Bachelor of Science (BS): Sociology Degree Overview

In a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Sociology program, students are introduced to a sociological perspective: a certain way of looking at the world, its societies, and the changes that take place. Learn about the common courses, prerequisites and career information.

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Essential Information

Students in B.S. programs engage in analytical discussion and studies of various social groups. Students might also have the opportunity to participate in internships or study-abroad programs related to sociological work. A B.S. in Sociology is a versatile degree that can be a useful tool for many wide-ranging career options in diverse fields, such as business or education.

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Bachelor of Science in Sociology

Individuals applying to a bachelor's degree program in sociology generally need a high school diploma or GED. Students can further prepare themselves by taking courses in government, sociology, English, and economics during high school. Students learn the conceptual tools of the discipline and study such broad areas such as demography, military sociology, social psychology, and political economies.

They might also concentrate on more specific societal issues, such as birth control, gangs, poverty, or domestic violence. Some topics sociology majors might encounter during their studies include:

  • Sociological theory and social movements
  • Research methods
  • Family and society
  • Health and illness
  • Mass media
  • Race and racism

Popular Career Options

A degree in sociology is versatile in the job market, since many careers draw on different aspects of sociology. Individuals with B.S. degrees in sociology can find employment as:

  • Correctional officers
  • Market researchers
  • Social work assistants
  • Caseworkers
  • Probation officers

Employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is available for numerous careers that require a bachelor's degree in sociology. From 2014-2024, employment of market research analysts is projected to grow at a much-faster-than-average rate of 19%, while social workers should see faster-than-average growth of 12%. Jobs for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists will grow by 4%.

The 2015 median annual salaries for market research analysts and probation officers were $62,150 and $49,360, respectively. The BLS divides social worker salary data into 4 professional specializations: mental health and substance abuse; child, family, and school; healthcare; and all other, for which the 2015 median annual salaries were $42,170, $42,350, $52,380, and $58,560 respectively.

Continuing Education Information

Students wishing to continue their education have the option to pursue a master's degree in sociology. Master's degree programs focus on quantitative and qualitative research, in addition to advanced studies of human behavior, relationships, and interactions. These programs can prepare students for careers at nonprofit foundations and government agencies or for additional studies in healthcare or law.

Students in a bachelor's degree program in sociology experience courses like research methods, family and society, and health and illness. Study abroad experiences and internships may also be available to prepare graduates for the numerous career paths available in social work.

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