Best Online Master’s Degrees in Sociology Programs: Guide to Online Programs for 2023

Best Online Master’s Degrees in Sociology Programs: Guide to Online Programs for 2023
Imed Bouchrika, Phd by Imed Bouchrika, Phd
Chief Data Scientist & Head of Content

Sociology is a discipline that understands how people interact with each other and their environment. It explores the connection between social phenomena, tracing patterns across societies to shed light on human behavior, major developments in history and culture, and contemporary life issues today.

In fact, sociology students are taught to tackle cultural problems, define industry trends, and create or enhance community initiatives with the help of research, statistics, and data analysis. To succeed in sociology, self-awareness, an inquisitive nature, problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, cultural competence, writing abilities, and excellent communication skills are a must.

Sociology is an inclusive field that sets off diverse career options, most especially for graduates with master’s degrees. Online master’s in sociology programs enable students to venture into education, healthcare, business, law, politics, and social services. Some common career prospects are educator, social and community service manager, market research analyst, and sociologist. Professionals in these fields generate an average yearly salary of $92,910, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. That salary is over twice the average yearly salary for all professions (Best Colleges, n.d.).

Take a deeper look at the general coursework, career possibilities, salary prospects, and admission requirements of the best online master’s degrees in sociology programs in this article.

Best Online Master’s in Sociology Programs Table of Contents

  1. Can you get a degree completely online?
  2. Will employers take my online degree seriously?
  3. Are online degrees recognized all over the world?
  4. Online vs. Traditional Master’s in Sociology Program
  5. How much does an online master’s in sociology program cost?
  6. What are the requirements of an online master’s in sociology program?
  7. Courses to Expect in Online Master’s in Sociology Programs
  8. Things to Look for in an Online Master’s in Sociology Program

Can you get a degree completely online?

Yes. College degrees, even master’s degrees, can be obtained completely online. The flexibility and convenience of online degree programs attract many students, and many schools now are responding to the demand.

Why American Students Are Choosing Online Studying

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Source: Bay Atlantic University, 2020

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Will employers take my online degree seriously?

Online degrees earned from reputable and accredited schools are not a cause of concern to most employees. They will most likely be more concerned with your achievements and work experiences than where you have obtained your degree. In fact, many of them find online degrees just as credible as traditional ones (Cromwelle, n.d.).

Are online degrees recognized all over the world?

Online degrees are changing education for the better all over the world. At the same time, the negative impression identified with them has remarkably plummeted. Hence, earning this type of degree is nothing to be ashamed of (Value Colleges, n.d.).

Online vs. Traditional Master’s in Sociology Program

Top online master’s degree in sociology programs mostly require 30 to 37 credits and lasts for about two years for students enrolled full-time. Accelerated program offerings from some schools can fast-track program completion in approximately 18 months. The culmination of many programs includes a final project, thesis, and/or an exam.

Core Curriculum

Master’s programs in sociology, whether on-campus or online, do not share a uniform curriculum. But some of them are composed of a core curriculum with noncompulsory electives or concentration options. These electives can be used by students to finish their chosen area of concentration.


Students personally attend a traditional master’s in sociology on given classroom venues and schedules. Virtually, they can attend classes via distance learning platforms and with no fixed schedules.

Way of Teaching

Online program teachers execute new approaches to make them as effective as campus teachers. Horizon Research Publishing Corporation, Figuera Pilar et al.’s 2019 article “Online Master’s Students’ Profile and Motives for Enrollment” addresses the profile and motives for students enrolled in online master’s degrees. It begins by describing how online education has transformed education itself, teaching methodologies, students, and professors. “Professors need to adapt to a new online learning setting and new ways of interacting with students. They can find this challenging given the need to provide timely responses (speed of interaction), the content of those communications (personable tone, intelligibility…), and adjusting to each student’s pace (given the far greater personalization of the learning experience).”

Is an online degree cheaper?

Master’s degree costs depend on your chosen degree, its program length, school, and whether you are an in-state or out-of-state resident. As a rule, public schools offer cheaper degree costs than private ones, especially if you are paying in your state. However, many schools now offer flat tuition costs for online learners no matter where they live (OnlineU, 2021.).

Is an online degree as good as a regular degree?

Holding an online degree can be no less difficult and fulfilling than holding a regular degree. Similar academic programs and instructors are often available to both types of degrees. The piece of paper you will obtain upon graduation is also the same as the one regular degree-holders have. Most importantly, you will have the same career opportunities as them (Schedler, n.d.).

How much does an online master’s in sociology program cost?

The average yearly tuition rate for a master’s degree is $10,448 at public schools and $11,475 at private schools (OnlineU, 2021). Its online counterpart has a tuition range of $8,000 to $20,000, which can vary based on program and residency (Grad School Hub, Welding, 2021). Considering these figures, this degree can be considered as one of the most affordable online master’s degrees.

Is an online master’s in sociology program worth it?

Today’s new generation of social interaction, relationships, and culture is orchestrated and morphed by the media, internet, and government. This phenomenon brings more diversity, challenges, and excitement to entry-level sociology positions (GetEducated, n.d.).

Graduate studies do not just increase your salary range compared to those who do not have an advanced sociology degree, they also increase your knowledge and expertise and let you choose specialty areas. With a master’s in sociology, you can become a sociologist, market research analyst, survey researcher, social and community manager, or educator. Furthermore, you can pursue further studies by choosing from the selection of relevant PhD degrees.

The BLS reports that sociologists take home an average yearly salary of $92,910. The BLS also expects an 18% growth for market research analyst jobs from 2019 to 2029.

There is a 17% expected growth rate for social and community service managerial jobs as well (Best Colleges, 2021).

Source: Data USA

What are the requirements of an online master’s in sociology program?

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree, with a minimum number of required credits in sociology or a relevant field
  • Transcripts
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Standardized test scores

General Requirements

  • Application and application fee
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores
  • Professional experience
  • Recommendation letters
  • Personal essay

What are the technological requirements of students for online learning?

Internet access and owning a computer or laptop are two of the most basic online learning requirements. Technology proficiency, such as using email, internet browsing, online researching, downloading and installing software, knowledge of browser plug-ins, and knowledge of file formats would be also of utmost importance. Some schools may even set standards for hardware and software (GrandValley State University, n.d.).

Courses to Expect in Online Master’s in Sociology Program

  • Sociological Theory. This course centers on sociological theory’s three stages of inquiry. Macro-level analysis studies trends and issues in society like justice, equality, diversity, and globalism. Meso-level analysis examines groups and their relationships. Micro-level analysis investigates individuals.
  • Applied Sociological Research Methods. This course focuses on the basic principles and approaches of social research. It also investigates ethical issues related to qualitative and quantitative research.
  • Social Statistics. This course teaches students about statistical methods and designs used to interpret survey data. Strategies include descriptive statistics, plus inferential statistics.
  • Social Psychology. This course teaches students about behavioral principles. Topics are emotions, gender, race, identity, status, mental health, and deviance. Students will also delve into persuasion and its effects and the social factors affecting behavior.
  • Social Science Data Analysis. This course explores the different sources accessible to social science research. Topics are simple univariate distributional statistics and bivariate regression and correlation.

Source:, 2021

Things to Look for in an Online Master’s in Sociology Program

Enrolling in an online master’s in sociology program is indeed an exciting first phase in your academic and professional journey, but do not get too overwhelmed by the broad range of options available to you. Featured below are some important factors to account for (OnlineU, 2021).


Accreditation signals that a school holds quality standards pertaining to education, faculty credentials, and student learning results. The Council for Higher Education (CHEA) accredits schools and programs. Meanwhile, the Commission on the Accreditation of Programs in Applied and Clinical Sociology specifically accredits sociology programs.


Common concentrations in online master’s degree in sociology programs are education, healthcare, digital media, social services, chemical dependency, and criminology.

Scholarships, Grants, and Financial Aid

Look for a university that offers financial assistance to sociology students. Many associations and organizations also have these offerings, even for graduate students.

Sociology: Making the World a Better Place

Sociology is at the core of all that binds a society as one—culture, religion, politics, and ecology. Understanding all of these and how they affect humans and the world is an endeavor where sociologists thrive.

Sociology is responsible for many significant reforms, including equal opportunity for women, better treatment for persons with mental handicaps or learning difficulties, improved ease of access and accommodations for persons with physical disabilities, the right of indigenous tribes to land and culture preservation, and prison system improvement (Lumen Learning, n.d.).

Since then until now, sociologists continue to answer our most complicated questions about life and make this world a better place for everyone and for generations to come.



  1. Akenberger, J. (2020, September 10). What You Can Do With a Master’s Degree in Sociology. Career Karma.
  2. Cromwelle, J. (n.d.). Accelerated Sociology Degree Online [2021 Guide]. My Degree Guide.
  3. Figuera, P., Juan, L., & Robert-Gueran, V. (2019). Online Master’s Students’ Profile and Motives for Enrollment. Horizon Research Publishing Corporation.
  4. GetEducated. (n.d.). The 28 Most Affordable Master’s in Sociology Online. GetEducated.
  5. GrandValley State University. (n.d.). Technology Requirements for Online/Hybrid Courses. GrandValley State University.
  6. Lumen Learning. (n.d.). Why Study Sociology? Lumen Learning.
  7. The BestColleges Rankings Team. (2021, January 25). Best Online Master’s in Sociology Programs. Best Colleges.
  8. Online Schools Report. (n.d.). Best Online Master’s Degrees in Sociology. Online Schools Report.
  9. OnlineU Team. (2021, April 13). Most Affordable Online Master’s Program. OnlineU.
  10. Value Colleges (n.d.). Will My Diploma Say I Got My Degree Online? Value Colleges.
  11. Welding, L. (2021, June 30). The Top 5 Affordable Online Master’s in Sociology Degrees of 2021. Grad School Hub.

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