Online Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology

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Solving society’s complex challenges calls for qualified and compassionate problem-solvers.

That’s why we’ve designed our online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology for individuals who are brave enough to believe they can create a better world. Courses in this 100% online program cover current events to stimulate discussion and timely reflection on modern societal challenges. Three concentrations — Social Work, Social Justice, and Criminology — let you tailor your education to fit your career interests and goals, allowing you to maximize your personal and professional satisfaction as you make a lasting impact on people and communities.

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Why Earn Your Online Sociology Degree?

Sociology deals with contemporary issues facing communities and organizations, and it offers careers in every industry. Today’s employers seek critical thinkers who are versatile in addressing complex challenges. Our career focus and emphasis on these in-demand skills truly set our online sociology degree apart.

Our bachelor’s degree in sociology is designed to give you options. You’re encouraged to choose courses that matter to you personally and professionally. Our curriculum covers a broad range of topics, such as community responsibility, mental illness, human sexuality, juvenile delinquency, terrorism, race, ethnicity, and crime. Additionally, your experience is further enriched by an opportunity to get involved in research projects tailored to your areas of interests.

Flexible, affordable, customizable

100% online coursework.
No campus visits required.

Research and
Complete your senior seminar in an area that interests you.

Supportive faculty.
Engage with expert faculty to help you connect the curriculum with your career vision.

A respected school.
Join Maryville University, which ranks among Forbes’ “America’s Top Colleges” and the best values in private colleges by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

What Can You Do with an Online Sociology Degree?

A sociology major can prepare you to pursue a wide range of job opportunities in human, social, and community services. Your online bachelor’s degree in sociology from Maryville can launch a career trajectory that takes you to the top of a nonprofit organization, or it can serve as a foundational step toward starting your own private practice. Our comprehensive degree program can give you the skills and knowledge to grow your career in any number of directions.

Should you wish to take your education further and pursue a graduate degree, our online sociology degree paves the way for you to enroll in a variety of Maryville master’s programs, including our Master of Health Administration, Master of Arts in Management and Leadership, and Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership.

Online Sociology Degree Career Paths

An online bachelor’s degree in sociology can help you build the knowledge and experience to pursue careers including:


You can work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Child welfare or human service agencies
  • Community centers
  • Community development organizations
  • Community schools
  • Government agencies
  • Hospitals or health organizations
  • Law firms
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Private practices
  • Research centers

What Is the Typical Sociology Salary?

With your online sociology degree, you can build a foundation to pursue careers with median salaries such as:

Social service specialist


Community service manager



Substance abuse/behavioral disorder counselor



Crime victim advocate


Admission counselor


Adoption specialist


*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020; **, December 2021

What Is the Market Outlook for Graduates with an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology?

Rapid job growth.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the employment of community and social service professionals to grow 12% by 2030, faster than the average. It also projects strong growth for professionals such as substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors (23%), social and community service managers (15%), and social and human service assistants (17%).

Increased earnings in government.

Workers in government report higher median earnings than many outside of government. While salaries vary depending on factors such as experience and location, BLS data indicates median pay from local governments is higher for positions like social/community service manager ($87,720), probation officer ($59,690), and substance abuse/behavioral disorder counselor ($54,070).

Demand for senior services and treatment.

The BLS reports that a growing elderly population is a large factor driving job growth for social and community service managers. Additionally, the demand for narcotics-related treatment and services is on the rise as drug offenders are increasingly sentenced to treatment instead of jail time. Our online sociology degree lets you customize your coursework so you can prepare to provide these social services and more.

Why Choose Maryville University’s Online Sociology Degree Program?

At Maryville, our online sociology degree prepares you for a career path that aligns with your passion. Our courses cover current real-world topics that often spark new areas of interest. Each concentration is uniquely designed to guide you into different areas of opportunity. The ultimate goal of our curriculum is to help you learn and grow in ways that are relevant to what you want to do next.

This bachelor’s program offers a distinct focus on enhancing your research skills and improving your application of scientific methodology. Graduates learn to assess research, think critically, conduct meaningful data analysis, and accurately convey findings — all of which give you the potential to change perceptions and powerfully impact worldviews.

We’re recognized for excellence:

Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission
Forbes America's Top Colleges
Kiplinger Best College Values
Money's Best Colleges

Insights from Our Faculty

Dr. Kent Bausman Professor of Sociology

Meet Kent Bausman.

Meet Kent Bausman.

Dr. Kent Bausman has served as a leader in Maryville University’s sociology program for nearly 20 years, sharing a seasoned perspective based on extensive research published in top peer-reviewed journals. He has also served as a media authority on social issues, providing critical commentary on social problems such as child abduction and crime control.

Professor of Sociology

  • PhD, Sociology, Kansas State University
  • MS, Sociology, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • BA, Sociology, University of Oklahoma

At Maryville University, Dr. Bausman is a shining example of how our faculty supports the next generation of sociology majors. His research digs deeper into challenging issues, from examining right-to-work legislation to investigating mass shootings. As you begin your research into issues that move you, Dr. Bausman’s experience will guide you.

Dr. Bausman brings passion and dedication to his online courses, driving innovation in curriculum development and ensuring your sociology courses are relevant, rigorous, and engaging. With his long history of helping students advance as sociology experts, he remains a key resource for Maryville students who wish to communicate new ideas effectively and help drive progress in any area.

We asked Dr. Bausman for his thoughts on the online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology program and recent trends in the sociology field. Here’s what he had to say:

  • Social inequality. Social inequality, while consistently a theme of interest within the academic discipline, is trending anew with increased emphasis on the social inequalities across gender, race and ethnicity, and sexual orientation. In response, the online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology program has made a point to establish a concentration of study within the major that focuses on social justice. The Social Justice concentration involves a culmination of coursework that examines the social history and experiences of underrepresented groups. From the Social Justice concentration, students learn about the intersection of social identities within society and across a variety of social institutions. These understandings add to a student’s comprehension of social inequality’s sources, consequences, and possible solutions.
  • Criminology. Historically, the sociology degree program at Maryville has maintained a focus on understanding the social contributions and consequences of crime. In fact, the sociology program, with its considerable course offerings linked to the understanding of crime, led to the establishment of Maryville’s popular criminology/criminal justice program. The sociology program also maintains a Criminology concentration. This is for students who are interested in an exploration of crime and deviance broadly, rather than solely from the bureaucratic/criminal justice perspective. These students typically seek career pursuits outside of law enforcement but within proximity of criminal justice agencies such as the courts, correctional services, and victim advocacy and support organizations.
  • Economic Inequality. Finally, the sociology program has been developing a focus on the sources and consequences of economic inequality within the United States. The program was critical to the development of a new multidisciplinary University Honors course that examines the social issue of poverty from a variety of perspectives, as well as a course exploring the U.S. class structure. Both these regularly offered courses tap into the growing public interest on the impacts of social class and income/wealth inequality.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology Curriculum

The  online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology gives you control over selecting your sociology courses so you can tailor your studies to support your career interests and goals.

Choose your track:

Build your sociology degree across many disciplines.

Focus on criminal justice and learn to help address criminal and violent activity in your community.

Social Justice
Study social issues and mental illness and seek community solutions.

Social Work
Prepare to become a vital resource for families and individuals.

What’s the Difference Between a Sociology Degree and a Psychology Degree?

As you consider pursuing an online degree in sociology, you may wonder: What is the difference between a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a bachelor’s degree in psychology?

Both fields seek to understand human behavior. The difference is in their focus. Psychology focuses on the individual, on the mental processes that drive a person’s behavior. Meanwhile, sociology focuses on collective groups of people. It seeks to understand society and how human action and consciousness both shape and are shaped by societal beliefs and structures — from family and religion to beliefs about health, crime, poverty, education, race, and more.

Which field is right for you? Look to the potential career paths in each discipline and let your interests be your guide.

Should you choose sociology, Maryville’s online sociology degree offers the flexibility to select from several concentrations and tailor your research projects to fit the way you want to serve society. Or, if psychology is your preference, offer an online bachelor’s degree in psychology that blends the biological, clinical, and social aspects of the field to bring you a comprehensive understanding of contemporary psychology you can apply to a wide range of careers.

Shape Your Path to Lead Social Change

Earning your bachelor’s degree in sociology can take your career in many directions. As you advance, new opportunities may inspire you to initiate change and extend your authority in areas such as public health, senior services, data management, nonprofit management, and academic leadership.

At Maryville, your sociology degree can qualify you for Early Access to graduate degree programs in health administration, management and leadership, and more.

When you’re ready to take your education even further, consider these online graduate program options:

Master of Health Administration, with your choice of four concentrations: Data Management, Healthcare Strategies, Population Management, or Senior Services.

Master of Arts in Management and Leadership, with options to customize the degree to your area of interest.

Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership, with a highly customizable curriculum and opportunities to pursue valuable industry certifications.

Leap Ahead with Early Access

At Maryville University, you can get a head start on your graduate degree while earning your bachelor’s in sociology through our Early Access program.

With Early Access, you can earn up to 12 credits that count toward your master’s degree and your bachelor’s degree at the same time. Credits you earn through Early Access are charged at the undergraduate tuition rate, meaning you can save time and money on your graduate education.

To qualify for Early Access, you must be a current Maryville undergraduate student and have completed at least 75 credit hours with a GPA of 3.25 or better. If you qualify and have not yet completed your elective requirements, we invite you to contact your academic advisor to explore Early Access and learn more about our exciting online graduate programs in cybersecurity, data science, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Completing your online bachelor’s in sociology degree can help you build a better understanding of the complex social systems that shape our lives — and prepare you to create positive change for communities large and small.

Popular careers for Maryville sociology graduates include community service manager, family support worker, social researcher, substance abuse counselor, and probation officer.

Find out more about Bachelor of Arts in Sociology careers.

Learn more about the online bachelor’s degree in sociology at Maryville University.