In this article, we list the top ranked and most affordable online master’s in sociology degree programs for 2017.

A master’s in sociology is designed to equip students with advanced knowledge and research skills needed to enter a PhD program or leadership role in the sociology field. Few online options are available from accredited and affordable institutions. However, some of the top-ranked colleges and universities offer online learning options to accommodate busy and working students.

Featured Programs

Methodology

We reviewed a total of 42 accredited institutions that offered an online master’s in sociology, social work, social science, or closely related program. This initial pool of schools was collected from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator. We then narrowed this group to only those colleges and universities with rankings from major publications like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, or U.S. News and World Report. From the resulting list we selected the most affordable schools based on in-state graduate tuition/fees published by NCES College Navigator. We listed our top 10 schools in order of affordability.

Below are the resulting selections for the top 10 most affordable online master’s in sociology degree programs.

#10 – University of the Rockies

Online Master’s in Public Sociology

Denver, Colorado

Website

university-of-the-rockies-online-masters-degree-programs-in-sociology

University of the Rockies offers an accredited online master’s in public sociology.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,398

Making our list of top online master’s in sociology degree programs, University of the Rockies is a ranked and accredited institution. Distance learning online sociology degrees at the graduate level give professionals the opportunity to earn advanced skills and knowledge in a flexible format. The program is entirely online and offers two areas of specialization–applied sociology and medical sociology. All classes are taught by faculty members with earned doctorates and recent experience practicing in the field. Online courses include applied research methods, cultural diversity and individual differences, and sociological theory. The University of the Rockies is accredited and ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

More information on the University of the Rockies

#9 – Virginia Commonwealth University

Online Master’s in Sociology

Richmond, Virginia

Website

virginia-commonwealth-online-masters-degree-programs-in-sociology

No thesis is required for the online master’s in sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,779

The accredited online master’s in sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University is designed for students interested in taking their newly acquired advanced skills and applying them directly to the workplace. The online applied option allows students to take courses in a flexible distance education format without having to complete a thesis. Online courses include applications of methods of social research, introduction to social statistics, methods of sociological research, sociological theory, and urban sociology. Virginia Commonwealth is ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 164th best national university in the country.

More information on Virginia Commonwealth University

#8 – California University of Pennsylvania

Online Master’s in Social Science Conflict Resolution

California, Pennsylvania

Website

california-university-of-pennsylvania-online-masters-degree-programs-in-sociology

California University of Pennsylvania offers an affordable option for studying sociology at the graduate level.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,707

One of the more affordable online sociology degrees on our list is from California University of Pennsylvania. This online sociology master’s degree program focuses on conflict and dispute resolution. The program is 100% online and consists of 30 credits to be completed in just five terms. The program is designed for working professionals and students who come directly from undergraduate social science programs. Courses include applied mediation and negotiation, conflict resolution theory, law and conflict resolution, and socio-cultural approaches to identity conflicts. The university is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the North.

More information on California University of Pennsylvania

#7 – Arizona State University

Online Master’s in Sociology

Tempe, Arizona

Website

arizona-state-university-online-masters-degree-programs-in-sociology

ASU’s online master’s in sociology is a top-ranked program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,304

Arizona State University offers an online master’s in sociology degree through the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics. The program consists of 30 credits that may be completed in 15-18 months. This non-thesis program is designed for professionals and those who have come directly from an undergraduate sociology program. All classes are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who regularly teach on the Tempe campus. ASU is ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 129th best national university in the country. Also, several of the school’s online graduate programs have earned top rankings.

More information on Arizona State University

#6 – Morehead State University

Online Master’s in Social Sciences

Morehead, Kentucky

Website

morehead-state-university-online-masters-degree-programs-in-sociology

Morehead State’s online master’s in social sciences has a non-thesis completion option.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,422

An alternative to traditional online sociology degrees is a master’s in social science. Morehead State University offers this flexible online master’s degree program that is designed to open career doors in areas of education, government, and the private sector. A thesis and non-thesis option is available. All courses are taken online and include global finance, rural culture and education, and perspectives and methodologies in prison-industrial complex. Morehead State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 72nd best regional university in the South and the 24th top public school. Also, several of the school’s online graduate programs have earned rankings.

More information on Morehead State University

#5 – Ohio University

Online Master of Social Sciences

Athens, Ohio

Website

ohio-university-online-masters-degree-programs-in-sociology

Ohio University’s online master’s in social science is for teachers.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,510

Ohio University’s sociology master’s online degree program combines social science studies and allows students to earn credentials to teach dual enrollment courses. Unlike other online sociology master’s degree programs, Ohio University’s master’s in social sciences is ideal for teachers. Online courses include crime and deviance, historical geography, legislative process, political parties, national security in the contemporary era, and US constitutional history. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as the 146th best national university and the 74th top public school in the country. Also, in the most recent edition of Best Colleges, several of the school’s online graduate programs have earned top rankings.

More information on Ohio University

#4 – South Dakota State University

Online Master’s in Sociology–Community Development

Brookings, South Dakota

Website

south-dakota-state-university-online-masters-degree-programs-in-sociology

The affordable online master’s in sociology from South Dakota State University focuses on community development.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,329

One of the most affordable sociology master’s online programs on our list is found at South Dakota State University. Four areas of specialty include building economic capacity, natural resource management, non-profit management, and working with native communities. Each area of specialty has a thesis, practicum, and additional elective courses that must be completed. All classes are delivered online and are taught by the same professors who teach on campus. Courses include community analysis, community and regional economic policy and analysis, organizing for community chance, orientation to community development study, and principles and strategies of community change. South Dakota State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report and offers one of the top online sociology master’s degree programs on our list.

More information South Dakota State University

#3 – Campbellsville University

Online Master’s in Social Work

Campbellsville, Kentucky

Website

campbellsville-university-online-masters-degree-programs-in-sociology

An alternative to the online master’s in sociology degree is an online social work master’s from Campbellsville University.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,058

An alternative to an online master’s in sociology is a master’s in social work. Campbellsville University offers this alternative to online sociology degrees and provides students with the skills needed to advance their social work career. All courses are delivered online and include advance practice with children and families, community development and grant writing, leadership and supervision in social work, practice and program research, psychotherapy, and world problems and advocacy. The full two-year program may be completed in as little as 20 months. Campbellsville is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 98th best regional university in the South.

More information on Campbellsville University

#2 – University of Alabama

Online Master’s in Sociology

Birmingham, Alabama

Website

university-of-alabama-online-masters-degree-programs-in-sociology

100% online! University of Alabama’s online master’s in sociology program is flexible and rigorous.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $7,340

University of Alabama offers an accredited sociology master’s online program through the school’s College of Arts and Sciences. This e-learning program is designed to equip students with disciplinary training that helps them excel in research to make a positive contribution to the field of sociology. All classes are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who teach at the Birmingham campus. A non-thesis track is available for students who do not wish to pursue a PhD program. University of Alabama is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 159th best national university and 83rd top public school. The online sociology master’s degree at U of A is one of the most affordable programs on our list.

More information on the University of Alabama

#1 – New Mexico State University

Online Master’s in Sociology

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Website

new-mexico-state-university-online-masters-degree-programs-in-sociology

New Mexico State University offers a top-ranked online master’s in sociology degree program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,941

New Mexico State University is our #1 pick for affordable online master’s in sociology degree programs. The school offers an online master’s to those who have completed their bachelor’s in sociology and want to earn an accredited sociology master’s online. Completion of the program typically takes two years, although students are given additional time as needed. All classes are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who teach on campus. Courses include advanced race and ethnic relations, advanced research methods, comparative global family systems, environmental sociology, population trends and analysis, sociology of medical ethics, and sociology of organizations. New Mexico State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national university and highly ranked public school. It is our most affordable online master’s degree program in sociology.

More information on New Mexico State University

This concludes our ranking of the top 10 most affordable online master’s in sociology degree programs for 2017.

GSH Staff
November 2016