Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Sociology Degrees

The best sociology liberal arts colleges are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best sociology degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding sociology faculty.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Sociology Degrees

A bachelor’s degree in sociology is an excellent starting point for a career in public service, policy development, activism and a host of other socially conscious fields. The sociology degree centers on how systems like families, groups, and communities intersect. Sociology also concerns the way human beings relate to one another over matters of religion, culture, race, gender, and more. Sociology students will learn how to conduct research, study populations, and understand how these populations are impacted by factors like geography, race, economics, and more. The best schools for sociology are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of sociology concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sociology Bachelor’s Degrees

Your knowledge as a sociology major can qualify you to work in a wide array of settings, from research foundations and think tanks to educational groups and government agencies. But you’ll also learn excellent communication skills, the scientific research process, and problem-solving skills. These traits are in high-demand in any workplace setting, and can qualify you to work in a wide range of professional contexts.

Sociology concerns broad and overlapping systems. Researchers, educators, community leaders and outreach groups impact the lives of countless people, families and communities through meaningful findings and actions. Today, top influencers in sociology are bringing illumination to subjects like the intersection of humans and technology, feminist and gender theory, social networking, urban sociology, and much more.

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Sociology is one of the more versatile and respected social sciences degrees. That’s because this major is inherently interdisciplinary in nature, bringing together subject areas like economics, political science, and statistical analysis. Each of these disciplines informs the way we understand complex and interwoven social systems like religious organizations, national governments, and varying ethnic groups.

The bachelor’s degree in sociology may be earned in four years, and provides a comprehensive education in demographic studies, research methodology, urban studies and more. Your undergraduate degree in sociology will qualify you for a wide range of opportunities in the field, including human resources specialist, guidance counselor, market research analyst, and more.

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Once you’ve declared your major in sociology, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in a number of related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized sociology electives, there are several courses that most sociology majors will be required to take, including:

  • Sociolinguistics
  • Criminal Behavior and Social Control
  • Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
  • The Practice of Social Research
  • Ethnographic Research
  • Comparative and Historical Methods
  • Epidemiological Methods
  • Analysis of Sociological Data
  • Language, Culture, and Education
  • Sociology of Gender

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Majoring in sociology can qualify you for a wide range of professional opportunities. Your communication, research, and problem-solving skills will be of value in an array of educational, administrative, and business settings. If you plan to channel your education into a sociology-specific career, consider these top jobs:

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Related: How to Major in Sociology

Frequently Asked Questions About Research Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Online Colleges

In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.

Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. These schools offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.

Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.

  • Consider whether you are self motivated enough to be a face in the crowd for some classes and largely unknown on campus at a large university. Of course you can find clubs and friends at a large university, but often liberal arts colleges have a more personal quality to them. If you want the community feel, a research university may not fit you well.
  • Are you interested in STEM fields? Research universities have that name for a reason – real research is happening there. This can create an exciting atmosphere for students interested in STEM. Attending a research university can give you a better chance of getting into better programs for graduate degrees, although a lot of that depends on your performance.
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Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.

  • Do you want your professors to know you? Liberal arts colleges strive to cultivate campus cultures that encourage tight bonds between professors and students. Professors at these schools will typically conduct original research. Yet the best of these schools offer their faculty reduced teaching loads so that they can both be productive researchers and still have plenty of time for students (both in and outside the classroom).
  • Do you want to feel like you know everybody? One of the most enticing features of a liberal arts college is that in very little time, you can feel like you know who’s who, which can create strong friendships, but also more pleasurable walks across campus. While your sports teams may never be on ESPN, it’s more likely that you’ll know the athletes as your peers. Beyond student and faculty relationships, it’s not unusual for the school president and other administrators to learn who you are. When faced with problems with your student account or the need to switch classes, this can be comforting during a stressful moment.
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Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.

  • Are you a self-driven student? Perhaps the hardest aspect of obtaining an online degree is whether you will be disciplined enough to manage your time and course demands. Many online students report that online college made them more disciplined in all areas of their lives, but the flexible, self-paced learning that makes online colleges attractive can often be the same qualities that make it difficult. If you tend to be a procrastinator, you need to be honest with yourself. You can change your habits and propensities, or you can throw money down the drain.
  • Do you need the flexibility of an online degree program? Most online students study online because of time demands balancing work and life, or becuase the online colleges afford them the chance to attend a better school without moving. If you are serious about earning your degree for career advancement, online colleges make it possible. The most flexible options among online degrees are those that are aynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled times to meet with your class online. However, many students seek synchronous online degree programs so that they have some structure – set meeting times, scheduled exams, etc.
  • The good news is that attending an online college doesn’t mean you will miss out on getting to know your professors and classmates. In fact, many online students who have experienced both online and on-campus courses report having easier access to their professors. Since most communication with your professor is expected to be in text – via email or your class learning management system – it makes asking your questions easier. The same students also report that they got to better know the thoughts of their classmates. While in-person course conversations can be dominated by a few extroverts, online courses that require online discussions make it so that you see all of your classmates’ thoughts and questions.

If you interested in an online bachelor’s degree, check out what the best online colleges offer, or search our online degrees for the exact program that interests you. In either case, you will find well respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Sociology Degree Programs

If you think a research university may be a better fit for you, see our ranking of the best research universities for a bachelor’s in sociology.

How do we determine the best sociology liberal arts colleges?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Influence”.

The influence of a college or university is based on the schools’ top academic influencers related to the discipline in this ranking. We track the influence of faculty and alumni affialiate with these school counting not only the publicaitons and citations of the school’s affiliated people, but we also consider the overall web presense of the faculty and alumni. The greater the citations, authority of web links, web searches, and pageviews, the greater the individuals’ influence. Those combined make up the departments’ influence in the field of study. We believe tracking the academic influence of the people affiliated with a school is the best indicator of academic excellence.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and misuesed performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is more insulated from manipulation, and more reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Ranking: Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Sociology Bachelor’s Degree Programs

  1. #1

    Wesleyan University

    Middletown , CT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Wesleyan University known for?

    Wesleyan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    Wesleyan University Sociology Major

    • BA Sociology

    Source

  2. #2

    Swarthmore College

    Swarthmore , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

    What is Swarthmore College known for?

    Swarthmore College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Anthropology
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    Swarthmore College Sociology Majors

    • BA Sociology
    • Special Major: Political Sociology

    Source

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    Wellesley College

    Wellesley , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    What is Wellesley College known for?

    Wellesley College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Physics
    • History
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Anthropology

    Most Influential Alumni

    Wellesley College Sociology Major

    • Sociology

    Source

  4. #4

    Pomona College

    Claremont , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

    What is Pomona College known for?

    Pomona College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Anthropology
    • Philosophy
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    Pomona College Sociology Major

    • Sociology

    Source

  5. #5

    Amherst College

    Amherst , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    12%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    What is Amherst College known for?

    Amherst College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Literature
    • Law
    • Sociology
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

    Amherst College Sociology Major

    • Sociology

    Source

  6. #6

    Williams College

    Williamstown , MA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    15%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1480/33

    What is Williams College known for?

    Williams College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Anthropology
    • Chemistry
    • Religious Studies
    • Physics
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    Williams College Sociology Major

    • BA Sociology

    Source

  7. #7

    Bowdoin College

    Brunswick , ME
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    95%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Bowdoin College known for?

    Bowdoin College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Physics
    • Religious Studies
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

    Bowdoin College Sociology Major

    • BA Sociology

    Source

  8. #8

    Middlebury College

    Middlebury , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    22%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/33

    What is Middlebury College known for?

    Middlebury College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Earth Sciences
    • Education
    • History
    • Economics
    • Anthropology
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    Middlebury College Sociology Major

    • BA Sociology

    Source

  9. #9

    Barnard College

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

    What is Barnard College known for?

    Barnard College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    Barnard College Sociology Major

    • Sociology

    Source

  10. #10

    Colgate University

    Hamilton , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    27%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    What is Colgate University known for?

    Colgate University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Biology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Education
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

    Colgate University Sociology Major

    • BA Sociology

    Source

  11. #11

    Davidson College

    Davidson , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1397/31

    What is Davidson College known for?

    Davidson College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    Davidson College Sociology Major

    • AB Sociology

    Source

  12. #15

    San Francisco State University

    San Francisco , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/20

    What is San Francisco State University known for?

    San Francisco State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Anthropology
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    San Francisco State University Sociology Major

    • BA Sociology

    Source

  13. #17

    Vassar College

    Poughkeepsie , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/32

    What is Vassar College known for?

    Vassar College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Anthropology
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Physics
    • Philosophy
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

    Vassar College Sociology Major Subfields

    • Theory
    • Inequality and Difference
    • Culture
    • Social Justice
    • Policy
    • Globalization

    Source

  14. #18

    Haverford College

    Haverford , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

    What is Haverford College known for?

    Haverford College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Anthropology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    Haverford College Sociology Major Concentrations

    • Peace, Justice, and Human Rights
    • Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies
    • African and Africana Studies
    • Gender and Sexuality Studies

    Source

    REQUEST INFO
  15. #19

    United States Military Academy

    West Point , NY
    Other Rankings

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1270/27

    What is United States Military Academy known for?

    United States Military Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Law
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    United States Military Academy Sociology Majors

    • Sociology

    Source

  16. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    38%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    21K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1340/29

    What is California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo known for?

    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Sociology Major Concentrations

    • Criminal Justice
    • Individualized Study
    • Organizations
    • Social Services

    Source

  17. #22

    Reed College

    Portland , OR
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    42%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1422/32

    What is Reed College known for?

    Reed College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

    Reed College Sociology Major

    • Sociology

    Source

    REQUEST INFO
  18. #23

    Carleton College

    Northfield , MN
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1450/32

    What is Carleton College known for?

    Carleton College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Sociology
    • Philosophy
    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    Carleton College Sociology Major

    • Combined Major: Sociology and Anthropology (SOAN)

    Source

    REQUEST INFO
  19. #24

    Scripps College

    Claremont , CA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    35%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1411/31

    What is Scripps College known for?

    Scripps College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Biology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

    Scripps College Sociology Majors

    • Interdisciplinary Studies in Culture
    • Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality
    • Science, Technology, and Society

    Source

  20. #25

    Oberlin College

    Oberlin , OH
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    35%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1380/31

    What is Oberlin College known for?

    Oberlin College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Economics
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    Oberlin College Sociology Major

    • Sociology

    Source

Go to all Liberal Arts Colleges for Sociology programs

The Best Sociology Schools in Your State

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