Professionals who are interested in earning an accelerated online Master’s in Sociology may find the landscape bare. After all, few graduate sociology programs are available online, leaving students in the field feeling stuck about how best to move forward with their career plans. And with so many social science programs permeating the virtual education world, it may seem a little disappointing that sociology programs are not readily available.
However, the truth is that the influx of human services degrees more than make up for the lack of sociology degrees. These programs feature many of the same cognate areas and competency requirements. This ranking features both types of degrees to accommodate working professionals who are interested in online programs that can be completed in two years or less and will lead them to their career goals.
Methodology: Ranking the Fastest Online Master’s in Sociology
The editors at Fast Online Master’s want prospective students to know their affordable accelerated sociology master’s degree will pay off. That’s why we feature only legitimate, accredited colleges and universities. We present programs in order of their tuition rate, according to current IPEDS data.
1. Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville State University offers an MA in Sociology that offers four-academic degree conclusions – thesis, non-thesis, and practicum opportunities. Fayetteville State University’s affordable graduate degree in sociology is ranked among North Carolina’s best online sociology master’s programs. Graduates of Fayetteville State University’s graduate degree in sociology enter the workforce as a human resources rep, policy analyst, social or community service specialists, or public relations specialists, to name a few.
Fayetteville State University was established in the 1860s and is a member school of the state’s university system. In addition, Fayetteville State University is a member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and an HBCU school with a student body that exceeds 6,000 each year. Fayetteville State University holds the distinction of being the second oldest of all state-funded schools in North Carolina.
Degree: MA in Sociology
2. Texas Woman’s University
Texas Woman’s University offers an MA in Sociology that has been designed to provide the convenience and flexibility required for working or busy learners/students. Students enrolled in TWU’s best online sociology master’s programs must complete thirty graduate units for the thesis or non-thesis options. Classes for Texas Woman’s University’s affordable graduate sociology programs include statistical methods in sociology, classical sociological theories, foundations of contemporary sociological theories, and research methods and design, among others.
Texas Woman’s University is a multi-campus school that serves approximately 10,350 students across its three suburban locations in Texas. Texas Woman’s University (TWU) became a member of the state’s newest university system. The university is organized into six colleges that offer five dozen graduate and undergraduate degree & certificate programs in the areas of business, health science, nursing, arts/sciences, professional education, and graduate studies.
Degree: MA in Sociology
3. Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University offers one of North Carolina’s best online sociology master’s programs with its 18-credit Sociology Graduate Certificate program. Appalachian State University’s sociology certificate is offered as a part-time program, entirely online through asynchronous coursework over twelve months. Required classes for Appalachian State University’s affordable sociological certificate include contemporary social issues, advanced general sociology, social stratification, advanced research methods, and sociology of the families, among others. Applicants to Appalachian State University’s graduate certificate must have completed a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.
Appalachian State University (App State) was founded in 1899 as a teacher’s training school. Appalachian State University is one of the member schools of the North Carolina state university system. Appalachian State University’s college-town/rural campus and online platform serve more than 17,550 students each year. Appalachian State University’s Blue Ridge Mountain campus is recognized to be situated at one of the highest elevations of any college campus in the nation.
Degree: Sociology Graduate Certificate
4. New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University offers an MA in Sociology that provides students a completion track of two years, on average. Students enrolled in New Mexico State University’s affordable and best online sociology master’s programs are offered a variety of classes each semester and over summer sessions. Classes for this sociology degree include issues in quantitative analysis, classical sociological theory, qualitative research methods, and perspectives on Sociology, to name a few.
New Mexico State University (NM State) is a public school that was established as a land grant college in 1888. The university also operates as a space-grant school with a student enrollment that exceeds 24,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students each year. New Mexico State University is New Mexico’s oldest higher learning institution and one of New Mexico’s flagship campuses.
Degree: MA in Sociology
5. Troy University
Troy University offers a Master of Social Science with an academic emphasis in sociology that is considered among the most innovative and best online sociology master’s programs in Alabama and the southern United States. Troy University’s interdisciplinary graduate sociology degree program requires degree candidates to complete 36-semester units. Electives can be pulled from the school’s curriculum in psychology, anthropology, criminology, history, geography, and political science, among others. Training includes SPSS and GIS analytical software and research opportunities.
Troy University was founded in the 1880s as a state-funded teacher’s training school. Troy University operates a variety of educational facilities in Troy, Dothan, Phenix City, and Montgomery, plus additional facilities in the southern US and internationally. Troy University is organized into seven colleges/schools offering programs in arts/sciences, communications/arts, education, health, business, general studies, and graduate studies.
Degree: Master of Social Science – Sociology
6. West Virginia University
West Virginia University offers a Graduate Certificate in Quantitative & Qualitative Social Science Research Methods that require the completion of fifteen online graduate credit hours. West Virginia University’s graduate degree is ranked among West Virginia’s best online sociology master’s programs. This affordable graduate certificate in social science research from West Virginia University can be completed entirely online, completing asynchronous coursework. This program is appropriate for those in government, education, healthcare, or education, among others.
West Virginia University was founded under the Morrill Land Grant Act in the 1860s. The university’s main campus, college-town campus in Morgantown, and its other facilities throughout the state’s 55 counties serve nearly 30,000 students each year. West Virginia University is organized into fifteen colleges/schools, plus an honors college.
Degree: Graduate Certificate in Quantitative & Qualitative Social Science Research Methods
7. Morehead State University
Morehead State University offers an MA in Sociology that ranks among Kentucky’s most innovative and the nation’s best online sociology masters programs by onlinemasters.com, the only Kentucky higher learning institution to rank on the list. This affordable graduate degree in sociology offers degree candidates three academic concentrations – criminology, chemical dependency, or general sociology. Sample coursework includes social science data analysis, sociological theory, and research methodology, among others. Graduates must complete all coursework with a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.
Morehead State University was founded in the 1880s as a state-run normal school. This public institution of higher education’s Morehead campus covers more than 600 rural acres and serves more than 9,350 students each year. Morehead State University operates an Academy for Science/Math Excellence that offers a two-year early college experience for high school students.
Degree: MA in Sociology
8. Texas A&M University – Commerce
Texas A&M University Commerce offers a MS in Sociology that has been developed to meet the needs of working professionals and busy learners. Texas A&M University’s best online sociology master’s programs can be completed in 24 months. Classes for this online and affordable sociology graduate degree program include contemporary sociological issues, family violence, comparative sociology, race, and ethnic diversity, qualitative methodology, sociology of education, and teaching sociology and criminal justice, plus an independent study, to name a few.
Established in 1889 as a normal college, Texas A&M University at Commerce now operates as the 3rd largest school in Texas’s A&M university system with a student enrollment that nears 12,400 students every year. Texas A&M University maintains campuses in Dallas and Mesquite, plus works in partnership with other local colleges.
Degree: MS in Sociology
9. American Public University
American Public University offers an MA in Sociology that has no entrance exam requirements. In addition, American Public University’s best online sociology master’s programs allow for up to fifteen credits to be transferred, if eligible. American Public University’s affordable and accelerated graduate degree in sociology requires the completion of thirty graduate credits, all available online. Classes for this sociology degree from APU include social theory in action, qualitative methods in social science research, and advanced data analysis for social scientists, among others.
American Public University is one of two schools that make up the American Public University System, a private for-profit distance learning institution with a student enrollment that exceeds 46,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students each year. More than 100,000 APUS alumni live worldwide.
Degree: MA in Sociology
10. University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago offers an Educational Research Methodology (ERM) Certificate program that is one of the best online sociology master’s programs in Illinois and beyond. The University of Illinois at Chicago’s graduate sociological certificate requires the completion of 12 graduate credits across three classes offered online. Classes for this affordable certificate must be selected from the M.Ed. online curriculum and may include assessment for measurement professionals, large-scale testing, and qualitative data analysis, among others.
The University of Illinois at Chicago is an Asian and Hispanic service institution of higher education that was founded in 1982. The University of Illinois at Chicago maintains two primary campuses in Chicago that serve approximately 33,250 students each year. The University of Illinois at Chicago holds the distinction of being the largest school in the greater metro Chicago area.
Degree: Educational Research Methodology Certificate
11. Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University offers an MA in Sociology that requires students to finish at least 37 graduate credits to graduate. Sam Houston State University’s best online sociology master’s programs explore advanced concepts in theoretical perspectives, methodological techniques as well empirical evidence for sociological inquiry. This program is offered with two start dates -Spring and Fall. Sam Houston State University’s graduate degree in sociology emphasizes public sociology as its primary theme.
Sam Houston State University (SAM) is the 3rd oldest public institution of higher education that was established as a normal institute in 1879. In addition, Sam Houston State University is a member school of the Texas state university system. Sam Houston State University is also recognized to be the first teacher’s training school in the Lone Star State.
Degree: MA in Sociology
12. Arizona State University
Arizona State University offers an MA in Sociology that is ranked among Arizona’s most innovative and best online sociology master’s programs. Arizona State University’s master’s degree in sociology prepares graduates for careers as human resource professionals, nonprofit leaders, or community program coordinators, among others. Classes for Arizona State University’s affordable 30 credit master’s degree in sociology include marriage and family relationships, social statistics, leadership and social justice, and social change & innovation, plus a capstone project, to name a few.
Arizona State University (ASU) is a research higher learning institution that was founded several years before Arizona became a state in 1885. Arizona State University is also recognized to be a space-grant school with several campuses (and an online platform) that serve about 130,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The university is organized into seventeen schools/colleges that offer hundreds of academic degree and certificate programs.
Degree: MA in Sociology
13. University of Colorado Denver
The University of Colorado Denver offers an MA in Research and Evaluation Methods that US News recognizes among the country’s best online sociology masters programs. Students enroll in the University of Colorado’s 30-credit affordable degree prepare students for work in school district assessment policy offices, large companies, or nonprofits. Classes for the University of Colorado’s graduate sociology degree include an introduction to research methods, techniques of qualitative inquiry, and methods of survey research, to name a few. This program offers three start dates in the summer, fall, and spring.
The University of Colorado Denver was chartered in 1912 as a research school. The University of Colorado Denver’s campus covers more than 100 acres and serves approximately 13,450 students each year. UC Denver was initially developed as an extension/correspondence program of the University of Colorado.
Degree: MA in Research and Evaluation Methods
14. Georgia State University
Georgia State University offers an MS in Educational Research that requires degree candidates to complete 36 graduate credit units. Georgia State University’s best online sociology master’s programs include classes in the psychology learning and learners, social/cultural foundations of education, educational research, case study methods, action research, and methods of research in education, plus a master’s project, to name a few. Graduates pursue rewarding careers in the corporate, research, or government sectors.
Georgia State University was founded as an evening tech school in 1913. Georgia State University now operates as one of the state’s four research institutions of higher education. Additionally, Georgia State University is a space-grant school with a student enrollment that nears 53,000 students each year. Georgia State University offers programs from its eleven schools and colleges.
Degree: MS in Educational Research
15. University of Northern Iowa
The University of Northern Iowa offers an MA in Social Science that is recognized to be one of Iowa’s most innovative & best online sociology masters programs. This graduate degree in social science is designed primarily for classroom teachers (six to twelfth grade). In addition, the University of Northern Iowa’s master’s degree in sociology has no thesis requirement and offers a cohort model to complete the program online. Coursework for The University of Northern Iowa’s affordable sociology degree is delivered via interactive video conferencing and e-learning software.
The University of Northern Iowa was developed in 1876 as a state-funded teacher’s training school. The school’s online platform and Cedar Falls campus serve more than 10,450 undergraduate & postgraduate students every year. Nearly 90% of UNI’s students are from the State of Iowa.
Degree: MA in Social Science
16. University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers an MA in Applied Sociology that is ranked by bestcolleges.com among the best online sociology masters programs in Alabama and beyond. UA Birmingham’s affordable 30 credit graduate degree in sociology has no thesis requirement. Classes for this sociology degree include applied sociological research methods, sociological theory, program evaluation, social capital, applied social psychology, plus a capstone project, among others.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UA) was established as an academic extension facility in the late 1930s. The University of Alabama’s Birmingham campus is a member school of the state’s university system that joined the system in 1969. The school’s student enrollment is approximately 22,400. The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s health system is recognized as one of the country’s largest academic medical facilities.
Degree: MA in Sociology
17. Kent State University
Kent State University offers a Master of Education in Research, Measurement & Statistics that is ranked among the nation’s best online sociology masters programs, according to US News. Kent State University’s graduate degree in Research, Measurement & Statistics is designed for educators and assessment specialists in academia and psychometrics. Kent State University’s affordable degree program can be customized to meet student interests and needs. This program is an ideal fit for psychometricians, evaluation consultants, classroom teachers, administrators, or research/evaluation specialists.
Kent State University (KSU) is a multiple campus university that was established in 1910 as a teacher’s training college. Kent State University now operates as a space-grant school with a total student enrollment on all campuses that nears 36,000. Kent State University now operates as one of the largest schools in Ohio and is known globally for its student activism.
Degree: Master’s in Research, Measurement & Statistics
18. The Citadel
The Citadel offers an MA in Social Science (MASS) that is one of the best online sociology masters programs in South Carolina and beyond. The Citadel’s graduate degree in sociology offers tremendous flexibility as it can be completed entirely online. Classes for this master’s degree in social science include research methods in social science and seminar in social science, among others. Degree candidates may opt for a leadership or homeland security academic concentration.
The Citadel is South Carolina’s Military College that was chartered in 1842. The Citadel is one of the largest bodies of uniformed students in the nation that serves both cadet and on-cadet students. . In addition, the Citadel is a senior military school and a sea-grant institution of higher education. US News ranks the Citadel as the best master’s degree from a regional public school.
Degree: MA in Social Science
19. University of Connecticut
The University of Connecticut offers a Master in Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation (RMME) prepares degree candidates for work in assessment and measurement in schools, government, the military, corporate education, or other informal academic settings. The University of Connecticut’s best online sociology masters programs is primarily designed for educators and those involved in the academic design, educators, or corporate training specialists. This program includes the latest and most relevant research in the field.
The University of Connecticut was established as an agricultural school in the 1880s. In addition, the University of Connecticut is a land, sea, and space-grant school and the state’s flagship school. The school’s campus is located about 30 minutes from Hartford and 1.5 hours from Boston. The University of Connecticut is considered among the few public ivies in the nation.
Degree: Master in Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation
20. Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University offers an MS in Sociology with or without a concentration path to digital sociology. Virginia Commonwealth University’s best online sociology masters programs offer completion methods of internship, practicum, or thesis. Classes for Virginia Commonwealth University’s master’s degree in sociology include sociological theory, applications of methods of social research inquiry, methods of sociological research, and introduction to social statistics, plus a seminar in sociological practice, to name a few.
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was founded in the 1830s as a public institution of higher education dedicated to research. The school’s distance-learning platform and dual urban campuses in Richmond serve nearly 30,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Virginia Commonwealth University operates a variety of research/satellite facilities throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Degree: MS in Sociology
21. Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University offers an MS in Sociology with an academic emphasis in education that allows for the transfer of up to a dozen eligible credits. Grand Canyon University’s best online sociology masters programs focus on four fundamental areas – theory, family/global perspective, teaching, and societal arrangement & change. Classes for this degree include family impact, application of sociology perspectives, and stratification and social change, to name a few.
Grand Canyon University (Grand Canyon) was established in 1949 in Prescott but now operates as a private, for-profit school. The school has a nondenominational Christian affiliation. More than 100,000 students attend classes offered by Grand Canyon University, mostly online. Grand Canyon University offers more than 190-degree programs through its nine colleges/schools in business, education, fine arts, nursing, humanities, STEM, theology, honors, and doctoral studies.
Degree: MS in Sociology – Education
22. South Dakota State University
South Dakota State University offers an MS in Sociology with an academic emphasis in community development that is ranked among South Dakota’s best online sociology masters programs. This graduate degree in sociology and community development is designed for leading educators and researchers. The South Dakota State University affordable and accelerated sociology program offers four academic concentrations – building economic capacity, nonprofit management, working with native communities, or natural resource management. Each of these sociology programs offers three capstone options to graduate – additional electives, a thesis, or a practicum.
South Dakota State University was established under the Morrill Act as a land-grant school in the 1880s. The online platform and Brookings campus serve approximately 11,250 students each year. South Dakota State University holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating school in South Dakota.
Degree: MS in Sociology – Community Development
23. Ohio University
Ohio University offers a Master of Social Sciences (MSS) that is among the best online sociology masters programs in Ohio, with an accelerated academic track that can be completed in as little as 1.5 years. Ohio University’s social science master’s degree does not require a GRE at application and requires the completion of eight courses. This master’ from Ohio University degree focuses on social science in the areas of women’s, gender & sexuality studies, history, geography, anthropology, and political science. Ohio University’s online sociology degree is designed for public administrators and teachers.
Ohio University was established in 1804 and is a member school of the Ohio university system. The university is the oldest in the state and the 32nd oldest in the nation. More than 30,550 undergraduate and postgraduate students attend classes offered by Ohio University.
Degree: Master of Social Sciences 18 months
24. Northeastern University
Northeastern University offers an MS in Applied Quantitative Methods and Social Analysis ranked among Boston’s best online sociology masters programs. This graduate degree from Northeastern University can be completed in 12 to 16 months, depending on the student’s time commitment. Core classes for this affordable sociology degree from Northeastern University include statistical analysis and research methods in the social sciences, among others. This degree offers academic concentrations in data analytics and the social sciences.
Northeastern University is a multiple campus institution of higher education that was established in the 1890s. The school maintains various campuses and facilities in California, Maine, Washington, North Carolina, and Canada. Northeastern University offers various robust study abroad programs, in addition to its featured coop education program.
Degree: MS in Applied Quantitative Methods and Social Analysis
25. Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University offers an MS in Social Administration that is ranked among the ten online sociology masters programs in Ohio and beyond. Case Western Reserve University’s graduate degree in sociology offers concentrations in direct practice for mental health, direct practice for children, youth & families, community practice for social change. Additionally, this affordable and accelerated program is offered with a traditional track (with a requirement of 60 credits) or an advanced standing track (with a requirement of 36 credits). Requirements also include 11 credits earned through field work and education.
Case Western Reserve University was established when two schools merged – Western Reserve University and Case Institute of Technology. The Cleveland campus and distance-learning platform are home to nearly 12,00 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Case Western Reserve University is ranked among the top fifty national universities according to US News and World Report.
Degree: MS in Social Administration
Why Should I Get My Master’s in Sociology Online?
You might be hesitant about getting an online master’s in sociology due to persistent perceptions that an online master’s in sociology degree program is somehow less valuable than earning it through study at a university. The fact is, getting your sociology master’s online offers the same benefits as attending a campus program. An online master’s in sociology offered through an accredited school earns you the same quality degree as the on-campus program and the same job opportunities. There are other benefits to getting your sociology master’s online in the form of flexibility, maintaining your current employment, and time savings.
The decision to earn a master’s in sociology is usually made out of a desire to improve your career and earnings potential along with focusing on a specific area of sociology that appeals to you. Another reason is your employer is encouraging you to go back to school to earn a post-graduate degree which enables you to become more effective in your work for the organization. Regardless of the reason, if you’re currently employed and want to go back to school, an online master’s in sociology program can be easier to complete than if you were to attend a physical campus.
The benefits to getting your master’s in sociology online come in the form of enabling you to gain much-needed work experience, earn an income, and study at your own pace while having the freedom to manage your daily life. You can also take accelerated online master’s in sociology degree programs to earn your degree in less time, allowing you to launch your career sooner.
What Can I Do with a Master’s in Sociology?
Master’s in sociology jobs are found across the employment spectrum. Many employers have positions that require someone who has advanced skills in the understanding of human nature, can analyze the data that is generated by a given population, and the ability to apply solutions to problems that arise from socioeconomic issues. For example: one area of employment that offers people jobs with a master’s in sociology is data analytics. You can earn a master’s of data analytics in social sciences and seek employment from social media companies, or find work with employers that seek out individuals who can analyze and interpret the large amounts of data generated by users. Some of the jobs with a master’s in sociology include:
- Survey Researchers
- Market Research Analysts
- Probation Officers
- Human Resources Manager
- Urban Planner
- Public Relations
- Counselor for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorders
- Anthropologists and Archeologists
These master’s in sociology jobs and others like them require you to draw upon your education and experience in the field. Sometimes it’s possible to find a job that draws upon the skills learned from a sociology degree, but a majority of jobs with a master’s in sociology requirement expect you to possess skills and knowledge in a specific area of sociology. In fact, a majority of jobs that relate to the field of sociology expect a candidate to have a master’s degree due to the fact the post-graduate education refines the knowledge learned during an undergraduate.
Both the private and government sectors offer sociology master’s degree jobs that take advantage of a particular area of concentration. Sociologists provide much-needed insight into the reasons why people do what they do, and you’ll find that there are plenty of jobs that take advantage of your master’s degree concentration. You might find that you return to school to earn your Ph.D. in your area of sociology to maximize your earning potential and open up more potential areas of employment.
How Much Can I Make with a Master’s in Sociology?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for sociologists is $86,110 annually. This salary is typical for someone with a master’s degree in sociology, and a master’s degree in sociology is considered to be the entry-level education for employment. The fact that the average masters in sociology salary is as high as it demonstrates the value of getting a master’s in sociology. Some higher paying roles for a master’s in sociology salary include economists with an average sociology master’s degree salary of $108,350 and political scientists with a median salary of $125,350. Social workers earn at the lower end of the sociology master’s salary with an average income of $51,760 annually.
The BLS estimates the field of sociology will grow 4% between 2019-2029 which matches the average growth of the overall job market. This estimate is based strictly on the field of sociology and doesn’t reflect the growth in areas of employment that are not directly related to the job duties of a sociologist, but requires their skill and knowledge of human behavior. The range of employment options for master’s of sociology degree holders is wide and offers degree holders the opportunity to enjoy a satisfying career.