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Message From the Department Head


On behalf of the Department of Sociology and Rural Studies, I welcome you to our program. Our program is home to almost 200 students majoring in Sociology, as well as a number of students who are participating in one of our minors. We have an energetic faculty and wonderful students. For example, one of our sophomores last year won a highly esteemed Nelson mentorship award from the university.

A number of our majors participate in one of two department-supported clubs: the Human Services Club and the Sociology Club. Both provide students with experience in the field and a way to strengthen their résumé. In addition, the department sends out a monthly newsletter, so you can see what alumni are doing, learn about upcoming events, and keep up with what is happening on campus and in the classrooms. If you are not on the newsletter list and would like to subscribe, please contact Jia You.

For Fall 2012, our graduate applications are up over 100%, and we look forward to welcoming a larger class than in recent years. We are in the process of updating our graduate program, so our graduates can more effectively compete in the job market. Students who come to us to earn a Ph.D. will have opportunities to present, publish, and connect with other scholars. Our on-site Master’s degree students will also have additional opportunities to develop marketable skills. Finally, those students who participate in the online applied Master’s program participate in online discussions with students from different countries and a wide variety of community development situations.

In addition to our undergraduate and graduate programs, Sociology and Rural Studies is also home to the South Dakota State Census Data Center. The data center provides research and employment opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students in addition to serving the needs of the state.

We encourage you to check out the resources on our webpage and to email me with any questions.

Department Head,
Mary Emery