Why This Matters


    Sociology gives you a solid grounding in qualitative and quantitative research that’s helpful in many different settings. Sociologists work in public relations, human resources, community development, rehabilitation counseling, probation programs, and many other settings.


    The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts 4% job growth for sociologists between 2019 and 2029. These additional jobs don’t include the many other fields where sociologists work, many of which are also growing.


    The median annual salary for sociologists who have at least a master’s degree is $83,420. In comparison, graduates who have a bachelor’s degree in sociology earn an average salary of $60,644.

Our Research

We looked at many Master’s in Sociology degrees, including both Master of Science (MS) and Master of Arts (MA) degrees. Our list covers traditional, online, and hybrid options, although online programs might have a brief in-person component.

All of the listed programs are regionally accredited, and many also have national accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Accreditation helps ensure the quality of a degree program.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 52 hours to write this article
  • 201 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 255 education programs we compared

The Top 45 Master’s in Sociology Degree Programs

Master's in Sociology Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Sociology is a research-heavy field that looks at social behaviors and societies in different contexts. Because the field is multi-faceted, sociologists can work in many different areas.

The number of sociologists who end up working in sociology proper, however, is fairly small. Even though the field is growing 4%, there were only 3,200 proper sociology jobs in 2019. That number should increase to 3,300 by 2029. This small number of jobs makes for a competitive job market, and it’s why many sociology graduates find employment in other fields.

Depending on what your ultimate goals are within sociology, you may need a doctoral degree in advanced research. Some sociology positions are only available to applicants who have PhDs, even though other positions require only a master’s. If you ultimately do need a PhD, a master’s can serve as a stepping-stone toward a doctoral program.

Many online programs can be completed largely over the internet, but they may have a brief in-person component. Find out whether a program has any such component, and make sure your schedule will let you complete this portion of a program if there is an in-person requirement.

What’s Next?

Here are a couple of questions to help you further evaluate different Master’s in Sociology degrees:

  • Am I eligible for this program? These degree programs generally require a bachelor’s degree, but that degree doesn’t necessarily have to be in sociology. Some programs may have additional requirements that you take an entrance exam or demonstrate research capabilities.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most of these degrees require 30 credits of work, although a few are slightly longer. Students usually complete 30 credits in two years if they study full-time.

Once you’ve identified potential programs, find out what their application process entails. Research the required application materials and deadlines. You can get this information from a program’s website or by contacting the admissions office directly.

Also give consideration to how you’ll pay for a degree. Ask programs about their financial aid and scholarships. If you’re working, you can also ask your employer about any available tuition reimbursement benefits.