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2021 Best Colleges for Sociology

Approximately 37,478 sociology degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a challenge finding the right fit. 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 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. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we consider a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a host 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

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

A sociology degree from colleges on this list usually translates into above 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 $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 complete ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Sociology students.

More Ways to Rank Sociology Schools

When choosing the right school for you, it's important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we've created a number of major-specific rankings, including this Best Sociology Schools list to help you make the college decision.

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

Best Schools to Study Sociology in the United States

Explore the top ranked colleges and universities for sociology majors. 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 needs to check out Harvard University. Harvard is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the medium-sized city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Harvard is a great university 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. Sociology majors from Harvard University get an earnings boost of around $16,460 above the typical earnings of sociology majors.

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It's hard to beat University of California - Berkeley if you wish to study sociology. UC Berkeley is a fairly large public university located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley. This university ranks 69th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

University of California - Berkeley is one of the most popular universities to study sociology in the United States with approximately 338 graduates in the most recent year we have data available. After getting their bachelor's degree, sociology students generally make about $38,700 at the beginning of their careers.

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Columbia University in the City of New York is one of the best schools in the United States for sociology. Located in the large city of New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 32 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Columbia is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Columbia also offers 2 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 earn $6,460 more than the standard sociology graduate.

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

For those interested in something more advanced, UCLA also offers 2 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the sociology program make around $33,000 in their early career salary.

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#5

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

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

There were roughly 55 sociology individuals who graduated from this degree at Boston College in the most recent year we have data available. Students from the sociology degree program at Boston College make $5,660 more than the typical college grad in this field when they enter the workforce.

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#6

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Cornell is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the small city of Ithaca. A Best Colleges rank of 17 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Cornell is a great university overall.

Cornell University is a fairly popular university to study sociology in the United States with approximately 74 graduations in the most recent year we have data available. Students who complete this program state that they receive average early career earnings of $38,100.

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#7

New York University

New York, NY

Located in the large city of New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. This university ranks 130th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

A popular choice for sociology undergrads, there were roughly 88 students who graduated from this program at NYU in the most recent year we have data available. New York University sociology students earn $3,660 more than the typical sociology grad.

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#8

Duke University

Durham, NC

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

A popular major for sociology undergrads, there were approximately 43 learners who completed this degree at Duke in the most recent data year. After graduating, sociology students generally make an average of $37,300 in their early careers.

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

There were roughly 138 sociology individuals who graduated from this program at UT Austin in the most recent data year. Graduates of the sociology program report average early career income of $36,600.

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Located in the suburb of Santa Barbara, UCSB is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 133rd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There were approximately 643 sociology students who graduated from this program at UCSB in the most recent year we have data available. Graduates of the sociology program earn an average of $30,200 in their early career salary.

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Located in the large city of Madison, UW - Madison is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 76th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Wisconsin.

There were roughly 92 sociology individuals who graduated from this program at UW - Madison in the most recent data year. After graduating, sociology students usually make about $35,200 at the beginning of their careers.

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#12

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH

Dartmouth is a medium-sized private not-for-profit college located in the town of Hanover. A Best Colleges rank of 15 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Dartmouth is a great college overall.

There were approximately 28 sociology students who graduated from this degree at Dartmouth in the most recent data year. Students from the sociology program at Dartmouth College get $4,460 more than the typical graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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Located in the small city of Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill is a public university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 60 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UNC Chapel Hill is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UNC Chapel Hill also offers 2 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the sociology program state that they receive average early career income of $31,900.

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

University of Southern California is a fairly popular university to study sociology in the United States with about 82 graduates in the most recent year we have data available. Students who graduate from this degree report average early career earnings of $33,600.

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#15

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

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

For those interested in something more advanced, Notre Dame also offers 2 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree. Soon after graduation, sociology students typically earn about $36,500 in their early careers.

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#16

Barnard College

New York, NY

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

Barnard College is one of the most popular colleges to study sociology in the United States with about 26 graduations in the most recent data year. Barnard College sociology graduates receive $6,460 more than the typical sociology student.

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#17

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA

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

For those interested in something more advanced, Brandeis 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 make around $37,000 in the first couple years of working.

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#18

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA

Located in the midsize city of Worcester, Holy Cross is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. 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 the United States with approximately 34 graduations in the most recent year we have data available. Graduates from the sociology major at College of the Holy Cross earn $2,460 above the standard college graduate with the same degree shortly after graduation.

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UMCP is a very large public university located in the suburb of College Park. This university ranks 117th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

There were roughly 101 sociology individuals who graduated from this degree at UMCP in the most recent year we have data available. Students who graduate from this program report average early career earnings of $33,700.

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

There were roughly 142 sociology individuals who graduated from this degree at UMass Amherst in the most recent data year. After graduating, sociology students usually earn about $34,600 in the first five years of their career.

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UC Irvine is a fairly large public university located in the large city of Irvine. This university ranks 122nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

University of California - Irvine is a fairly popular university to study sociology in the United States with about 273 graduations in the most recent year we have data available. Graduates of the sociology program earn an average of $28,600 in their early career salary.

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UW Seattle is a fairly large public university located in the city of Seattle. This university ranks 97th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Washington.

There were roughly 180 sociology students who graduated from this program at UW Seattle in the most recent data year. Grads of the sociology program report average early career earnings of $33,900.

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#23

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

Emory is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Atlanta. A Best Colleges rank of 34 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Emory is a great university overall.

There were approximately 54 sociology individuals who graduated from this program at Emory in the most recent data year. Students who graduate from the sociology program make an average of $35,600 in their early career salary.

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#24

Boston University

Boston, MA

Boston U is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the large city of Boston. A Best Colleges rank of 49 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Boston U is a great university overall.

Boston University is a fairly popular university to study sociology in the United States with roughly 47 graduations in the most recent year we have data available. Sociology majors from Boston University receive an earnings boost of about $2,260 above the average earnings of sociology graduates.

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#25

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA

University of Virginia is a fairly large public university 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 university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, University of Virginia also offers 2 different higher degree levels in sociology, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after graduating, sociology students usually make around $32,400 in the first five years of their 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 section shows the remainder of the colleges 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.

Majors Similar to Sociology

Related Major Annual Graduates
Economics 48,199
Political Science & Government 46,598
General Social Sciences 19,551
International Relations & National Security 14,810
Anthropology 11,607

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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