Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Degrees

Social science is the cross-disciplinary study of human behavior and society through an array of lenses, including anthropology, criminology, economics, and political science. Because the social sciences inform policy decisions, students pursuing this degree are typically change-makers passionate about making an impact in their field and community. A social science online degree program will develop valuable skills attractive to potential employers, such as critical thinking, the ability to conduct research and analyze data, and effective written and verbal communication.

Unlike an associate degree, a bachelor of social science offers the opportunity to specialize in a field such as public policy or industrial relations. Specializations can increase your earning potential, while also preparing you for graduate school — a common long term path for these degree seekers. Social science is a broad liberal arts degree, meaning your career options can be as varied as your interests. Social science graduates often work as counselors, teachers, and scientists, but they may also work in law enforcement, marketing, and the healthcare industry. Salaries depend on the actual position and industry, but a typical entry level salary for someone with a social science bachelor’s degree is around $50,000 a year.

While a bachelor’s of social science likely won’t lead directly to a six-figure income, it does open graduates to many profitable and interesting career choices. Additionally, completing a social science degree online can be very affordable. The online format allows you to attend class at home and on your own schedule, making it an excellent option for those wanting a flexible and convenient program. The following list of accredited online bachelor degree programs is ranked according to both tuition costs and ultimate return-on-investment. If you’re interested in earning an affordable bachelor’s degree in social science, and you value the flexibility of an online program, we welcome you to check out the rankings below.


15 Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Social Science Degrees
Rank School Score Toggle Content
1

Dickinson State University

Value Score 6.37
Average Tuition $5,013
Students Receiving Financial Aid 57%
Net Price $9,581
Graduation Rate 29%
Student to Faculty Ratio 10:1
Admissions Rate 93%
Enrollment Rate 65%
Retention Rate 65%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 41%
Number of Online Programs 19

The bachelor of arts in composite social science at Dickinson State University offers students a foundation to make meaningful contribution to their communities. The social science online degree totals 84 credits, covering subjects like physical geography, history, American government, economics, and sociology. All courses can be taken 100% online, and there are no in-person components required to graduate.

Prospective students must submit their high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. However, there are exceptions to these requirements for individuals who are over the age of 25, who are residents of a foreign country (other than Canada), or who are transferring at least 24 credits from another accredited institution of higher learning.

DSU, located in Bismarck, ND, is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


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2

California State University-Chico

Value Score 6.33
Average Tuition $5,472
Students Receiving Financial Aid 84%
Net Price $8,735
Graduation Rate 64%
Student to Faculty Ratio 25:1
Admissions Rate 63%
Enrollment Rate 18%
Retention Rate 18%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 27%
Number of Online Programs 3

With CSU-Chico's Bachelor of Arts in social sciences program, students take 36 to 42 credits online, with the rest completed at an accredited community college. Upper-division coursework is offered through Pathways, a program of Chico Distance & Online Education that runs on a two-year cycle. The program also prepares students to take the CSET exam, a requirement for anyone wishing to teach social studies at the middle or high school level.

Students in this affordable social science online degree program may opt for the specialization studies option in either sociology or career and life planning. Individuals may begin the program in the fall or summer terms. Deadlines are November 30 (for fall semester) and August 31 (for spring).

Students receive a comprehensive educational experience at CSU-Chico, which covers subjects like economics, sociology, psychology, history, and cultural anthropology, among many others.


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3

University of Alaska Southeast

Value Score 5.98
Average Tuition $4,838
Students Receiving Financial Aid 64%
Net Price $11,479
Graduation Rate 25%
Student to Faculty Ratio 12:1
Admissions Rate 48%
Enrollment Rate 87%
Retention Rate 87%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 66%
Number of Online Programs 5

The University of Alaska Southeast, located in Juneau, AK, offers a comprehensive BA in social science online degree program, with concentrations available in anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, or sociology. The program requires a minimum of 120 credit hours, including 42 upper-division credits. Twenty-four of those credits must be completed at the university.

To graduate from this social science bachelor's degree program, students must complete all major coursework with a grade point average of 2.0 or better. They also create a student assessment portfolio that reflects their learning throughout the degree program. The presentation of this portfolio occurs during each student's senior year.

UAS provides a flexible learning environment, and students may take all classes online as they work their way toward a bachelor's degree. Students can begin in the fall, spring, or summer terms.


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4

Central Washington University

Value Score 5.81
Average Tuition $6,897
Students Receiving Financial Aid 79%
Net Price $9,388
Graduation Rate 52%
Student to Faculty Ratio 20:1
Admissions Rate 81%
Enrollment Rate 41%
Retention Rate 41%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 32%
Number of Online Programs 9

At Central Washington University, undergraduate students have access to a cheap bachelor of social science program they can complete totally online. Designed for those who would like more control over the direction of their studies, the interdisciplinary major involves 122 credit hours, including 62 within within the social sciences.

To qualify for admission, applicants must have a minimum of 60 general education credits, with at least a 2.25 grade point average in all previous postsecondary studies. And while the major is incredibly flexible, there are three required course: introduction to the major, academic and career exploration, and a senior portfolio project. In most cases, students can complete all coursework in two years or fewer.

Additional areas of emphasis include research methods, ethnographic field methods, and psychology and criminal justice.

CWU's main campus is located in Ellensburg, WA, near the foothills of beautiful Mount Rainier.


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5

Great Basin College

Value Score 5.67
Average Tuition $2,640
Students Receiving Financial Aid 65%
Net Price $6,828
Graduation Rate 2%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 36%
Retention Rate 36%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 81%
Number of Online Programs 9

With emphases in anthropology, history, political science, and psychology, Great Basin College's bachelor of arts in social science provides a holistic educational experience. Coursework covers writing, research, ethics, and various special topics, which students may apply in their careers or when transitioning to a graduate-level program.

The bachelor of science in social science program accepts applications on a rolling basis, with all applications received by July 1 being applied to the current catalog year. To qualify for admission, prospective students must have an associate degree from an accredited college, and at least 60 credits of coursework on their transcripts.

Within the program, students must maintain a grade point average of 2.0 or greater to remain in good standing. They also cannot miss more than three consecutive semesters.

Great Basin College is located in Elko, NV, and serves more than 3,400 online and on-campus students.


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6

University of Nevada-Las Vegas

Value Score 5.66
Average Tuition $6,277
Students Receiving Financial Aid 74%
Net Price $9,014
Graduation Rate 41%
Student to Faculty Ratio 22:1
Admissions Rate 88%
Enrollment Rate 56%
Retention Rate 56%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 36%
Number of Online Programs 2

Students enrolled in UNLV's BA in social science studies engage competing concepts and theories, conduct thorough research, and explore answers to complex questions. The program requires a total of 120 credits, with 52 of those credits in major-focused coursework. There is also a capstone in which students demonstrate their knowledge through a final paper, presentation, or project.

This affordable bachelor of science in social science is also incredibly flexible. Students work closely with an advisor to plan out their chosen area of study, and complete all or most of their coursework online. Coursework includes topics in anthropology, history, or sociology.

UNLV, located just two miles from the Las Vegas Strip, is a widely respected urban research institution that serves nearly 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students.


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7

Brandman University

Value Score 5.58
Average Tuition $12,000
Students Receiving Financial Aid 67%
Net Price $9,918
Graduation Rate 39%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 74%
Enrollment Rate 55%
Retention Rate 55%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 83%
Number of Online Programs 14

Brandman University's bachelor of arts in social science program is designed for students to incorporate a wide range of subjects into their undergraduate studies. Coursework instills sound critical thinking, analytical, and reasoning skills in its students, while students select from three different areas of concentration, including political science, sociology, criminal justice, history, psychology, or organizational leadership.

To be admitted to this bachelor of social science program, applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0, along with at least 12 transferable undergraduate credits from an accredited college or university.

Toward the conclusion of their studies, all students complete the social science capstone, a three-credit course to develop a final project or report based on their learning while working toward a bachelor's degree.

Brandman University, based in Irvine, CA, is a private nonprofit institution that belongs to the Chapman University System.


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8

Assumption College

Value Score 5.30
Average Tuition $35,510
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Net Price $21,498
Graduation Rate 73%
Student to Faculty Ratio 12:1
Admissions Rate 75%
Enrollment Rate 15%
Retention Rate 15%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 6%
Number of Online Programs 5

Assumption College, located in Worcester, MA, offers a well-respected and cheap social science online degree program that delivers a well-rounded educational experience. Students learn key concepts in writing, ethics, philosophy, history, natural science, foreign languages, and more.

The BS in social sciences degree includes 40 total courses (or 120 credit hours), at least 15 of which must be taken at Assumption to graduate. Students select from concentrations in criminal justice, economics, psychology, sociology, or general sciences, and complete the program with a CCE capstone course. This culminating project is an independent study experience in which students weave together disparate disciplines to demonstrate a practical application of the knowledge.

Assumption College is a small private liberal arts institution serving just under 2,000 students.


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9

Washington State University

Value Score 5.25
Average Tuition $10,356
Students Receiving Financial Aid 78%
Net Price $11,324
Graduation Rate 64%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 79%
Enrollment Rate 30%
Retention Rate 30%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 17%
Number of Online Programs 8

The social science online degree available through the WSU Global Campus is highly flexible, and allows students to craft their course of study. There are 12 different concentrations, including administrative studies, communication, criminal justice, history, political science, and women's studies. Students may select one primary concentration or engage in three different areas of study. In all, 120 credit hours (including general education classes) are required to graduate.

Prior to admission to the social science bachelor's degree program, students must finish all University Core Requirements. They must also be in good standing with the university.

The Global Campus provides virtual mentors who help students secure tutoring, plan out their studies, and obtain technical assistance when necessary. All coursework is conducted via Blackboard Learn, an easy-to-use digital program.

WSU, located in Pullman, Washington, is fully accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Global Campus offers courses students can complete 100% online, without attending a single class on campus.


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10

Troy University

Value Score 5.24
Average Tuition $6,888
Students Receiving Financial Aid 79%
Net Price $11,430
Graduation Rate 34%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 91%
Enrollment Rate 40%
Retention Rate 40%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 50%
Number of Online Programs 14

Troy University delivers an affordable bachelor of social science program that prepares graduates to make positive contributions to the world around them. Coursework includes a thorough understanding of social issues, data analysis, research methods, and multicultural communication. Students choose from concentrations in general social science, geography, and leadership.

A three-credit course in statistical applications of social science inquiry introduces the sources and methods of social scientists. Students explore the difference between inferential and descriptive statistics, along with research ethics and the evaluation of research results.

Graduates of Troy University's bachelor of social science online degree program are employed as law enforcement officers, researchers, human resource officers, social workers, and more. The school's main campus is located in Troy, AL.


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11

University of Hawaii-West Oahu

Value Score 5.22
Average Tuition $6,912
Students Receiving Financial Aid 67%
Net Price $6,184
Graduation Rate 29%
Student to Faculty Ratio 19:1
Admissions Rate 70%
Enrollment Rate 40%
Retention Rate 40%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 68%
Number of Online Programs 3

Delivering distance education courses online through a program called Laulima, UHWO offers bachelor of social science online degree programs with concentrations in early childhood education, political science, and psychology. The university offers exceptional resources to distance-learners, including technical support, workshops, course reviews, tutoring assistance, and more.

Among the course offerings is child psychopathy, which explores the various concepts, models, and challenges related to children's mental, physical, and social development. The course emphasizes prevention and intervention strategies in school and clinical settings.

Students may begin their coursework in this social science online degree program in the fall, spring, or summer terms. Final application deadlines are July 1 (for fall term), December 1 (for spring), and May 1 (for summer).

Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, UHWO is located in Kapolei, HI. The school serves about 2,500 students at the undergraduate level.


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12

Roger Williams University

Value Score 5.19
Average Tuition $29,976
Students Receiving Financial Aid 81%
Net Price $28,376
Graduation Rate 64%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 78%
Enrollment Rate 13%
Retention Rate 13%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 13%
Number of Online Programs 7

The RWU bachelor of general studies in social science program develops skills attractive to future employers -- including communication, leadership, teamwork, critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving. The interdisciplinary curriculum offers a comprehensive educational experience that effectively prepares students for careers or graduate studies.

This bachelor of science in social science program involves 54 credit hours, including 30 within the core curriculum and 24 required credits. The degree also requires 66 credits of general education courses, which may be completed either at RWU or another accredited institution of higher learning.

RWU is based in Bristol, RI. Tuition is a flat per-credit rate for all students, and rates are the same for in-state and distance learners. RWU also allows for up to 90 transfer credits from another college or university.


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13

University of Maine at Augusta

Value Score 5.13
Average Tuition $6,510
Students Receiving Financial Aid 56%
Net Price $9,071
Graduation Rate 12%
Student to Faculty Ratio 16:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 36%
Retention Rate 36%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 69%
Number of Online Programs 11

Through its bachelor's degree in social science, the University of Maine at Augusta challenges students to consider anthropology, communication, economics, geography, and psychology in light of its impact on individuals, societies, and civilization. The program is designed for students who like to challenge common wisdom, consider multiple perspectives, can recognize patterns, and hope to change the world.

This completely online program involves a minimum of 120 credit hours, and students must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.0 in their undergraduate coursework. Additional requirements include the completion of a writing-intensive class and at least 52 credits of major-focused classes. To graduate with a social science online degree, students must complete a final senior project that demonstrates and applies everything they have learned throughout the program.

UMA is located in the state capital of Maine and currently serves about 6,200 students across 18 bachelor degree programs.


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14

SUNY Empire State College

Value Score 5.04
Average Tuition $6,470
Students Receiving Financial Aid 50%
Net Price $13,371
Graduation Rate 17%
Student to Faculty Ratio 15:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 36%
Retention Rate 36%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 59%
Number of Online Programs 12

A flexible and affordable program, the SUNY Empire State College BA in social science allows students to build their own degree by focusing on subjects that interest them most. Concentrations within the major are available in african-american studies, social theory, political science, and women's studies, among others. Students need not select just one concentration; an available interdisciplinary approach incorporates several areas of study at once.

This bachelor of social science program may be completed fully online or through a combination of online and on-campus coursework. Tuition is charged on a per-credit basis, with New York state residents receiving a small discount.

Prospective students must provide evidence of high school graduation (or GED) and demonstrate their ability to be successful at the postsecondary level through a personal essay.

SUNY Empire is based in Saratoga Springs, NY. Its Center for Distance Learning is nationally recognized, with more than 400 online classes and extensive peer tutoring.


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15

Granite State College

Value Score 4.70
Average Tuition $7,032
Students Receiving Financial Aid 56%
Net Price $12,765
Graduation Rate 23%
Student to Faculty Ratio 12:1
Admissions Rate 100%
Enrollment Rate 36%
Retention Rate 36%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 82%
Number of Online Programs 32

Granite State College, located in Concord, NH, offers a bachelor of science in social science degree that covers topics like economics, sociology, psychology, political science, communication, and cultural studies. Throughout the program students develops key skills in quantitative and qualitative research methods.

To graduate, students must complete 120 credit hours, including at least 30 taken at Granite State. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 is also required to maintain good academic standing.

Students may begin the online social science program during any one of six terms throughout the year, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants must provide evidence of a high school diploma or its equivalent to be considered for admission.

The program is flexible and transfer friendly, with about 84% of its students transferring from another institution of higher learning. The school also offers career counseling and various other helpful resources available to learners.


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