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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 difficult 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 25 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 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

Above Average Earnings After Graduation

A sociology degree from schools on this list typically translates into above average wages following 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 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 356 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best Sociology Colleges

#1

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Any 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 3 out of 1,715 schools 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 program at Harvard University get $16,460 above the typical graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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

With 338 undergraduates, University of California - Berkeley is one of most popular schools to study sociology in United States. Students who graduate from the sociology program earn an average of $38,700 in their early career salary.

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Columbia University in the City of New York is one of the finest schools in the United States for sociology. Located in the city New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit school 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 students enrolled, Columbia University in the City of New York is one of most popular colleges to study sociology in United States. Columbia University in the City of New York sociology graduates earn $6,460 more than the standard sociology grad.

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University of California - Los Angeles is among your top options if you're planning on studying sociology. UCLA is a very large public school located in the city of Los Angeles. This school ranks 65th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There are roughly 685 sociology undergraduates studying this program at UCLA. Grads of the sociology program report average early career wages of $33,000.

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#5

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

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

There are approximately 55 sociology undergrads studying this program at Boston College. Students from the sociology major at Boston College earn $5,660 more than the average college grad with the same degree when they enter the workforce.

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#6

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Located in the small 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 undergrads, Cornell University is one of most popular schools to study sociology in United States. Soon after graduating, 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 fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of New York. This school ranks 130th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

With 88 undergraduates, New York University is one of most popular colleges to study sociology in United States. New York University sociology graduates earn $3,660 more than the average sociology grad.

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#8

Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large 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). Students who graduate from the sociology program make around $37,300 for their early career.

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UT Austin is a fairly 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 roughly 138 sociology undergraduates studying this degree at UT Austin. Soon after graduation, sociology students usually make an average of $36,600 in the first five years of their career.

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

There are roughly 643 sociology undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UCSB. Graduates of the sociology 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 school 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 an average of $35,200 in their early career salary.

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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 moderately-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 15 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Dartmouth is a great college overall.

There are about 28 sociology undergrads studying this program at Dartmouth. Sociology students from Dartmouth College receive an earnings boost of around $4,460 above the average earnings of sociology graduates.

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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 colleges nationwide means UNC Chapel Hill is a great school overall.

There are roughly 93 sociology undergrads studying this degree at UNC Chapel Hill. After getting their bachelor's degree, sociology students typically make an average of $31,900 in their early careers.

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USC is a very 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. Soon after graduating, sociology students typically make around $33,600 in their early careers.

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#15

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

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

There are about 55 sociology undergrads enrolled in this program at Notre Dame. Students who graduate from the sociology program make an average of $36,500 in their early career salary.

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#16

Barnard College

New York, NY

Barnard is a small private not-for-profit school 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.

With 26 undergraduates, Barnard College is one of most popular colleges to study sociology in United States. Barnard College sociology graduates earn $6,460 more than the average sociology graduate.

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#17

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 75th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

A preferred major for sociology undergraduates, there are roughly 37 learners enrolled in this degree at Brandeis. Students who graduate from this degree report average early career income 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 midsize 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 one of the most popular college to study sociology in United States with over 34 graduations last year. Sociology graduates from College of the Holy Cross receive an earnings boost of around $2,460 above the typical earnings of sociology majors.

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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 117th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

There are approximately 101 sociology undergrads enrolled in this program at UMCP. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, sociology students typically earn around $33,700 in their early careers.

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UMass Amherst is a very large public school located in the large suburb of Amherst. This school 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 an average of $34,600 in their early career salary.

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Located in the large city Irvine, UC Irvine is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 122nd out of 1,715 schools 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. Graduates of the sociology program state that they receive average early career income of $28,600.

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

There are approximately 180 sociology undergraduates studying this degree at UW Seattle. Soon after graduating, sociology students generally earn about $33,900 in the first five years of their career.

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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 fairly 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 graduate from this program state that they receive average early career earnings 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 school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 49 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Boston U is a great school overall.

With 47 undergrads, Boston University is one of most popular colleges to study sociology in United States. Sociology students from Boston University get a earnings boost of about $2,260 over the typical earnings of sociology majors.

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#25

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 42 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means University of Virginia is a great school overall.

There are roughly 91 sociology undergrads enrolled in this degree at University of Virginia. Graduates of the sociology program earn around $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 shows the rest of the schools awarded a Best Colleges for Sociology badge. Showing in this list means the school 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
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 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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