As with many things, finding the best sociology universities is largely a matter of determining your personal needs and priorities and evaluating them against each university's offerings. Common considerations include educational factors such as faculty expertise, program type, and any available specialty tracks. Other considerations include the school's reputation, availability of classes, and location. You may also need to consider cost and availability of financial aid.
Program course work and type can be important factors when comparing sociology universities, particularly if you are looking for advanced degree programs. Most bachelor-level programs lead to a bachelor of science (BS), and most master's-level programs lead to a master of arts (MA). At the bachelor's level, most programs are applied, meaning that they prepare you to actually practice in the field of sociology. Advanced degree programs, however, might be either applied or academic, meaning that the program is designed to prepare you for future academic study or to teach sociology in a high school or college.
Some sociology universities also offer a variety of focuses or degree tracks. One such common track is education, which is valuable if you plan to pursue a teaching career. Another track is criminology, which can prepare you for a career in law enforcement or serve as your entry degree into law school.
Faculty can play a major role in your degree experience, so you'll want to investigate the research and publishing reputations of each school's teaching staff. If you are interested in a specific subfield of sociology, you may want to look for faculty who have experience in that area. To pursue research, you may want to find a professor or program known for offering research opportunities.
As with any school, choosing between sociology universities means determining which are accessible to you. This might mean considering factors such as location and availability of classes. Some universities offer some or all sociology program classes online, some are offered through traditional means, and some offer hybrid programs, which are part online and part in class. If you plan to attend a university far from home, you also need to consider availability and cost of housing.
Cost is another consideration when comparing sociology universities. You'll want to include tuition, fees, and book costs as well as living expenses to determine your total expense. In general, private universities cost more than public universities. You'll also want to consider the availability of financial aid such as loans, scholarships, and grants as well as student employment opportunities.