What Are the Best Schools for Sociology?

Learn about three top-ranked schools with sociology programs, and check their national rankings. Find out what kinds of sociology degrees each school offers. Get info on what you should look for when selecting a school with a strong sociology program. Schools offering Sociology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some Characteristics of Top Sociology Schools?

You'll probably want to know if the school's areas of concentration match your goals. For example, if you are particularly interested in studying the impacts of sociology on race, you should search out a school program that offers that concentration within its sociology department. High rankings and research institutes that align with your specific interests could signal a quality opportunity. You may want undergraduate and graduate research options or the opportunity to travel abroad.

What Are Three of the Best Schools for Sociology?

University of Chicago in IL

UC's graduate sociology programs tied for 8th in the nation in 2017, while the school itself tied for third as a national university in 2019, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings. Founded in 1892, the school's sociology department is the oldest in the United States has published the American Journal of Sociology since 1895. Students in the department can access resources of the Alfred P. Sloan Center on Parents, Children and Work, the Survey Lab and the William F. Ogburn and Samuel A. Stouffer Center for the Study of Population and Social Organization. The Ogburn/Stouffer Center includes components for demography and the economics of aging, data research and development, poverty research, gender studies and health and social sciences. These degrees are offered:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
  • Master of Arts in Sociology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology

University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

UM tied as the 27th-ranked national university in 2019, and its sociology graduate program tied for first in 2017, according to U.S. News & World Report. Majors may participate in research, internships, an honors program and Project Community fieldwork, a service learning opportunity for credit. The Sociology Undergraduate Research Opportunity program connects students with active projects. The Rackham Graduate School's Department of Sociology offers eight fields of concentration, or the option to work with faculty on an individualized program. The International Institute facilitates research and programming in international and area studies, while the Institute for Social Research helps sociological and other academic researchers with survey methodology and study design. These degrees are available:

  • Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Sociology
  • Ph.D. in Sociology
  • Ph.D. in Social Work and Sociology
  • Ph.D. in Sociology and Women's Studies
  • Ph.D. in Public Policy and Sociology

University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill

U.S. News & World Report ranked UNC sixth for sociology in 2017, and UNC tied for 30th among national universities in 2019. The Department of Sociology hosts and edits Social Forces, a sociology journal. The Department is closely affiliated with the Carolina Population Center and the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science. Odum's computer lab and the University Computation Center offer research support to students. The department provides graduate concentrations to its master's and Ph.D. candidates in cultural and political sociology, research methods and social statistics, stratification and complex organizations and labor force and industrial relations. Students can earn these degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Management and Society
  • Master of Arts in Sociology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology

More Top Sociology Schools

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Undergrad In-State Tuition*
Princeton University4-year, Private Princeton, NJ $50,000
University of California-Berkeley4-year, Public Berkeley, CA $14,000
University of Wisconsin-Madison4-year, Public Madison, WI $10,000
Stanford University4-year, Private Stanford, CA $51,000
Harvard University4-year, Private Cambridge, MA $50,000
University of California-Los Angeles 4-year, Public Los Angeles, CA $13,000
Northwestern University4-year, Private Evanston, IL $54,000
University of Pennsylvania4-year, Private Philadelphia, PA$55,000
Columbia University4-year, Private New York, NY $59,000
Indiana University-Bloomington4-year, Public Bloomington, IN $10,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

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