 GPA, recommendation letters, and Society Farsarotul membership.
Amount: $1,000

Most Affordable Online Bachelor's in Sociology Programs 2021

The following list ranks the most affordable online bachelor's in sociology programs for 2021. It also provides important information such as typical courses, student support services, and admission requirements.

  1. American Public University

    Charles Town, WV



    A Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from American Public University's online college offers a unique perspective on sociology. Understanding human behavior in groups and the roles individuals play in society give perspective to students' understanding before entering the field. With a rapidly changing national society and globalization quickly expanding, students earning their degree online gain a "toolkit" of theoretical analysis, research skills, information literacy, and critical thinking essential to a sociological career. Graduates are ready for starting careers in government, healthcare, social work, and more. U.S News and World Report puts the school at number 34 for Online Bachelor's Programs, and gives the university 7.9 out of 10 points for as an accredited online college.

  2. West Texas A&M University

    Canyon, TX



    An accredited online sociology degree from West Texas A&M University represents a great value at an outstanding price. The school offers both a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in sociology, the B.S. being more appropriate for practical application and the B.A. more applicable for graduate school or education. The program encourages students to work with department advisors throughout the course of study and to choose electives that will propel them toward their career goals. Internships are also a core requirement and are extremely valuable for future employment. For Western Regional Universities, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school 80th out of all 100% online colleges nationally.

  3. Columbia College Online

    Columbia, MO



    The Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Columbia College Online is more than just another cheap online sociology degree. Studying and understanding society is at the core of the program. The scientific study of human behavior in a broad context is key to practical application. Columbia combines the research of social problems with analytical data skills, enabling graduates to work in any sociological field, from law and criminal justice to education and government. The program is also a stepping-stone to graduate school, and many students end up with advanced degrees. One of the most marketable skills the best sociology students develop is an understanding of complex organizations. Princeton Review named the online college a standout Best Midwestern College.

  4. Fort Hays State University

    Hays, KS



    This online program provides students with the tools needed to understand human behaviors and relationships in groups; it's a path to "make the world a better place." On the practical side, the program teaches students the real-world skills they need for social work. Under the direction of advisors, the school is intent on providing students with flexibility while still providing a rigorous curriculum. Several certification programs allow students already working in the field to develop additional professional skills. For an affordable online sociology degree program the university offers much more than expected, including practical skills such as grant writing. U.S News and World Report ranks the school 16th among Best Online Bachelor's Programs, and student reviews gave the online college an overall 7.2 points out of 10.

  5. University of Wisconsin e-Campus

    Madison, WI



    University of Wisconsin's e-Campus B.A. in Sociology delves into the diversity of human relationships. This top online sociology degree program delivers the practical understanding needed for effective social work. Besides the advantages for social work, this program also creates opportunities in marketing and business, including health services, journalism, community development, and other industries. The university also places a strong emphasis on information technology, giving students the skills needed to process and interpret large amounts of collected data. The e-Campus is affiliated with the University of Wisconsin System and allows students to enjoy a balanced education geared toward working adults. U.S News and World Report ranks the school 25th under Best Online Bachelor's Programs in the country, and the university was ranked 37th in the world by QS World University Rankings.

  6. CUNY School of Professional Studies

    New York City, NY



    An Online Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from City University of New York (CUNY) School of Professional Studies is more than one might expect from an affordable online college. This serious but seriously cheap online degree program embraces the issues of modern American society; it's all about teaching how people connect in a complex society. Stereotypes of gender, race, and class are put into perspective, and students learn the leadership skills needed for a career in applied sociology. The degree is based on American Sociological Association recommendations and models, giving students a clear understanding of principles, terms, and concepts. Research, a tool of sociology, develops a solid learning framework at this best online college. ranked the CUNY School of Professional Studies #1 for New York State making this one of the best online sociology bachelor's degree programs for the money.

  7. University of Nebraska at Kearney

    Kearney, NE



    For a cheap online sociology undergraduate degree program, the University of Nebraska at Kearney's Bachelor of Science in Sociology is long on value. The program is ideal for students who have already completed most of their general studies and wish to complete their sociology degree online. Transfer credits are readily accepted, and any lacking undergraduate credits are available online. With a strong future career focus, the school offers all online options for working students. The "eCampus" sociology degree covers disciplines like social work, history, anthropology, linguistics, criminal justice, and psychology. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school at 54th overall for a Midwest Regional University, and the Guide to Online Schools ranked the online college 8th nationally in 2013.

  8. University of North Carolina Pembroke

    Pembroke, NC



    The University of North Carolina Pembroke online sociology degree offers students real-life experience with minors in criminal justice, community development, medical sociology, and substance abuse. A major in criminal justice is also available. With an emphasis in "applied sociology and criminal justice," the Department of Sociology encourages students to interact with on staff academic advisors. Faculty is recruited from working world backgrounds from social service agencies, rehabilitation programs, economic development programs, criminal justice departments, and more to teach this program. Graduates can expect to start careers in the practical application of sociology after graduating from a program rated 87th by U.S. News and World Report for Southern Regional Universities.

See also: Best Online Bachelor Programs in Sociology

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