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25 Best Colleges for Sociology 2020

By the GradReports team | Updated 4/1/2020

We ranked the top 25 schools by median salary one year after college for students who graduate with a bachelor's degree in sociology. The top ranked school is Harvard University, with a median salary of $53,800. Georgetown University sociology majors graduated with $8,689 of student debt, the lowest median debt out of the schools listed. Starting median salaries for graduates from the top 25 schools range from $36,600-$53,800.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Cambridge (MA) Cambridge (MA) $57,261 Not Reported $53,800
#2 #2 New York (NY) New York (NY) $66,139 $23,000 $43,800
#3 #3 New York (NY) New York (NY) $62,525 Not Reported $43,800
#4 #4 Chestnut Hill (MA) Chestnut Hill (MA) $64,176 $15,500 $43,000
#5 #5 Hanover (NH) Hanover (NH) $62,658 $15,000 $41,800
#6 #6 New York (NY) New York (NY) $58,168 $16,250 $41,000
#7 #7 New London (CT) New London (CT) $63,005 $12,210 $40,200
#8 #8 Worcester (MA) Worcester (MA) $58,360 $25,000 $39,800
#9 #9 Multiple Locations Multiple Locations $12,520 $25,000 $39,700
#10 #10 Boston (MA) Boston (MA) $62,360 $26,000 $39,600
#11 #11 Berkeley (CA) Berkeley (CA) $44,467 $13,436 $38,700
#12 #12 Ithaca (NY) Ithaca (NY) $63,200 $11,312 $38,100
#13 #13 San Luis Obispo (CA) San Luis Obispo (CA) $28,229 $15,000 $38,100
#14 #14 San Jose (CA) San Jose (CA) $19,779 $13,000 $38,000
#15 #15 Washington D.C. Washington D.C. $53,889 Not Reported $37,600
#16 #16 Durham (NC) Durham (NC) $62,688 $13,945 $37,300
#17 #17 Washington D.C. Washington D.C. $62,052 $8,689 $37,100
#18 #18 Houston (TX) Houston (TX) $21,891 $19,980 $37,100
#19 #19 East Lansing (MI) East Lansing (MI) $41,958 $27,000 $37,100
#20 #20 San Francisco (CA) San Francisco (CA) $55,532 $25,125 $37,000
#21 #21 Waltham (MA) Waltham (MA) $62,322 $25,424 $37,000
#22 #22 South Orange (NJ) South Orange (NJ) $48,960 $26,311 $37,000
#23 #23 Winston Salem (NC) Winston Salem (NC) $62,128 $23,000 $36,700
#24 #24 Austin (TX) Austin (TX) $41,070 $22,621 $36,600
#25 #25 Multiple Locations Multiple Locations $18,722 $24,043 $36,600

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top colleges for a Bachelor's in Sociology degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

Cambridge (MA)
Median Salary $53,800
Median Debt Not Reported
Annual Tuition $57,261
Graduation Rate 98%

Harvard University offers a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology (A.B.) for students interested in studying human relationships, groups, and institutions. Course focus varies from theoretical to applied and from quantitative to non-quantitative. The program has relatively few requirements (12 half courses), which allows students flexibility in meeting educational goals.

In their junior year, A.B. in Sociology students participate in a research workshop or set of related projects. A thesis, however, is only required for students wishing to graduate with honors. The Department of Sociology allows for joint concentrations with a number of other departments, including History and Science, South Asian Studies, Statistics, African and African American Studies, Applied Mathematics, and more.

Introductory courses in the program include Political Sociology; Sociology of Organizations; and Sex, Gender, and Sexuality. Electives are varied and include curriculum like Social Movements; Refugees in Global Perspective; Qualitative Methods in Sociology; Understanding Meritocracy; Environment and Inequality; Human Trafficking; among others.

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University was established in 1636 by clergyman John Harvard. It is a private Ivy League research university and is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

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Median Salary $43,800
Median Debt $23,000
Annual Tuition $66,139
Graduation Rate 95%

Columbia University offers a Bachelors of Sociology to students looking to study the scientific exploration of questions that matter to human communities such as inequality and social injustice. The major is 30-31 points and includes three required courses and six elective courses, in addition to a Senior Seminar. Required courses include The Social World; Social Theory; and Methods for Social Research. Of the six electives, three must be lecture courses and two must be seminars. For students looking to pursue research, rising seniors may apply to an Honors Thesis Seminar.

The undergraduate sociology program also has a Special Concentration in Business Management option. The collaboration is intended to serve as a complement to a specialization in Sociology or another discipline.

Columbia University was founded in 1754 by royal charter of King George II of England. It’s the oldest institute of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States. Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university located in New York City.

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New York (NY)
Median Salary $43,800
Median Debt Not Reported
Annual Tuition $62,525
Graduation Rate 92%

The Barnard College Department of Sociology offers a major in Sociology for undergraduate students. Requirements for graduation include three Foundations courses and five Electives, in addition to either a primary research paper or thesis. Foundations courses include The Social World; Social Theory; and Methods for Social Research. The Department of Sociology also allows students to pursue a special combined major with Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, or to design their own double major in consultation with faculty advisors. As Barnard is affiliated with Columbia University, Foundations and Electives courses may be taken at either Barnard or Columbia.

Barnard College’s Department of Sociology prepares its students for careers as varied as politics, theology, non-profit leadership, urban planning, digital marketing, and more. Additionally, the department is connected to the following professional associations: American Sociological Association; Eastern Sociological Society; Sociologists for Women in Society; Society for the Study of Social Problems; and the Association for Black Sociologists.

Barnard College is a private women’s liberal arts college located in New York City. The college was founded in 1889 by Annie Nathan Meyer as a response to Columbia University’s refusal to admit women. Barnard is affiliated with but legally and financially separate from Columbia University.

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Chestnut Hill (MA)
Median Salary $43,000
Median Debt $15,500
Annual Tuition $64,176
Graduation Rate 91%

Boston College’s Sociology Department offers three different bachelor’s level programs: a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, a five-year combination BA and MA in Sociology, and a five-year combination BA in Sociology and MS in Social Work. The undergraduate program in sociology is designed to meet the academic and career interests of students concerned about what is happening in their society and in their daily personal interactions. The program prepares students for careers or further study in sociology, social work, urban affairs, governmental administration, criminal justice, law, education, and more.

The sociology major is 30 total credits and includes core curriculum in addition to 18 credits of electives. The core courses include Introductory Sociology; Statistics; Research Methods; and Social Theory. Students have the option to conduct original research culminating in a senior honors thesis as a part of the Honors Program. Students who select this option take a three-course sequence during their junior and senior years and work closely with faculty and their peers to design a project, gather and analyze data, and write and present their work.

Boston College is a private Jesuit research university, founded in 1863 by John McElroy, S.J. The college is located in the Chestnut Hill and Brighton neighborhoods of Boston, Massachusetts.

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Hanover (NH)
Median Salary $41,800
Median Debt $15,000
Annual Tuition $62,658
Graduation Rate 95%

Dartmouth’s Department of Sociology offers a Standard Major and a Modified Major program. The Standard Major is eleven courses in total, and consists of a Prerequisite Course, a theory course, two methods courses, and seven additional Sociology courses. A Culminating Experience must be completed through one of the following options: a Senior Independent Study Project; The Sociological Imagination; or Honors Thesis.

The Modified Major consists of thirteen courses in total. The curriculum is the same as the Standard Major, with the exception that instead of the seven additional sociology courses, Modified Major Students take five additional sociology courses and four courses in another department or concentrated area of study, as approved by the department chair.

For students interested in research, the Honors Program in Sociology provides the opportunity to engage in advanced independent study under the direction of a faculty supervisor, culminating in the completion and presentation of an honors thesis.

The department of Sociology aims to prepare students for careers or further study in fields like education, social work, counseling, business and industry, public relations, advertising and marketing, international development, and medicine and public health, among others.

Dartmouth College is a private Ivy League research university located in Hanover, New Hampshire. The college was established in 1769 by Eleazar Wheelock, and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.

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