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Best Sociology Colleges in California

We have created a 2020 ranking of the best colleges in California that offer Sociology degrees to help you find a school that fits your needs. Each school's ranking is based on the compilation of our data from reliable government sources, student surveys, college graduate interviews, and editorial review. In addition, you can view our entire list of all 153 Sociology schools located within California. We also provide reviews, facts, and questions and answers for schools on our site and offer you access to get valuable information from colleges and universities today.

Best Sociology Colleges in California for 2020

Rank School Name Location Description   Rating
1 California State University-Northridge Northridge, CA
california state university northridge

The CSUN Sociology Department was started in 1958 and offers undergraduate sociology majors four different degree options. There is a general sociology degree, or students may choose to concentrate their studies on either criminology and criminal justice, social welfare and social justice, or work and society. In addition, the 21 full-time faculty members and 31 part-time instructors are involved in a wide range of research including Native Americans, computer-assisted learning, cyberspace, education, emotions, immigration, marriage and the family, mass media, migration, music, multiracial identity, reality shows, road rage, student evaluations, and terrorism. The department also offers a minor in sociology or human sexuality. In addition to advanced studies in sociological theory and research methods, the intensive two-year M.A program offers specialized studies in a number of areas including: culture, criminology, gender, sexuality, political sociology, race/ethnicity, social movements, sociology of education, immigration, labor, social psychology, globalization, and the sociology of work. There is no PhD program at CSUN.

Based on 28 Reviews
2 University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA

The UCLA Department of Sociology was founded in 1948, and boasts a faculty of internationally renowned scholars and award-winning instructors who are addressing a wide range of topics from the dynamics of social interaction to the impact of globalization. The Student Research Program (SRP) gives students the opportunity to do research and work individually with participating faculty members. Juniors and seniors are able to participate in the Social Enterprise Academy (SEA) a two-quarter course offered by the Division of Social Sciences that mentors non-profit organizations in developing new social ventures to create earned income opportunities.

In addition to non-profit experience the SEA provides students with market research, consulting, teamwork, networking, and public speaking skills. Not sure what you want to do after graduation? The upper division Careers in Sociology course helps students learn about the many career opportunities available to sociology majors and teaches students to use their interests, needs and skills to make effective career choices. The department accepts applications for the PhD program only, however students may be awarded an M.A. on the way to being awarded a PhD.

Based on 88 Reviews
3 University of California-Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA

UCSB has one of the largest sociology programs in the country, and is a leader in the areas of gender, sexualities, and feminist theory, the sociology of culture, race and ethnicity, Latina and Latino studies, globalization and its effects, social movements, conversation analysis and social networks. While the faculty is well known for its research, there are also ample opportunities for undergraduates to hone their research skills, either individually with professor supervision, or by participating with a faculty member on their research. There is also an honors program available which gives students the opportunity of graduating with “Distinction in the Major.” Applicants to the graduate program are not able to only pursue an M.A. degree, but are admitted with the intention that their ultimate goal is to be awarded a PhD degree. However, this is dependent upon successful completion of the M.A. requirements and defense of an M.A. thesis.

Based on 52 Reviews
4 University of California-Riverside Riverside, CA

The undergraduate curriculum at UC Riverside teaches students about a wide range of sociological topics including ethnicity, race and class inequality, gender, social stratification, sociology of education, the city and urban problems, the environment, sociology of religion, crime and deviance and global social change. Not only can you choose between a B.A. and B.S. in sociology, you can also choose between majors in sociology/administrative studies, and sociology/law and society. The graduate program does not offer a free-standing master’s degree, but offers a M.A. degree as part of the required progress towards a PhD. Candidates must choose two areas of specialization from the following: criminology and socio-legal studies, gender studies, organizations and institutions, political economy and global social change, race and class inequality, social psychology, and sociological theory.

Based on 12 Reviews
5 California State University-Fullerton Fullerton, CA

Founded in 1959, the Department of Sociology at California State University, Fullerton boasts an impressive student to teacher ratio of 18-to-1. Sociology majors examine individual, community-based, institutional, and ideological causes, consequences and intersections of various social inequalities and social stratification systems. While sociology undergraduate majors are not required to select a concentration, there are three available: social inequalities, sociology of deviance and crime, and health and social welfare.

The faculty of nationally and internationally recognized scholars conduct academic research on a wide variety of subjects including race and ethnic relations, education, demography, gender and sexualities, crime and deviance, health and illness, economic sociology, political sociology, religion, and migration and globalization. CSUF also accepts graduate applications for a Master of Arts in sociology that offers an opportunity to broaden one's knowledge of society, strengthen skills of sociological analysis and conduct research in depth in an area of particular interest. Degrees are awarded through either a project, thesis or comprehensive exam track, and while the university does not offer a PhD program, it is recommended that those who want to pursue a doctoral degree choose the thesis option.

Based on 44 Reviews
6 California State University-Long Beach Long Beach, CA

Students looking to get their Bachelor of Arts in sociology from California State University, Long Beach have four different concentrations available to them: deviance and social control, interaction and group relations, sociology of health and medicine, and social change and global issues. “Through coursework, internships and faculty mentoring of student research the Department encourages a commitment to social change and social justice based on an appreciation of social and intellectual diversity and an awareness of social inequality,” explains the Department of Sociology Chairperson, Dr. Kristine Zentgraf, on the CSULB website. While there is no PhD program available at CSULB, there is a Master of Arts program in applied sociology that is structured around two concentrations, the sociology of health and medicine or community development and social change, along with a community-based scholar internship which gives students the opportunity to use their classroom knowledge and skills in the real-world setting of a local or regional community organization.

Based on 40 Reviews
7 University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA
UC Berkeley

The Department of Sociology at Berkeley was established in 1946 and in the decades that followed was responsible for creating and developing sub disciplines of sociology including symbolic interaction and deviance, sociology of law, political sociology, industrial sociology, historical and comparative, social theory and collective behavior, religion, culture. Undergraduate courses range from large lectures to intimate seminars, with plenty of opportunities for research that incorporate other social sciences and professional schools on campus. Not only can you get a PhD in sociology at Cal, there is also a PhD program in sociology and demography. There is no M.A. program available, but those accepted into the PhD program can receive their M.A. on the way to being awarded a PhD. Outside of required courses the sociology department also sponsors six undergraduate student organizations. In addition there is the Berkeley Sociology Forum, an intellectual center that addresses issues of a comparative, global, historical, theoretical and methodological nature.

Based on 140 Reviews
8 University of California-Irvine Irvine, CA

University of California-Irvine offers 4 Sociology Degree programs. It's a large public university in a mid sized city. In 2015, 263 students graduated in the study area of Sociology with students earning 241 Bachelor's degrees, 11 Master's degrees, and 11 Doctoral degrees.

Based on 16 Reviews
9 University of California-Davis Davis, CA

University of California-Davis offers 4 Sociology Degree programs. It's a large public university in a small suburb. In 2015, 262 students graduated in the study area of Sociology with students earning 244 Bachelor's degrees, 10 Doctoral degrees, and 8 Master's degrees.

Based on 92 Reviews
10 Stanford University Stanford, CA

Stanford University offers 4 Sociology Degree programs. It's a large private university in a large suburb. In 2015, 36 students graduated in the study area of Sociology with students earning 14 Master's degrees, 12 Bachelor's degrees, and 10 Doctoral degrees.

Based on 64 Reviews

List of all Sociology Colleges in California

Degree Levels
  • Associate's
  • Bachelor's
  • Certificates
  • Doctoral
  • Master's
Program Length
  • Less than 2 years (below associate)
  • At least 2 but less than 4 years
  • Four or more years
Control Type
  • Private for-profit
  • Private not-for-profit
  • Public
School Logo School Name Average tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
California State University-Northridge California State University-Northridge Northridge, CA
32 : 1 41,548
University of California-Los Angeles University of California-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
12 : 1 41,908
University of California-Santa Barbara University of California-Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
24 : 1 23,497
University of California-Riverside University of California-Riverside Riverside, CA
24 : 1 21,385
California State University-Fullerton California State University-Fullerton Fullerton, CA
30 : 1 38,948
California State University-Long Beach California State University-Long Beach Long Beach, CA
27 : 1 37,446
University of California-Berkeley University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA
21 : 1 38,189
University of California-Irvine University of California-Irvine Irvine, CA
17 : 1 30,836
University of California-Davis University of California-Davis Davis, CA
15 : 1 35,186
Stanford University Stanford University Stanford, CA
6 : 1 16,980
University of California-Santa Cruz University of California-Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA
27 : 1 17,868
University of Southern California University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
16 : 1 43,401
California State University-Los Angeles California State University-Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
32 : 1 27,680
University of California-San Diego University of California-San Diego La Jolla, CA
15 : 1 32,906
San Diego State University San Diego State University San Diego, CA
31 : 1 34,254
California State University-Sacramento California State University-Sacramento Sacramento, CA
31 : 1 30,284
Occidental College Occidental College Los Angeles, CA
11 : 1 2,023
San Jose State University San Jose State University San Jose, CA
31 : 1 32,773
Sonoma State University Sonoma State University Rohnert Park, CA
28 : 1 9,408
Loyola Marymount University Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA
13 : 1 9,392
Santa Clara University Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA
14 : 1 8,680
San Francisco State University San Francisco State University San Francisco, CA
28 : 1 30,256
Pepperdine University Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
16 : 1 7,632
University of San Diego University of San Diego San Diego, CA
15 : 1 8,251
University of San Francisco University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
15 : 1 10,797

Additional Sociology Degree Facts for California Schools

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