Best Undergraduate Sociology Program

Selecting the right undergraduate sociology program is pivotal in shaping one’s understanding of human behavior and societal dynamics. Aspiring sociologists seek institutions that blend academic rigor with a comprehensive curriculum, fostering critical thinking and analytical skills. The best programs delve into classical and contemporary sociological theories and provide hands-on experiences, encouraging students to apply their knowledge in real-world settings. 

This introduction sets the stage for exploring the criteria that distinguish top-tier undergraduate sociology programs, guiding prospective students toward institutions that offer a robust foundation for their academic and professional journey.

Best Undergraduate Sociology Program

Here are the top undergraduate sociology programs:

1. University of Chicago in I.L.

The University of Chicago’s graduate sociology programs secured the 8th position nationally in 2017, while the university achieved the remarkable third spot as a national institution in 2019, per U.S. News & World Report rankings. It was established in 1892, and the university has the oldest sociology department in the United States. It has been published in the American Journal of Sociology since 1895. 

The sociology department provides students access to various resources, like the Survey Lab, and others. The Ogburn/Stouffer Center encompasses demography, the economics of aging, data research and development, poverty research, gender studies, and health and social sciences. 

The department offers degrees at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Master of Arts in Sociology, and Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology, respectively.

2. University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

In 2019, the University of Michigan shared the 27th position as a national university, while its sociology graduate program claimed the top spot in 2017, as reported by U.S. News & World Report. Within the sociology department, undergraduates have diverse opportunities, including engagement in research, internships, an honors program, and Project Community fieldwork—a service learning initiative for academic credit. 

The Sociology Undergraduate Research Opportunity program facilitates student involvement in ongoing projects. The Rackham Graduate School’s Department of Sociology offers a choice of eight concentration fields or the flexibility to collaborate with faculty on a personalized program. The International Institute supports international and area studies research, and the Institute for Social Research aids academic researchers, including sociologists, with survey methodology and study design. 

The degrees available encompass 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, and Ph.D. in Public Policy and Sociology.

3. University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill

In 2017, UNC earned the sixth position in sociology, as per U.S. News & World Report, while it shared the 30th spot among national universities in 2019. UNC’s Department of Sociology oversees and manages Social Forces, a prominent sociology journal. The department maintains close ties with the Carolina Population Center and the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science. 

The Odum Institute, equipped with a computer lab and supported by the University Computation Center, provides valuable research assistance to students. The department offers graduate concentrations and caters to 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. 

UNC provides academic pathways for students to earn degrees such as Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Bachelor of Arts in Management and Society, Master of Arts in Sociology, and Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology.

4. West Texas A&M University

Established in 1910, West Texas A&M University has earned accolades for safety, ranking as Texas’ safest and among the nation’s top 10 by Offering 60 undergraduate programs, WTAMU features a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in sociology, providing diverse opportunities for exploration and talent development. Both degrees comprise 122 credit hours, with core curriculum courses and major requirements. The B.A. includes foreign language credits, while the B.S. involves science and math credits. 

Sociology courses delve into topics like the role of sociological theory in understanding social issues and the impact of culture on social relations. Available on campus with some online options, the program opens doors to careers in health services, publishing, journalism, public relations, government, business, teaching, social services, and community work. 

5. Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus

As the largest regional comprehensive university in the state, Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) provides a diverse academic landscape with over 60 programs. Embodying the ethos of “Explore. Experience. Excel.” ENMU emphasizes top notch learning in the classroom and beyond. The university offers adaptable Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) programs in sociology, available in face-to-face, online, or hybrid formats. 

These programs delve into sociological theory, movements, institutions, and stratifications, addressing class, race, and gender-based inequalities. With a focus on upper-division courses like Social Stratifications, Social and Cultural Change, and Sociology of the Family, students, whether online or on campus, benefit from resources such as the ENMU Writing Center, tutoring services, and the Golden Student Success Center. 

Graduates are well-prepared for diverse careers in business, government, education, human services, and the non-profit sector, with ENMU’s Counseling and Career Services providing complimentary job placement assistance to all students.

6. Brigham Young University-Provo

Brigham Young University (BYU), a private institution founded by the Church of Latter-Day Saints, is a highly acclaimed school, notably recognized as the No. 1 Best in the West for student engagement by the Wall Street Journal. BYU currently hosts over 33,500 students, offering many academic programs exceeding 400 options. 

The Bachelor of Science in Sociology at BYU-Provo equips students to analyze research, draw conclusions, and address social problems, serving as a valuable foundation for further graduate studies. 

Alongside a general education core, students take at least 24 credits in sociology courses like Current Social Problems, Multicultural America, and Sociology of Gender. 

Completing a senior capstone or persuasive writing course and 18 credits in electives enhances the program. BYU-Provo extends dynamic internships and study abroad opportunities to bring sociology knowledge to life. Graduates emerge with a robust sociological perspective on diversity and research, well-prepared for careers or advanced studies.


Selecting the best undergraduate sociology program is pivotal in shaping a profound understanding of societal complexities. The programs highlighted exemplify a commitment to academic excellence, offering diverse curricula, hands-on experiences, and opportunities for real-world application. 

Whether it’s the historical prestige of institutions like the University of Chicago, the comprehensive approach of the University of Michigan, or the flexibility provided by West Texas A&M University and Eastern New Mexico University, each program equips students with essential sociological insights. 

Ultimately, the best program aligns with individual goals, fostering critical thinking and preparing students for impactful contributions from research and academia to business and social services.

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