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2020 Best Colleges for Sociology

Approximately 37,615 sociology degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be difficult finding the best choice. This year's Best Colleges for Sociology ranking analyzed 533 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in sociology. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 25 colleges for Sociology students.

Choosing a Great Sociology School

Best Colleges for Sociology The sociology program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality sociology program can vary widely even among the top schools. When choosing a school we recommend considering some of the following factors:

A Great Overall School

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To account for this we include a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a collection of various factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 18% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 8%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 137 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Above Average Earnings After Graduation

A sociology degree from schools on this list typically translates into higher than average wages following graduation. While the average sociology bachelors degree from U.S. colleges results in an average starting salary of $29,664, graduates of colleges on this list average $34,895.

Starting Salary  ( 27605 to 39794 )
$0
$53,800

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Sociology students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other sociology students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized sociology related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Sociology students.

Best Schools to Study Sociology in United States

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities to study sociology. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 533 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best Sociology Colleges

It is difficult to beat University of California - Berkeley if you want to pursue sociology as a major. UC Berkeley is a very large public school located in the city of Berkeley. This school ranks 65th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

For those interested in something more advanced, UC Berkeley also offers 2 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Sociology students from University of California - Berkeley receive an earnings boost of approximately $3,805 over the typical income of sociology majors.

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#2

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Every student who is interested in sociology has to look into Harvard University. Harvard is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of 5 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Harvard is a great school overall.

There are approximately 79 sociology undergrads studying this program at Harvard. Graduates from the sociology major at Harvard University get $18,905 above the average college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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University of California - Los Angeles is one of the finest schools in the country for sociology. UCLA is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of 49 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means UCLA is a great school overall.

There are roughly 652 sociology undergrads enrolled in this degree at UCLA. Students who complete this program state that they receive average early career earnings of $33,000.

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#4

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

It's hard to beat Princeton University if you want to study sociology. Princeton is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Princeton. A Best Colleges rank of 20 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Princeton is a great college overall.

Princeton University is one of the most popular school to study sociology in United States exceeding 48 graduations last year.

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UCSB is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized suburb of Santa Barbara. This school ranks 125th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There are about 584 sociology undergraduates enrolled in this program at UCSB. Grads of the sociology program state that they receive average early career income of $30,200.

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#6

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL

Located in the large city Chicago, UChicago is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 8 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UChicago is a great school overall.

A preferred choice for sociology undergraduates, there are approximately 48 students enrolled in this degree at UChicago.

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#7

Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Durham. A Best Colleges rank of 1 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Duke is a great college overall.

There are about 61 sociology undergrads studying this degree at Duke. Students from the sociology major at Duke University earn $2,405 above the typical college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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Located in the large city Irvine, UC Irvine is a public college with a very large student population. This school ranks 81st out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

For those interested in something more advanced, UC Irvine also offers 2 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who complete this degree report average early career wages of $28,600.

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#9

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Located in the city Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 12 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Cornell is a great school overall.

Cornell University is one of the most popular college to study sociology in United States exceeding 72 graduations last year. Graduates from the sociology major at Cornell University make $3,205 above the standard college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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Located in the large city New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 26 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Columbia is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Columbia also offers 3 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Columbia University in the City of New York sociology graduates receive $8,905 more than the average sociology graduate.

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#11

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Located in the midsize city New Haven, Yale is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 4 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Yale is a great college overall.

There are about 45 sociology undergraduates studying this program at Yale.

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Located in the city Seattle, UW Seattle is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 84th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Washington.

There are roughly 233 sociology undergrads enrolled in this degree at UW Seattle. Soon after graduating, sociology students typically make an average of $33,900 in their early careers.

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#13

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

UPenn is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Philadelphia. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UPenn is a great school overall.

With 33 undergraduates, University of Pennsylvania is one of most popular schools to study sociology in United States.

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#14

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA

University of Virginia is a very large public school located in the suburb of Charlottesville. A Best Colleges rank of 33 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means University of Virginia is a great school overall.

There are roughly 88 sociology undergraduates studying this degree at University of Virginia. Graduates of the sociology program earn around $32,400 for their early career.

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UT Austin is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Austin. This college ranks 78th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Texas.

There are about 179 sociology undergraduates enrolled in this program at UT Austin. Soon after graduating, sociology students usually earn about $36,600 at the beginning of their careers.

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#16

University at Albany

Albany, NY

Located in the small city Albany, UAlbany is a public college with a large student population. This college ranks 310th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There are roughly 230 sociology undergrads studying this program at UAlbany. After graduation, sociology students typically earn an average of $30,000 at the beginning of their careers.

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Wisconsin is a very large public school located in the large city of Madison. This college ranks 80th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Wisconsin.

There are approximately 126 sociology undergrads enrolled in this degree at Wisconsin. Students who graduate from the sociology program make about $35,200 for their early career.

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#18

Northeastern University

Boston, MA

Located in the large city Boston, Northeastern is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 77th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

For those interested in something more advanced, Northeastern also offers 2 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from the sociology program earn about $31,800 in their early career salary.

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Located in the small suburb Davis, UC Davis is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 74th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

With 235 undergrads, University of California - Davis is one of most popular colleges to study sociology in United States. Students who graduate from the sociology program earn an average of $30,700 in the first couple years of working.

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Located in the large suburb College Park, UMCP is a public school with a very large student population. This college ranks 103rd out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

There are about 112 sociology undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UMCP. After graduation, sociology students typically earn an average of $33,700 in their early careers.

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#21

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA

Located in the city Waltham, Brandeis is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population. This college ranks 68th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

A preferred major for sociology undergraduates, there are approximately 39 students studying this program at Brandeis. Students from the sociology degree program at Brandeis University get $2,105 above the standard college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

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Located in the city Bloomington, IU Bloomington is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 181st out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

For those interested in something more advanced, IU Bloomington also offers 2 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). After getting their bachelor's degree, sociology students typically earn about $28,200 in the first five years of their career.

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#23

Brown University

Providence, RI

Brown is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Providence. A Best Colleges rank of 11 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Brown is a great school overall.

There are roughly 30 sociology undergraduates studying this degree at Brown.

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#24

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Located in the small city Evanston, Northwestern U is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 10 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Northwestern U is a great school overall.

Northwestern University is one of the most popular college to study sociology in United States with more than 57 graduates last year.

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#25

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT

U of U is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of Salt Lake City. This college ranks 180th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Utah.

There are approximately 145 sociology undergrads enrolled in this program at U of U. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, sociology students typically earn an average of $30,000 in the first five years of their career.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Colleges for Sociology

Additional Award Winners

This list represents the remainder of the schools awarded a Best Colleges for Sociology badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 533 different United States sociology schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 St Lawrence University Canton, NY
52 University of California - San Diego La Jolla, CA
53 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
54 Wesleyan University Middletown, CT
55 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
56 Providence College Providence, RI
57 Boston University Boston, MA
58 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
59 Dartmouth College Hanover, NH
60 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC
61 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
62 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
63 Bowdoin College Brunswick, ME
64 Trinity College Hartford, CT
65 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
66 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
67 Pomona College Claremont, CA
68 Franklin and Marshall College Lancaster, PA
69 University of Delaware Newark, DE
70 Pennsylvania State University - University Park University Park, PA
71 Gettysburg College Gettysburg, PA
72 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
73 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
74 George Washington University Washington, DC
75 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
76 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
77 Bates College Lewiston, ME
78 Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
79 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Colleges for Sociology award.

Rank College Location
80 Colby College Waterville, ME
81 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
82 Grinnell College Grinnell, IA
83 Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA
84 Dickinson College Carlisle, PA
85 Skidmore College Saratoga Springs, NY
86 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
87 Washington State University Pullman, WA
88 Roanoke College Salem, VA
89 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
90 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
91 Occidental College Los Angeles, CA
92 DePaul University Chicago, IL
93 Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA
94 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA
95 Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA
96 University of Massachusetts - Boston Boston, MA
97 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
98 Tufts University Medford, MA
99 Baylor University Waco, TX
100 DePauw University Greencastle, IN
101 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
102 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT
103 Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA
104 Temple University Philadelphia, PA
105 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA
106 Barnard College New York, NY

Sociology by Region

View the Best Colleges for Sociology for a specific region near you.

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

Sociology is one of 13 different types of Social Sciences programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Economics 47,528
Political Science & Government 44,651
General Social Sciences 19,123
International Relations & National Security 14,908
Anthropology 12,008

View All Sociology Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • 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).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Kontos.

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