University of Missouri-Columbia
Bachelor of arts
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Bachelor of arts

Harness your curiosity about human behavior and social interactions to pursue an online bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Missouri (Mizzou).

Sociologists examine the how and why of human habits and structures to understand one-on-one, group and community patterns. These observations help explain sources for individual fulfillment to cultural roles and practices to factors contributing to societal inequality. As a result, organizations seek out individuals well versed in sociology principles to conduct outreach efforts, authentically connect with customers and adapt initiatives to an increasingly diverse and globalized world. 

Top-ranked programs in two categories

Mizzou’s online bachelor's programs ranked among the nation’s finest in two U.S. News & World Report 2023 categories:

Best Online Programs U.S. News and World Report Bachelor's 2023 Badge.
Best Online Programs U.S. News and World Report Veterans Bachelor's 2023 Badge.

Quick facts

Official name

Bachelor of arts in sociology


University of Missouri-Columbia

Program type

Bachelor's degree

Academic home

College of Arts & Science | Department of Sociology

Delivery mode

100% online


Higher Learning Commission

Freshman credit hours


Freshman estimated cost


Transfer credit hours


Transfer estimated cost


*This cost is for illustrative purposes only. Your hours and costs will differ, depending on your transfer hours, your course choices and your academic progress. See more about tuition and financial aid.

Why earn an online bachelor’s in sociology?

Sociology emerged over a century ago as a discipline using the scientific method to study human behavior and the workings of societies. Today, sociologists strive to identify causes of contemporary human behavioral patterns and societal problems with history, widespread trends and social structures and use both qualitative and quantitative research to arrive at a conclusion.

Into the present, sociology has transformed into a tool for more accurately analyzing and determining the causes of broad-reaching community issues and structural inequality. These quantifiable findings then help encourage change through a number of channels. 

Whether you see yourself in academia, influencing public policy or helping organizations engage their audiences, Mizzou designed the online bachelor’s in sociology for independent-minded individuals interested in helping our world evolve. As a student in the program, you will learn about the origins and applications of sociology theories while discovering the tools to uncover answers to some of the 21st century’s most pressing questions:

  • Start to understand the relationship between cultural, economic and geopolitical conditions and the influence of race, gender, age and social class.
  • Learn to apply sociological knowledge to improve organizations, individuals and communities.
  • Strengthen your knowledge of group dynamics, from their rules and structures to their effects across society.
  • Explore why people behave the way they do and how these factors influence interactions with more complex social structures and how they discover personal fulfillment. 
  • Start to consider the far-reaching societal impact of race, class, gender, sex, health disparities and climate change.
  • Pair sociology theories, history and knowledge of contemporary issues with statistics, surveys and other evidence-based methods to conduct your own research.  
  • Acquire knowledge from faculty and staff currently involved in sociology-related research. 
Someone holding the world in their hands.

Career prospects

An understanding of sociology equips you to investigate sources of societal concerns, determine how people connect and find meaning within themselves and more intricate social structures, and address the influence of race-, class- or gender-based oppression on individuals, groups and communities. 

Along with this understanding, Mizzou’s online bachelor’s in sociology program helps you develop critical-thinking, written and oral communication and computer skills and refines your perspective of the relationship between culture, identity and inequality. 

Completing an online bachelor’s degree in sociology equips you for positions in:

  • Community and urban planning
  • Human resources
  • Social research
  • Public health and policy
  • Criminal justice
  • Government research
  • Advertising

Your knowledge further helps you pursue a master’s in sociology to enter the field of academia or a professional program in law, education, social work or another human-centered discipline. 

Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
employment growth
Burning Glass Technologies. 2021. Salary numbers and employment growth numbers are based on models that consider advertised job posting salary, Bureau of Labor Statistics data and other proprietary and public sources of information for multiple occupations.
median salary

Program structure

Curriculum for the online bachelor’s in sociology covers theories and research techniques through introductory to advanced courses and electives. Students further complete a capstone project that can be research based, a thesis or an internship in line with their professional goals. 

The major requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, including entry and basic courses (12 credit hours) and post-basic courses and electives (15 credit hours). Students earn 120 total credit hours between their major and Mizzou’s general education and College of Arts and Science’s foundation requirements.

The program is 100% online: no campus visits are required. Online courses have varying lengths. The length of your program depends on how many credit hours you transfer and whether you study part or full time.

Core course work covers

Core courses for the online bachelor’s in sociology expose you to:

  • The nature and structure of group dynamics, including in formal and informal settings, and their social influence
  • Sociology theories that shape modern American society
  • Research techniques for conducting surveys, designing studies and interpreting results

Review the structure and all course descriptions for the online bachelor’s in sociology.



100% online

Calendar system


Typical program length


Typical course load

Varies if full time or part time


The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

Faculty spotlight

Eileen Avery

Dr. Eileen Avery is Professor of Sociology at University of Missouri Columbia. Her research focuses on how larger structural forces (economic, cultural, and geographical) influence health, wellbeing, and social control. Dr. Avery teaches Sociology of Health (SOCIOL 3440), Urban Sociology (SOCIOL 3000), Criminology (SOCIOL 3600), and Urban Life and Icelandic Culture (Sociology 3000W, an online-hybrid study abroad course which includes a trip abroad in Iceland).

Eileen Avery
Associate Professor
Stephen Christ

Dr. Stephen Christ is Assistant Teaching Professor of Sociology at the University of Missouri Columbia. His research and teaching interests are at the intersections of race, culture, and society. His previous research has examined the everyday experiences of Mexican immigrants in the United States that contribute to Mexican-American identity formation. Dr. Christ teaches Introduction to Sociology (SOCIOL 1000), Social Deviance (SOCIOL 1650), and Sociology of Immigration (SOCIOL 4545). He is also developing new courses in a variety of different areas.

Stephen Christ
Assistant Teaching Professor
Kathryn Rittenhour

Dr. Kathryn Rittenhour is Assistant Teaching Professor of Sociology at the University of Missouri Columbia. Her research and teaching interests are at the intersections of gender, sexuality, and culture. More specifically, she explores how gendered and sexual scripts enable and constrain attitudes and behaviors to identify those contexts and interactions that increase opportunities for sexual agency and successful consent negotiations. Dr. Rittenhour teaches Social Problems (SOCIOL 1010), Sociology of Gender (SOCIOL 3320), and is developing additional courses in the area of sexuality and society.

Kathryn Rittenhour
Assistant Teaching Professor
Joan Hermsen

Dr. Hermsen is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Her teaching and research interests are at the intersections of inequalities, families, and the sociology of work. She is currently working on a project analyzing the narratives of food insecure Missourians. Dr. Hermsen regularly teaching the Sociology of the Family (SOCIOL 3420), Social Research (SOCIOL 3950), and Social Inequality.

Joan Hermsen
Associate Professor
Rebecca Scott

Dr. Rebecca Scott is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Missouri Columbia. Her work is at the intersections of environmental sociology, gender, class, race, and social theory. She is currently working on a book center on the environmental impacts of fracking. She regularly teaches Recent Theories in Sociology (SOCIOL 3100) and serves as the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Sociology.

Rebecca Scott
Associate Professor

Learn more about this program

This program is administered by the Department of Sociology