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2021 Best Colleges for Sociology

Approximately 37,478 sociology degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a challenge finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for Sociology ranking analyzed 356 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in sociology. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of schools 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 good education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we include a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a combination 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 8% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 6%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 101 to 20 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Above Average Earnings After Graduation

A sociology degree from colleges on this list typically translates into above average earnings after graduation. While the average sociology bachelors degree from U.S. schools results in an average starting salary of $29,664, graduates of colleges on this list average $37,340.

Starting Salary  ( 31241 to 41958 )
$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 schools for Sociology students.

Best Schools to Study Sociology in the United States

The following list ranks the best colleges and universities for a Sociology degree. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

Top 25 Best Sociology Colleges

#1

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Any student pursuing a degree in sociology has to check out Harvard University. Harvard is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Harvard is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Harvard also offers 2 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students from the sociology degree program at Harvard University get $16,460 more than the typical college graduate with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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It is hard to beat University of California - Berkeley if you want to pursue sociology as a major. UC Berkeley is a fairly large public school located in the midsize city of Berkeley. This college ranks 69th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

With 338 undergrads, University of California - Berkeley is one of most popular colleges to study sociology in United States. Graduates of the sociology program make an average of $38,700 in the first couple years of their career.

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Columbia University in the City of New York is among your top options if you want to study sociology. Located in the city New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 32 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Columbia is a great college overall.

With 78 undergraduates, Columbia University in the City of New York is one of most popular schools to study sociology in United States. Columbia University in the City of New York sociology majors make $6,460 more than the typical sociology student.

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University of California - Los Angeles is one of the finest schools in the United States for sociology. UCLA is a very large public school located in the city of Los Angeles. This school ranks 65th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There are roughly 685 sociology undergrads enrolled in this program at UCLA. Students who complete this program state that they receive average early career wages of $33,000.

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#5

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Chestnut Hill. This college ranks 61st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There are about 55 sociology undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Boston College. Students from the sociology major at Boston College get $5,660 above the typical graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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#6

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Located in the city Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 17 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Cornell is a great school overall.

With 74 undergraduates, Cornell University is one of most popular schools to study sociology in United States. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, sociology students typically make an average of $38,100 in their early careers.

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#7

New York University

New York, NY

NYU is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of New York. This school ranks 130th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

With 88 undergraduates, New York University is one of most popular schools to study sociology in United States. New York University sociology majors receive $3,660 more than the standard sociology student.

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#8

Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Durham. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Duke is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Duke also offers 2 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Graduates of the sociology program make around $37,300 in their early career salary.

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UT Austin is a very large public school located in the city of Austin. This school ranks 91st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

There are approximately 138 sociology undergrads studying this degree at UT Austin. Soon after graduation, sociology students usually make about $36,600 in their early careers.

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UCSB is a very large public school located in the midsize suburb of Santa Barbara. This school ranks 133rd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There are about 643 sociology undergraduates enrolled in this program at UCSB. Students who complete this program state that they receive average early career income of $30,200.

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Wisconsin is a fairly large public school located in the city of Madison. This college ranks 76th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Wisconsin.

For those interested in something more advanced, Wisconsin also offers 2 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the sociology program earn about $35,200 for their early career.

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#12

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

Located in the remote town Hanover, Dartmouth is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 15 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Dartmouth is a great college overall.

There are approximately 28 sociology undergraduates enrolled in this program at Dartmouth. Sociology graduates from Dartmouth College get a earnings boost of about $4,460 over the typical income of sociology majors.

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UNC Chapel Hill is a fairly large public school located in the small city of Chapel Hill. A Best Colleges rank of 60 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UNC Chapel Hill is a great school overall.

There are approximately 93 sociology undergraduates studying this program at UNC Chapel Hill. Soon after graduating, sociology students typically earn about $31,900 at the beginning of their careers.

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USC is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of 40 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means USC is a great school overall.

University of Southern California is one of the most popular school to study sociology in United States exceeding 82 graduates last year. After graduating, sociology students typically earn about $33,600 at the beginning of their careers.

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#15

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

Located in the large suburb Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 14 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Notre Dame is a great school overall.

There are about 55 sociology undergrads studying this degree at Notre Dame. Graduates of the sociology program make around $36,500 for their early career.

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#16

Barnard College

New York, NY

Barnard is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of New York. This college ranks 77th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

With 26 students enrolled, Barnard College is one of most popular schools to study sociology in United States. Barnard College sociology majors make $6,460 more than the typical sociology grad.

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#17

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA

Located in the city Waltham, Brandeis is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population. This college ranks 75th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

A preferred choice for sociology undergraduates, there are approximately 37 learners enrolled in this degree at Brandeis. Graduates of the sociology program report average early career wages of $37,000.

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#18

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA

Holy Cross is a small private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Worcester. A Best Colleges rank of 31 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Holy Cross is a great college overall.

College of the Holy Cross is a fairly popular college to study sociology in United States with over 34 graduates last year. Sociology graduates from College of the Holy Cross get a earnings boost of about $2,460 over the average income of sociology graduates.

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Located in the suburb College Park, UMCP is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 117th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

There are approximately 101 sociology undergraduates enrolled in this program at UMCP. After graduation, sociology students typically make about $33,700 in the first five years of their career.

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UMass Amherst is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Amherst. This college ranks 118th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

For those interested in something more advanced, UMass Amherst also offers 2 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship). Graduates of the sociology program earn about $34,600 in the first couple years of working.

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Located in the city Irvine, UC Irvine is a public college with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 122nd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

With 273 undergraduates, University of California - Irvine is one of most popular colleges to study sociology in United States. Students who graduate from this degree report average early career earnings of $28,600.

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Located in the city Seattle, UW Seattle is a public college with a very large student population. This school ranks 97th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Washington.

There are roughly 180 sociology undergraduates studying this degree at UW Seattle. Soon after graduation, sociology students usually earn an average of $33,900 at the beginning of their careers.

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#23

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

Located in the large city Atlanta, Emory is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 34 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Emory is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Emory also offers 2 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who complete this program state that they receive average early career income of $35,600.

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#24

Boston University

Boston, MA

Located in the large city Boston, Boston U is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 49 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Boston U is a great college overall.

With 47 students enrolled, Boston University is one of most popular schools to study sociology in United States. Sociology graduates from Boston University receive an earnings boost of around $2,260 above the typical earnings of sociology graduates.

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#25

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA

University of Virginia is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Charlottesville. A Best Colleges rank of 42 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means University of Virginia is a great school overall.

There are about 91 sociology undergraduates enrolled in this program at University of Virginia. Students who graduate from the sociology program earn about $32,400 for their early career.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Sociology

#26

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI
#27

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA
#30

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN
#32

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL
#34

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC
#35

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL
#37

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY
#38

University at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY
#39

Connecticut College

New London, CT
#40

University of Oregon

Eugene, OR
#41

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY
#42

University at Albany

Albany, NY
#43

American University

Washington, DC
#44

Rice University

Houston, TX
#48

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA
#49

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Additional Award Winners

This list represents the rest 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 356 different United States sociology schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Northeastern University Boston, MA
52 University of California - Riverside Riverside, CA
53 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT

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
54 Franklin and Marshall College Lancaster, PA
55 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
56 Providence College Providence, RI
57 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
58 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
59 Iowa State University Ames, IA
60 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO
61 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA
62 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
63 The University of Tennessee - Knoxville Knoxville, TN
64 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
65 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT
66 University of Georgia Athens, GA
67 University of South Florida - Main Campus Tampa, FL
68 Colorado State University - Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
69 University of New Hampshire - Main Campus Durham, NH
70 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
71 Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge, LA

Sociology by Region

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

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
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 48,297
Political Science & Government 47,035
General Social Sciences 19,694
International Relations & National Security 15,207
Anthropology 11,703

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. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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