The cost of attending college or university seems to consistently trend upwards. And while it’s true that you have to be prepared to make a financial commitment to your post-secondary education, there are ways that you can reduce the overall cost. Plan ahead. Compare the costs and benefits of earning an associate degree versus a bachelor’s degree. Explore scholarship opportunities and financial aid. Become informed about available tax credits and deductions. And of course, investigate tuition fees at both public and private institutions. To help you get started, here are the typical costs for a social science degree:

average yearly tuition as per the most recent US census data
$ 9,060 per year
Average in-state tuition in 2017

8% above average compared to other degrees

$ 22,927 per year
Average out-of-state tuition in 2017

14% above average compared to other degrees

$ 32,357 per year
Average private tuition in 2017

0% above average compared to other degrees

What do social science graduates earn?

Social science students make an average of $58,471 per year after graduation. This is 12% below average compared to other undergraduate degrees.

22% of social science graduates are underpaid (those who make less than $40,000 per year.) This rate is high compared to other degrees across the country.

$ 58,471 per year
Average graduate salary in 2017

Bottom 43% of degrees

% of people underpaid in 2019

8% above average compared to other degrees

Tuition costs for popular social science schools in the US

There are 716 schools in the US that offer a social science degree. The social science schools in the nation with the highest enrollment are University of California-Irvine, New York University and San Diego State University. Here's a breakdown of tuition costs for the schools that award the most degrees in social science per year:

School NameIn-State Tuition
University of California-Irvine$13,738
New York University$50,464
San Diego State University$7,460
Boston University$52,082
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor$14,826
University of Southern California$54,259
California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo$9,432
Ohio State University-Main Campus$10,592
Fordham University$50,986
University of Washington-Seattle Campus$10,974

Top US schools for a social science degree

The following chart lists the most prestigious schools offering social science degrees, along with their average acceptance rate and tuition costs:

School NameAcceptance RateIn-State Tuition
Harvard University5%$48,949
Columbia University in the City of New York7%$57,208
California Institute of Technology8%$49,908
University of Chicago9%$56,034
University of Pennsylvania9%$53,534
Vanderbilt University11%$47,664
United States Air Force Academy12%$null
Johns Hopkins University13%$52,170
Amherst College13%$54,310
University of Southern California16%$54,259

Cheapest US schools for a social science degree

Of the schools in the US that offer a social science degree, the following have the lowest tuition costs:

School NameTuition
American River College$1,104
Barstow Community College$1,104
Cosumnes River College$1,104
Sacramento City College$1,104
San Joaquin Delta College$1,104
Folsom Lake College$1,104
Antelope Valley College$1,124
Yuba College$1,124
Woodland Community College$1,124
Chabot College$1,138


Find out how happy the average social science student is.

Read about Satisfaction