Online Sociology Degree Overview

Build skills to identify and solve social problems impacting societies around the world. The study of sociology helps you understand social processes and issues, from public health crises to social justice movements.

The fully online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver will help you understand theories of sociology and build skills to advocate for the communities where you live and work.

You’ll learn to:

  • Build a strong knowledge base of sociological theories and concepts
  • Value the role of research methods for helping you advance understanding and change
  • Develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Find and use sociological literature and evidence to communicate effectively
  • Reduce social problems and promote social justice
  • Understand different points of view and backgrounds, including ethnic and racial heritage, socioeconomic status, gender expression, sexualities, physical capabilities, age, citizenship, and belief systems

Sociology bachelor’s degrees can help you work toward a wide range of career paths, from entry-level positions to advanced occupations that may require a master’s or doctoral degree. People with bachelor’s degrees in sociology often find work in government, non-profit organizations, criminal justice systems, educational institutions, social welfare organizations, and research institutes. With an advanced degree, you can pursue certain counseling positions, management, research, and health services.

Program at a Glance

Degree Program:

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology

Offered By:

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Cost Per Credit:


* To get this rate, students must elect College Opportunity Fund (COF)

Cost Per Credit:


Credit Hours:


Online BA Sociology Program Details

The 120-credit-hour fully online Bachelor of Arts in Sociology focuses on social relations, interactions, and institutions. Its core courses will give you an introduction to topics like inequality, criminal deviance, sex and gender, self and identities, and more. The knowledge and skills you will build are widely applicable to many industries and occupational settings, and you’ll be prepared to transition into a master’s program should you choose.

Analyze the problems facing modern society. Examine the perspectives and systems impacting child welfare, community development, healthcare, and government agencies. Learn to advocate for people and bring positive change to your community. While you build important soft skills like critical thinking, communication, and time management, this sociology program also helps you apply theories, concepts, and research methods to real-world jobs, both within social work and in the greater marketplace.

Many industries can benefit from the study of social behavior, human groups, and social institutions, and you can maximize your time by applying what you learn to your current job setting.

The BA in Sociology program is taught by faculty from our Denver campus. That means you’re receiving the same high quality curriculum and instruction as students on campus. It is also offered asynchronously, meaning there are no set sign-in times, and you can complete your coursework at the best time of day and place for you.

With a passion for social justice underlying my decision to pursue a career in the law, I determined that the sociology program at CU Denver met my needs. What I found were instructors who are not only accomplished in their field, but who are genuinely committed to the success of their students.

Tim Binns | CU Denver Alumnus

Sociology Degree Specializations

The BA in Sociology courses cover the basics of sociology as well as a number of focal areas. Students can also choose to complete one of three specialized certificates based on their interests or career plans:

  • Families & Social Welfare
  • Criminology
  • Sociology of Health & Medicine

Award of a certificate is noted on the student’s transcript immediately upon its completion, even if the student is still working toward the BA degree.

Sociology Bachelor's Degree Curriculum Overview

The BA in Sociology requires 120 credits, 32 of which come from required sociology courses. The remainder of the coursework comes from CU Denver requirements, including mathematics and writing competencies. Of the 32 sociology credits, at least 16 must be in upper-division, 3000- or 4000-level courses. In order to graduate with a BA, students must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in their sociology courses.

Required Courses

The following courses are required. In addition, students will choose from 12 credit hours of elective courses.

  • SOCY 1001 - Understanding the Social World (previously Introduction to Sociology) (3 credits)
  • SOCY 2001 - Inequalities in the Social World (3 credits)
  • SOCY 3119 - Qualitative Methods (4 credits)
  • SOCY 3115 - Quantitative Methods & Analysis (4 credits)
  • SOCY 3140 - Sociological Theory (3 credits)
  • SOCY 4830 - Senior Capstone: Worklife Practices & Policies (3 credits)

Sample Elective Courses

Factors involved in delinquent behavior. Problems of adjustment for delinquents, and factors in treatment and post-treatment adjustment. Major theories covered include strain theory, social learning theory, control theory, and labeling theory. Course also reviews methods for testing these theories.

Investigates the distribution of wealth, income, and economic power in the United States with a focus on social institutions and factors that shape inequality.

In this course, we will ask why inequality, crime, and police are unevenly spread across cities. We will examine why crime varies by neighborhood, whether place-based policing is racially biased, and why prisons are filled with people from just a few zip codes. We will study racial and economic segregation, gentrification, white flight, and suburbanization in the context of criminal justice. Spatial analysis is a growing field combining geography, sociology, and criminology. We will study it by reading cutting-edge researchers who use mapping, interviews, statistical analysis, and ethnography.

Sociology Career Data

The median annual wage for sociologists in the United States in May 2022 was $98,590, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); however, this figure varied depending on the industry context. The BLS listed these top industries and respective median annual wages for sociologists:

Scientific research and
development services

Educational services
(state, local, and private)

State government
(excluding education and hospitals)

Local government
(excluding education and hospitals)

What Can I Do with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology?

Sociology graduates can find career opportunities in a wide variety of industries and positions. Some graduates enter private practice as social workers with a specialty, such as substance abuse. Others choose to work for a company or state department as a case manager, family services worker, activity director, or another similar role. A sociology degree can also prepare you to pursue positions such as:

  • College or high school teacher
  • Policy analyst
  • Demographer
  • Survey researcher
  • Statistician

With knowledge and skills in criminology, sociology graduates can also take on positions working to analyze systems and populations in order to understand and reduce crime.

Continuing Your Education After a Bachelor’s in Sociology

After graduation, you can continue your education in an advanced degree in social work (Master of Social Work), which is required in order to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). Some leadership positions may also require a minimum of a Master of Social Work. The University of Colorado’s graduate programs can help you take steps toward an advanced career and impactful social work practice.

Tuition and Fees

At CU Denver, we strive to keep our tuition costs affordable so that you can get a world-class education that fits your budget. When you earn a degree, you’re not simply getting a diploma — you’re making a lifelong investment in yourself and empowering your future career. We know that affordability is an important factor, and that’s why we’re here to help you explore all of the options available to fund your education.

Our Enrollment TeamOur Enrollment Team can answer any of your questions about tuition and financial aid, help you take care of the paperwork, and make sure you’re able to focus on reaching your goals. From financial aid and scholarships to corporate tuition assistance programs, we’ll work with you to find the best way to finance your degree.

Application fees can vary based on the program, but there is typically a small fee that will be required upon submission of your application. Please reach out to an Enrollment Navigator for more information about any costs associated with your application.

You may be eligible to pursue scholarships intended for sociology students, such as the WJS Keep On Truckin’ Scholarship, the Ronna T. Winterton Scholarship, and other financial assistance opportunities.

Sociology Program Admissions Information

CU Denver’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) admissions requirements vary depending on your status as a first-time college student (freshman) or a transfer student.

Learn more about the online sociology program admissions process by contacting our Enrollment Teamcontacting our Enrollment Team today.

BA Sociology Program Completion Time

One of the main benefits of an exclusively online education is flexibility. You can take as many classes as you can fit into your schedule and complete the program at your speed. Though you can complete many of our undergraduate degrees in four years by taking a full course load, you also have the option of taking fewer credits and completing the program over more time.

After graduation, you’ll be able to immediately go to work in sociology-related fields.

Ariel photograph of University of Colorado Denver in the foreground and downtown Denver in the background. The image is darkened so that text can overlay the image.

Ready to get started?

Connect with our Enrollment Advisors to learn more about this in-demand online program and start your admissions process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Sociology graduates acquire competencies in research and data analysis, oral and written communication skills, social and cultural diversity, social problems, and team building skills. Sociology offers a great deal of professional flexibility for graduates. Undergraduate sociology programs produce well-rounded professionals who are ready to engage in several career paths, including graduate school.

There are several fields and jobs for sociology graduates. Below is a list of some general career paths for graduates with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

  • Social Welfare
  • Government
  • Teaching
  • Social Science Research
  • Public Relations
  • Criminal Justice
  • Healthcare
  • Human Resources and Business Entities
  • Veterans Services

Note that some career paths may require additional training, certification, or education to qualify for practice.

Students come to our sociology program with many different career goals, and our program is well-equipped to help graduates pursue their aspirations. The online program offers a great deal of flexibility, and the ideal student will be detail-oriented, organized and self-motivated to complete the coursework on their own.

CU Denver’s BA in Sociology can be completed at the same pace as any traditional undergraduate degree or at your own pace. That means a student with a full course load can expect to graduate in four years or sooner if they add Maymester and summer courses.

Many students choose to go on to graduate school to earn their Master of Social Work (MSW) in order to work in a clinical setting, or they may choose a different area of study. A Master of Social Work is required in order to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW).

Online learning will offer you the flexibility to study at the best place and time for you. You can choose a pace that is sustainable for your lifestyle, which can help you take into account your current career, family, and other commitments outside of school.

Additionally, our online programs are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus, which means you’re earning the same high quality degree as students on campus, and your diploma will not mention that your degree was earned online.