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Department of Sociology & Rural Studies

Understanding the world around and beyond us

The Department of Sociology and Rural Studies is a doorway to a number of exciting opportunities for both undergraduate students and graduate students. Both graduate and undergraduate students can participate in a number of out-of-class activities such as clubs, associations and events.

Undergraduate students may choose from several specialized programs or choose a general degree in Sociology. Our students develop the skills sought by social service, human services, and criminal justice agencies as well as private, government and nonprofit employers. Students with an emphasis in human services find jobs working with the elderly, youth, families at risk, victims of domestic violence, substance abusers, and the poor. Those with a minor in criminal justice find positions in law enforcement, corrections, juvenile justice, child protection, and court services. Graduates who go into human resources work in employee recruitment, personnel management, customer relations, marketing, and sales. Students taking a general major in Sociology find positions in all the above mentioned sectors along with jobs that emphasize data analysis and other forms of research. Students may also link their Sociology major to teacher education. 

The Department of Sociology and Rural Studies offers several graduate programs including an on-site Master’s degree which offers students the opportunity to concentrate on one of three specializations: demography; social deviance; or social organization. Each specialty is dynamic and offers exciting opportunity. The online Master’s degree in Community Development is an interdisciplinary, multi-institution online program focused on community development. Our Ph.D. program is designed to support students interested in teaching and research careers.

The Sociology Department also administers the Rural Life and Census Data Center, which provides businesses, organizations, news media, and local and county agencies with the latest census and rural life information. Dr. Weiwei Zhang is the Director of the Census Data Center.

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