Social Sciences

2021 Best Social Sciences Colleges for Non-Traditional Students

430 Colleges
154,751 Bachelor's Degrees
$36,125 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Social Sciences Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Best Social Sciences Colleges for Non-Traditional StudentsIn 2018-2019, 154,751 social sciences students received their bachelor's degrees, making the major the 3rd most popular in the country.

This year's Best Social Sciences Colleges for Non-Traditional Students ranking analyzed 430 colleges that offered a bachelor's degree in social sciences. This ranking identifies schools with high-quality social sciences programs as well as strong support for students classified as non-traditional.

Some of the factors we look at when determining these rankings are overall quality of the social sciences program at the school, affordability, and non-traditional population. Check out our ranking methodology for more information.

One Size Does Not Fit All

As a non-traditional student, you have a lot to consider when it comes to choosing an education. That's why we've developed rankings specifically for you. Check out more major-related rankings here..

In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

2021 Best Social Sciences Schools for Non-Traditional Students in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best for non-traditional students studying social sciences.

Top 25 Social Sciences Schools for Non-Traditional Students

#1

New York University

New York, NY

New York University has taken the #1 spot in this year's social sciences ranking for non-traditional students. Located in the large city of New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. NYU also made our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list, coming in at #7.

The student loan default rate at NYU is lower than is typical, just 2.2% of students default in three years. There are approximately 2,264 students at NYU that take at least one class online. 8,707 of NYU students are attending part time.

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Our rankings recognize George Washington University as the #2 school in this year's rankings. GWU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington. GWU excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 1.9%. 5,374 of GWU students are exclusively distance learners. 9,073 students are part time.

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Columbia University in the City of New York comes in at #3 in this year's ranking. Columbia is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of New York. Columbia not only placed well in our non-traditional rankings. It is also #4 on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 1.8%. There are approximately 1,138 students at Columbia that take at least one class online. 5,005 students are part time.

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University of Minnesota - Twin Cities landed the #4 spot in our 2021 best social sciences schools for non-traditional students. UMN Twin Cities is a very large public school located in the city of Minneapolis. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, UMN Twin Cities is in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list.

About 2.2% of UMN Twin Cities students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 13,571 students take at least one class online at UMN Twin Cities. 10,971 of UMN Twin Cities students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#5

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Our rankings recognize Georgetown University as the #5 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of Washington, Georgetown is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. Georgetown also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list. It's in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

About 1.2% of Georgetown students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 2,151 of Georgetown students are exclusively distance learners. 4,463 of Georgetown students are attending part time. Georgetown does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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University of California - Berkeley comes in at #6 in this year's ranking. Located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public college with a fairly large student population. UC Berkeley also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list. It's in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.0%. Approximately 930 students take at least one class online at UC Berkeley. About 3,108 of the students at UC Berkeley are attending part time.

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The #7 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of California - Los Angeles. Located in the large city of Los Angeles, UCLA is a public college with a very large student population. UCLA excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list.

The student loan default rate at UCLA is lower than is typical, just 1.3% of students default in three years. Approximately 2,288 students take at least one class online at UCLA. 1,642 of UCLA students are attending part time.

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University of Maryland - College Park landed the #8 spot in our 2021 best social sciences schools for non-traditional students. UMCP is a very large public school located in the suburb of College Park. UMCP excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.3%. Approximately 4,138 students take at least one class online at UMCP. There are roughly 4,597 part time students in attendance at UMCP. UMCP does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earned the #9 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the small city of Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill is a public college with a fairly large student population. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, UNC Chapel Hill also did well on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list. It's in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 1.7%. There are approximately 3,101 students at UNC Chapel Hill that take at least one class online. About 4,791 of the students at UNC Chapel Hill are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

Full Social Sciences at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Report

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University of California - Irvine earned the #10 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the large city of Irvine, UC Irvine is a public school with a very large student population. UC Irvine excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 1.7%. Approximately 4,852 students take at least one class online at UC Irvine. 832 of UC Irvine students are attending part time.

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#11

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA

University of Virginia - Main Campus earned the #11 spot in our 2021 rankings. University of Virginia is a fairly large public school located in the small suburb of Charlottesville. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, University of Virginia also did well on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list. It's in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The student loan default rate at University of Virginia is lower than is typical, just 1.5% of students default in three years. There are approximately 1,445 students at University of Virginia that take at least one class online. 2,130 of University of Virginia students are attending part time.

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University of Wisconsin - Madison landed the #12 spot in our 2021 best social sciences schools for non-traditional students. Located in the large city of Madison, UW - Madison is a public school with a very large student population. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, UW - Madison also did well on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list. It's in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

About 1.3% of UW - Madison students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 6,424 students at UW - Madison that take at least one class online. About 4,418 of the students at UW - Madison are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#13

Cleveland State University

Cleveland, OH

Cleveland State University landed the #13 spot in our 2021 best social sciences schools for non-traditional students. Cleveland State University is a large public school located in the city of Cleveland.

About 7.6% of Cleveland State University students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 4,611 students take at least one class online at Cleveland State University. 4,801 of Cleveland State University students are attending part time.

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University of Washington - Seattle Campus landed the #14 spot in our 2021 best social sciences schools for non-traditional students. UW Seattle is a very large public school located in the large city of Seattle. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, UW Seattle is in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list.

About 2.8% of UW Seattle students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 3,490 students at UW Seattle that take at least one class online. 5,528 of UW Seattle students are attending part time. UW Seattle does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#15

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

The #15 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Vanderbilt University. Located in the large city of Nashville, Vanderbilt is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, Vanderbilt also did well on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list. It's in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

About 1.5% of Vanderbilt students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 574 students take at least one class online at Vanderbilt. About 960 of the students at Vanderbilt are attending part time.

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University of California - Santa Barbara comes in at #16 in this year's ranking. Located in the suburb of Santa Barbara, UCSB is a public college with a very large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UCSB also is in the top 5% of our Best Colleges for Social Sciences ranking.

About 2.3% of UCSB students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 365 students at UCSB that take at least one class online. There are roughly 656 part time students in attendance at UCSB. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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The University of Texas at Austin comes in at #17 in this year's ranking. Located in the large city of Austin, UT Austin is a public college with a very large student population. UT Austin also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list. It's in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

About 2.6% of UT Austin students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 12,546 students at UT Austin that take at least one class online. 3,290 of UT Austin students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

Full Social Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin Report

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#18

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University earned the #18 spot in our 2021 rankings. Johns Hopkins is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Baltimore. Johns Hopkins also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list. It's in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

About 1.1% of Johns Hopkins students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 8,722 of Johns Hopkins students are exclusively distance learners. There are roughly 11,552 part time students in attendance at Johns Hopkins.

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#19

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

Our rankings recognize University of Florida as the #19 school in this year's rankings. Located in the medium-sized city of Gainesville, UF is a public school with a fairly large student population. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, UF also did well on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list. It's in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 1.5%. There are approximately 21,513 students at UF that take at least one class online. 8,083 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#20

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Our rankings recognize Florida State University as the #20 school in this year's rankings. Florida State is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Tallahassee. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Florida State also is in the top 10% of our Best Colleges for Social Sciences ranking.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.4%. There are approximately 14,515 students at Florida State that take at least one class online. About 6,270 of the students at Florida State are attending part time. Florida State does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#21

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA

George Mason University earned the #21 spot in our 2021 rankings. GMU is a very large public school located in the large suburb of Fairfax. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, GMU also did well on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list. It's in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

About 2.1% of GMU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 10,589 students take at least one class online at GMU. There are roughly 11,606 part time students in attendance at GMU. GMU does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#22

Binghamton University

Vestal, NY

Binghamton University earned the #22 spot in our 2021 rankings. Binghamton University is a large public school located in the midsize suburb of Vestal. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, Binghamton University also did well on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list. It's in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

About 2.1% of Binghamton University students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 769 students take at least one class online at Binghamton University. About 2,020 of the students at Binghamton University are attending part time. Binghamton University does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Rutgers University - New Brunswick comes in at #23 in this year's ranking. Rutgers New Brunswick is a very large public school located in the city of New Brunswick. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Rutgers New Brunswick also is in the top 15% of our Best Colleges for Social Sciences ranking.

The student loan default rate at Rutgers New Brunswick is lower than is typical, just 3.8% of students default in three years. There are approximately 10,368 students at Rutgers New Brunswick that take at least one class online. There are roughly 7,501 part time students in attendance at Rutgers New Brunswick. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

Full Social Sciences at Rutgers University - New Brunswick Report

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#24

American University

Washington, DC

The #24 spot in this year's ranking belongs to American University. Located in the large city of Washington, The American University is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, The American University also is in the top 10% of our Best Colleges for Social Sciences ranking.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 1.8%. Approximately 549 students take at least one class online at The American University. 2,876 of The American University students are attending part time.

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#25

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College earned the #25 spot in our 2021 rankings. Boston College is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Chestnut Hill. Boston College also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Social Sciences list. It's in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

About 1.5% of Boston College students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 316 students take at least one class online at Boston College. There are roughly 1,555 part time students in attendance at Boston College. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Rest of the Top Schools for Best Social Sciences Colleges for Non-Traditional Students

#26

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI
#29

University of Oregon

Eugene, OR

#33

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

#34

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY
#35

University at Albany

Albany, NY
#36

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA
#37

Villanova University

Villanova, PA
#38

Boston University

Boston, MA
#39

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA
#40

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

#42

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA

#47

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY
#50

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA

Remaining Award Winners

This list shows the remainder of the colleges awarded a Best Social Sciences Colleges for Non-Traditional Students badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 430 different United States social sciences schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
52 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
53 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
54 Mount St Mary’s University Emmitsburg, MD
55 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
56 Fordham University Bronx, NY
57 California State University - Northridge Northridge, CA
58 University of Delaware Newark, DE
59 Portland State University Portland, OR
60 Texas State University San Marcos, TX
61 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
62 Sonoma State University Rohnert Park, CA
63 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
64 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for non-traditional students studying Social Sciences that almost earned our Best Social Sciences Colleges for Non-Traditional Students award.

Rank College Location
65 California State University - Fullerton Fullerton, CA
66 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
67 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
68 Towson University Towson, MD
69 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, CO
70 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT
71 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC
72 University of California - Riverside Riverside, CA
73 University of Houston - Clear Lake Houston, TX
74 University of New Hampshire - Main Campus Durham, NH
75 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
76 California State University - San Marcos San Marcos, CA
77 University of North Alabama Florence, AL
78 University of Massachusetts - Boston Boston, MA
79 Northeastern University Boston, MA
80 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
81 California State University - Chico Chico, CA
82 University of Georgia Athens, GA
83 University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY
84 Upper Iowa University Fayette, IA
85 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman, OK
86 University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Whitewater, WI

Social Sciences by Region

View the best for non-traditional students Social Sciences colleges in a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Social Sciences Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Economics 48,199
Political Science & Government 46,598
Sociology 37,511
General Social Sciences 19,551
International Relations & National Security 14,810

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Related Major Annual Graduates
Education 269,156
Psychology 174,455
Communication & Journalism 116,237
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 37,407
History 32,643

View All Social Sciences Related Majors >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Cost is for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Veteran-specific data can be found at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to AndrГ© KГјnzelmann.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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