Sociology scholarships are available nationwide for both undergraduate and graduate students who are fascinated by studying the inner workings of human social relationships.
While it can be slightly more difficult to find scholarships for sociology majors than other social sciences, plenty of national organizations and professional associations have handed over money to inspire the next generation of sociologists. After all, studies in sociology are essential for better understanding human culture to solve pressing global societal concerns, including crime, international conflict, social injustice, gender inequality, and more.
Sociology majors are primed to enter an exciting profession that is growing faster than average at 15% according to the BLS. If you're ready to channel your inner Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Harriet Martineau, or W.E.B. Du Bois to address future societal issues, below we've highlighted 20 scholarships to cut costs for your sociology degrees.
1. A Place for Mom Senior Care Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
As North America's largest senior living referral provider, A Place for Mom has created the Senior Care Innovation Scholarship to award $1,000 to five college students who are pursuing a major in nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, sociology, social work, or gerontology. Eligible applicants must be citizens of the United States or Canada, be currently enrolled at an accredited four-year university, have work/volunteer experience with seniors, and plan to build a career in aging or gerontology. Candidates must write a maximum 900-word essay discussing new innovations for improving the quality of life for seniors.
2. Alpha Kappa Delta Undergraduate Student Paper Award
Deadline: March 1st
Ranging in value from $100 to $1,000, the Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society hosts an annual Undergraduate Student Paper Competition to provide multiple awards to current student members who are enrolled in an approved bachelor's degree program for sociology in the United States. Qualified participants must submit a maximum 35-page single-authored scholarly essay exploring any aspect of a sociological topic. Along with the scholarship, recipients will receive travel expenses to attend the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA) and the chance to publish their work in the "Sociological Inquiry."
3. ASA Minority Fellowship Program
Deadline: January 31st
With the goal of supporting the training of sociologists of color in any sub-specialty area, the American Sociological Association (ASA) offers the Minority Fellowship Program to minority doctoral students who are enrolled in an accredited program that leads to a Ph.D. in Sociology degree. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens or legal residents, have completed one full academic year of graduate studies, exhibit academic excellence, and be aiming for a career in sociological research. Recipients will be granted an $18,000 stipend for 12 months to help cover costs of their doctoral training and research projects studying important societal issues.
4. Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Annually, the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) distributes the Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship for up to $15,000 to outstanding graduate students who are currently pursuing an accredited Ph.D. program in sociology within the United States. Eligible recipients must have began their studies at a two-year community college or vocational school, have a commitment to teaching at a community college, be pursuing high-quality research in sociology, and show active involvement in community service. Applications must include one letter of recommendation, verification of enrollment, a current curriculum vitae, and a one-page personal statement.
5. Boren Awards for International Study
Deadline: February 5th
Through the National Security Education Program, the Boren Awards for International Study are granted annually to provide up to $20,000 to undergraduate students in the United States who wish to study abroad in Africa, Asia, Central or Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East to better understand global problems. Sociology students can use this opportunity to study societal challenges, such as population growth, migration, sustainable development, global disease, hunger, economic competitiveness, environmental degradation, and more. All applicants must be U.S. citizens, have graduated from high school, and be matriculated in an accredited four-year institution in undergraduate studies.
6. Cheryl Allyn Miller Scholarship Award
Deadline: April 1st
Sponsored by the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS), the Cheryl Allyn Miller Scholarship Award is presented annually for $500 to graduate students or recent doctorates whose research or social activism has made outstanding contributions to the field for women. Eligible applicants must be currently enrolled in an accredited Ph.D. program for sociology or graduated with a Ph.D. within the last two years, have SWS membership, and be U.S. citizens. Before the deadline, sociologists must submit a three-page curriculum vitae, a personal cover letter, and a scholarly research paper focused on women or gender studies.
7. Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarships
Deadline: April 30th
Through the American Legacy for Health Foundation, the Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarships are given each year for $5,000 to two students pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies in public health, social work, sociology, education, communications, or a related field to raise awareness of tobacco's harmful impact. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents, attend an accredited American institution, exhibit financial need, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, display evidence of community service activities in an underserved community setting, and create a public message that conveys culturally appropriate health messages aimed at tobacco prevention.
8. Gina M. Finzi Memorial Summer Fellowship
Deadline: March 31st
As part of the Lupus Foundation of America, the Gina M. Finzi Memorial Student Summer Fellowship Program is hosted each year to award $4,000 to undergraduate or graduate students in the United States who are interested in conducting basic, clinical, behavioral, sociological, translational, or epidemiological research relevant to lupus. Interested students must submit a completed application with a cover letter, project proposal, letter of support, and single-spaced proposal narrative. Recipients will receive financial support for a summer research project, LFA professional mentoring opportunities, and exclusive membership to LFA-sponsored LinkedIn groups.
9. Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship
Deadline: October 1st and April 1st
Since 1987, the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship has been a highly competitive national program that provides recent college graduates the opportunity to spend six to nine months in Washington, DC as junior staff members before continuing to graduate school. Eligible candidates must have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, be U.S. citizens or foreign nationals, be considering a career working on international peace issues, and display experience with public interest activism or advocacy. Recipients will receive $2,700 per month with a $1,000 scholarship in exchange for working full-time at one of the 27 participating governmental organizations.
Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship
322 4th Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
10. Islamic Scholarship Fund
Deadline: April 14th
With the mission of increasing Muslim American representation in professions that influence public policy or opinion, the Islamic Scholarship Fund was created to award $2,000 to $5,000 to Muslims currently earning a degree in film, media studies, communication, journalism, writing, law, criminal justice, public policy, international relations, sociology, non-profit management, religious studies, or anthropology. Qualified applicants must be active members of the Muslim community, attend an accredited U.S. institution, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, have attained at least sophomore status, and submit two letters of recommendation.
11. J.W. Saxe Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Annually, the J.W. Saxe Memorial Fund bestows one or more scholarships for up to $2,000 apiece to undergraduate or graduate students in accredited U.S. universities who are seeking support for an unpaid or low-paying internship related to public service. Eligible students must have significant unmet financial need, demonstrate a clear commitment to domestic or international public service, and exhibit strong integrity. Interested sociology majors must submit a completed application with a resume, two letters of reference from faculty members or public service professionals, and a 1,000-word essay addressing their career aspirations.
12. Jane Addams Sociology in Practice Award
Deadline: January 31st
In honor of a pioneering sociologist who became the first woman from the Americas to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 for her work advancing human rights, the Jane Addams Sociology in Practice Award is granted each year for $4,000 by the Jane Addams Peace Association (JAPA). Qualified candidates must be graduate students pursuing a degree in sociology, attend an accredited U.S. institution, have a clear ability to apply sociological ideas to solving pressing social problems, and display academic excellence. JAPA also gives the Johanna Muench Fox Scholarship to female sociology students in the environmental movement.
13. Minoru Yasui Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
In honor of a civil rights advocate who challenged the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during WWII, the Minoru Yasui Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year for $2,000 by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) for college students studying sociology, law, or education. Eligible candidates must be active members of the JACL, be from Japanese descent, attend an accredited U.S. institution full-time, and showcase a strong interest in human rights. Applicants must submit proof of JACL membership, one letter of recommendation, official college transcripts, a brief personal statement, and two copies of the completed application.
14. NFRW National Pathfinder Scholarships
Deadline: June 1st
Initially founded in 1985 in honor of First Lady Nancy Regan's efforts to prevent drug and alcohol abuse, the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) offers the National Pathfinder Scholarships annually for $2,500 apiece to female students seeking a degree in sociology, social work, psychology, pharmacology, counseling, or a related field. Eligible women must have attained at least sophomore-level standing, attend an accredited U.S. college, be enrolled full-time in a bachelor's or master's program, and wish to build a career focused in addictions. Applications must be accompanied by three letters of recommendation, official college transcripts, a professional photograph, and a one-page typed personal essay.
NFRW National Pathfinder Scholarships
124 North Alfred Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
15. Olaf Larson Graduate Student Paper Award
Deadline: March 15th
Sponsored by the Rural Sociology Society (RSS), the Olaf Larson Graduate Student Paper Award is given annually for up to $1,000 to outstanding graduate student members who are currently enrolled full-time in an accredited master's or doctoral program for sociology in the United States. Interested students must submit a 20 to 30-page scholarly paper delving into a sociological topic with a current curriculum vitae and one letter of support from a faculty advisor. Recipients will also be granted a free one-year membership in RSS and be invited to present their papers at the RSS Annual Meeting.
16. Rieger Thesis/Dissertation Scholarship
Deadline: February 21st
First established in 2012, the Rieger Thesis/Dissertation Scholarship is designed to provide $1,000 annually in honor of an accomplished sociologist, Jon Rieger, who was one of the founders of the International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) in 1980 and studied the image of rural residents across the U.S. Midwest. The scholarship is focused on recognizing outstanding graduate students for their master's thesis or doctoral dissertation research in the visual sociology discipline. Along with the scholarship funding, recipients will be given a certificate of merit from IVSA and the opportunity to publish their work on the website.
17. Society Farsarotul Financial Awards
Deadline: February 1st
Within the largest Vlach society within the United States devoted to inspiring people to study the unique cultural perspectives of the Vlachs in the southern Balkan Peninsula, the Society Farsarotul Financial Awards are presented for $1,000 apiece each year to students majoring in sociology, European history, anthropology, linguistics, or Eastern Romance languages. Qualified applicants must attend an accredited U.S. institution, have one parent or grandparent who was Arumanian, have finished at least four semesters of full-time undergraduate study, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, submit three letters of recommendation, and be members of Society Farsarotul.
18. Stanford Lyman Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: August 10th
Administered by the Mid-South Sociological Association (MSSA), the Stanford Lyman Memorial Scholarship is presented annually for $1,000 to a deserving Ph.D. candidate who is currently working on dissertation research related to sociological theory, symbolic interaction, race relations, law, or ethics. Eligible applicants must be attending an accredited graduate school within the MSSA member states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, or Virginia. Applications must include a brief letter of introduction, dissertation project proposal, letter of recommendation from a dissertation committee, and current curriculum vitae.
19. Sydney S. Spivack Congressional Fellowship
Deadline: February 15th
Offering up to $66,000, the Sydney S. Spivack Congressional Fellowship program is hosted annually by the American Sociological Association (ASA) to advanced graduate students at the Ph.D. level interested in working as a staff member on a congressional committee for 12 months in Washington, DC. Fellows will receive an intensive year-long experience exploring the usefulness of sociological data in the public policy making process. Applicants must submit a personal letter of interest, a current curriculum vitae, no more than three recommendation letters, and essay responses addressing their policy-related experiences.
20. Udall Undergraduate Scholarship
Deadline: March 4th
Each year, the Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Foundation offers the Udall Undergraduate Scholarship to award up to $5,000 to sophomores and juniors who are majoring in urban planning, social work, sociology, healthcare, economics, business, public policy, education, or other related fields. Qualified candidates must be pursuing a career related to Native American justice or cultural preservation, show outstanding leadership abilities, have good academic achievement, attend an accredited four-year U.S. institution, and be actively involved in community service. All recipients must agree to attend a four-day scholar orientation in Tucson to expand their professional network and meet other scholars.
Although salary potential is lower for graduates in the social sciences, sociology degree holders can earn a very high annual salary of up to $129,870 a year as a sociologist. However, you'll first need to put in an investment to cover four to eight years of post-secondary schooling to reach your career goals in sociology. Since tuition isn't going anywhere but up, it's advised that you hunt down numerous sources of financial aid to cover the costs, especially those that won't add to student loan debt. Consider applying to some of these great sociology scholarships to finance your academic endeavors into studying social behavior.