Rural communities face an extraordinarily complex set of challenges due to sparse settlements and geographic isolation, exacerbated by globalization and technological change in an interdependent urban-rural system. Addressing these challenges requires both the theoretical insights of multiple disciplines and the practical wisdom that derives from engagement in solving actual problems in rural places. The primary goal of the Rural Policy concentration is to develop a new generation of interdisciplinary researchers that engage rural communities in place-based multi-method research that not only develops our knowledge of rural communities and their environments, but also effects positive change in those communities. Working closely with OSU's Rural Studies Program and the International Consortium for Rural Policy Studies, students have the opportunity to engage in rural policy research and internships both in the United States and the World.

The Rural Policy Concentration Advisor is Professor Bruce Weber.

Rural Policy Faculty for PhD student committees.

OSU Rural Studies Program:

International Comparative Rural Policy Studies Consortium:

Minimum 16 credit hours in the following courses:

  • AREC 554 - Rural Development Economics and Policy [3 credits]
  • ANTH 581 - Natural Resources and Community Values [3 credits]
  • ANTH 582 - World Food & Culture Implications of Intl Ag Dev [3 credits]
  • ANTH 584 - Wealth and Poverty [3 credits]
  • FOR 561 - Forest Policy Analysis [3 credits]
  • HDFS 547 - Families and Poverty [3 credits]
  • RS 512 - Introduction to Rural Studies [1 credit]
  • RS 513 - Current Issues in Rural Policy [1 credit]
  • SOC 554 - Leisure and Culture [4 credits]
  • SOC 560 - Globalization [4 credits]
  • SOC 566 - International Development-Gender Issues [4credits]
  • SOC 575 - Rural Sociology [4 credits]
  • SOC 581 - Society and Natural Resources [4 credits]
  • SOC 585 - Consensus and Natural Resources [4 credits]