Online Associate's Degree in Sociology: Program Info

Dec 04, 2019

Essential Information

Sociology is a field where students research and analyze human interpersonal relationships and behaviors. Online associate's degree programs in this field are primarily offered as an Associate of Arts in Sociology. Graduates of a sociology program can work as case workers, youth services associates or advocates. Students could also consider online associate's degree programs in psychology, which offer sociology courses.

Associate's degree programs in sociology are available in a fully online format. These degree programs prepare graduates for entry-level work in social service positions. Applicants must have a GED or high school diploma.

Associate's Degree in Sociology

Sociology is the study of human behavior, interactions and relationships. Sociology students at the associate's degree level can expect to learn about family and social dynamics, social norms and deviant behavior. Students in these programs learn how to identify different behaviors and social structures, as well as assist individuals and groups.

Students will need a high school diploma or GED equivalent to enter these sociology degree programs. Associate's degree programs in psychology are also available in online formats and provide similar prerequisites and coursework.

Information and Requirements

Online sociology associate's degree programs typically take two years to complete and consist of general, liberal arts studies and sociology-focused coursework. The number of sociology courses in these programs varies, but of the average 60-credit hours required for the degree the majority is spent on general education courses. Students can typically expect to take from 4-6 sociology courses.

All coursework in these programs is delivered online and by email. Students must also participate in online discussion forums. Aside from basic software applications, there are no special computer requirements.

Common Sociology Courses

Sociology coursework investigates the dynamics of personal interactions and social groups worldwide, deviant behaviors and the management of such behavior through punishment or counseling. Students will gain a foundation in sociology that they can apply to entry-level careers or in bachelor's degree sociology programs.


Sociologists measure and predict trends in human behavior, making knowledge of traditional mathematical calculations an essential component in any sociology program. A basic sociology statistics course introduces students to gathering data and the basic calculations used in comparing, summarizing and analyzing that data.

Deviant Behavior

This course introduces students to the definitions of human behavior identified as unacceptable by different cultures worldwide. The development and causes of alcohol and drug abuse, criminal behavior and antisocial activities are investigated. Students also learn about and analyze the success of the responses to deviant behavior.

Family Dynamics

Students in this course investigate courtship, marital roles, family models and dynamics, the breakup of relationships and human sexuality in families. Abnormal and normal family structures are analyzed for the benefits and drawbacks they offer individuals.

Alcohol and Drug Abuse

This course investigates the causes and social impact of alcohol and drug abuse. Students also learn the theories, definitions and models of treatment in chemical addiction and dependency.

Career Information

Graduates of an associate's degree program in sociology can find employment as a social service assistant in positions such as a case worker for the elderly or disabled, youth counselor, community outreach worker or court advocate. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most social service assistants work for individual and family services (

The BLS anticipates demand for these positions to increase 13%, much faster than the average for all occupations, during the 2018-2028 decade. As of May 2018, the average salary for a social and human service assistant was $35,830. Social service assistants who worked in government earned approximately $7,000 more per year, an average of $42,200, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education Information

There are no universal continuing education or licensure requirements to work as a social service assistant. However, some states may require periodic courses for employees in this field. These requirements would differ depending on the position and employer.

A student may also choose to continue his or her sociology studies and earn an online Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Sociology. Graduates of the online associate's degree program can complete a bachelor's degree with only an additional two years of study, which include general education and sociology classes.

Online associate's degree programs in sociology educate students in personal interactions and social groups, as well as how to identify behaviors and social structures. These programs are offered in a completely online format and utilize discussion forums and e-mail.

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