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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Rural Sociology (R SOC)

Program Home Page

C. DANIEL AZZARA, Interim Head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education
205 Armsby Building
814-865-5461

 

Degrees Conferred:

Ph.D., M.S.

 

The Graduate Faculty

 

 

The Programs

All degree programs emphasize a comprehensive understanding of the various facets of societal organization pertinent to the rural sector. While breadth is encouraged, areas of special interest and research include rural social change, community structure, population, rural community development, the structure of agriculture, natural resources, and the environment.

Admission Requirements

Scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), or from a comparable substitute examination accepted by a graduate program and authorized by the dean of the Graduate School, are required for admission. At the discretion of a graduate program, a student may be admitted provisionally for graduate study in a program without these scores. Requirements listed here are in addition to general Graduate School requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Prerequisites for the master's program include 3 credits in rural sociology or sociology, and additional credits in either field. If the entering student does not have these prerequisites, they must be made up at the University during the early part of the master's program.

Students with a 3.00 junior/senior average (on a 4.00 scale) and with appropriate course backgrounds will be considered for admission. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted up to the number of spaces that are available for new students. Exceptions to the minimum 3.00 grade-point average may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests.

Degree Requirements

All students are required to have training in sociological theory, statistics, and research methods.

There is no foreign language requirement for the Ph.D. degree; the student is expected to substitute such courses and instruction necessary to generate superior capabilities of inquiry into an analysis of basic and/or applied rural sociological problems.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

RURAL SOCIOLOGY (R SOC) course list

Dual-Title Degree in Rural Sociology (R SOC) and International Agriculture and Development (INTAD)

Graduate students with research and educational experiences in rural sociology may apply to the Rural Sociology/INTAD Dual-Title Master's Degree Program. The goal of the dual-title degree R SOC/INTAD degree program is to enable graduate students from R SOC to acquire the knowledge and skills of their major area of specialization in R SOC, while at the same time gaining the perspective and methods needed to work internationally. Graduate study in this program seeks to prepare students to assume leadership roles in professions in international agriculture and development requiring state-of-the-art methodological training, as well as of conceptual expertise in rural sociology and in one or more of R SOC's four signature areas: (1) agriculture and food systems, (2) community and international development, (3) natural resources and environment, (4) rural social demography.

This dual-title graduate degree program does not duplicate any other degree program at the University.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for a dual-title degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the Rural Sociology program in which they are primarily enrolled. In addition, they must satisfy the requirements described below, determined by the student, their INTAD advisor, and their Rural Sociology program advisor.

Degree Requirements for R SOC/INTAD Dual Title M.S.

The Master's in Rural Sociology and INTAD is a dual-title degree awarded to students who are admitted to the Rural Sociology master's program and admitted to the dual-title degree in INTAD. In addition to the requirements of the Rural Sociology degree, dual-title degree students must:

Courses

Complete a minimum of 12 INTAD course credits (400, 500, or 800 level) as follows:

9 credits from the core curriculum:

• Program Design and Delivery (AEE 450, 3 credits)
• Leadership Development (CEDEV/R SOC/AEE 505, 3 credits, on-line)
• International Agricultural Development Seminar (INTAD 820, 3 credits)

3 credits of internship or applied courses/ independent studies with international development content

Master's Thesis & Final Oral Examination

Write a master's thesis on a topic that reflects both the graduate program in Rural Sociology and the dual-title offering in INTAD.

All members of the student's committee for the dual-title master's degree will be members of the graduate faculty. The committee must include at least one graduate faculty member from INTAD. A Degree Committee form should be filed upon selection of the committee members and should be approved by the INTAD Academic Program Committee Co-chair.

Candidates for the dual-title master's degree in R SOC and INTAD will also be required to pass a masters' thesis defense covering the general field of Rural Sociology and INTAD, with emphasis on the student's area of specialization. The oral exam is to be administered by the student's thesis committee. A favorable vote of a two-thirds majority is necessary for passing.

Some courses may satisfy both the graduate major program requirements and those of the INTAD program. Students and advisors should maintain the INTAD Master's Degree Plan of Study, which must be submitted to the INTAD program office two months before the student files the "Intent to Graduate" via eLion.

Degree Requirements for R SOC/INTAD Dual-Title Ph.D.

The doctoral degree in R SOC and INTAD is a dual-title degree awarded only to students who are admitted to the R SOC doctoral program and admitted to the dual-title degree in INTAD. The minimum course requirements for the dual-title Ph.D. degree in R SOC and INTAD, in addition to the R SOC requirements, are as follows.

Courses

Students must complete a minimum of 18 INTAD course credits with study in the following categories:

9 credits from the core curriculum, which includes:

  • International Agricultural Development Seminar (INTAD 820, 3 credits)
  • International Rural Social Change (R SOC 517, 3 credits)
  • Sociology of Agriculture (R SOC 508, 3 credits)
  • OR
  • Human Dimensions of Natural Resources (R SOC 555, 3 credits)

9 credits from INTAD elective curriculum/courses with international development content/internships/independent study

Courses totaling a minimum of 18 credits must be taken at the 500-level or above; particular courses may satisfy both the R SOC requirements and those in the INTAD program. Final course selection is determined by the student in consultation with their INTAD advisors and their major program advisors. Students who already hold a master's degree from another institution may petition to have equivalent course credits accepted.

Graduates of the dual-title INTAD master's degree program who wish to pursue an INTAD doctoral degree must re-apply to the INTAD program for admission. INTAD master's degree credits may be carried over to the doctoral program. Six additional INTAD credits will be required. INTAD master's degree graduates who pursue an INTAD Ph.D. are required to take the INTAD 820 International Agricultural Development Seminar a second time.

Candidacy

Candidacy procedures will be based on the procedures of the major department and will have an international dimension. Although not encouraged, the dual-title degree student may require an additional semester or more to fulfill requirements for the dual-title degree program. Therefore, under exceptional circumstances, the candidacy exam may be delayed at the discretion of the student advisor in consultation with the INTAD program coordinators.

Committee Composition

The doctoral committee of a Ph.D. dual-title degree student must include a minimum of four faculty members, i.e., the chair and at least three additional members, all of whom must be members of the Graduate Faculty; and the committee must include at least one representative from the INTAD Program faculty. The chair of the committee can be a member of both the Major Program and the INTAD Program faculty. If the chair is not an INTAD Program faculty member, the INTAD representative must be the co-chair of the committee. An official "outside member" also must be appointed to the committee.

Comprehensive Exam

Each Ph.D. candidate must pass a comprehensive (combined written and oral) examination in rural sociology, research methods and statistics, and two or more chosen areas of specialization. It is expected that one of these areas will be INTAD. A separate comprehensive examination is not required by the INTAD program, but the INTAD representative on the student’s doctoral committee must have input into the development of and participate in the evaluation of the comprehensive examination.

Doctoral Thesis & Final Oral Examination

Ph.D. students enrolled in the dual-title degree program are required to write a doctoral thesis on a topic that reflects their original research and education in both Rural Sociology and International Agriculture and Development. The dissertation should contribute to the body of knowledge in international agriculture. Upon completion of the student’s doctoral thesis, a final oral examination is scheduled. The exam is administered by the student’s doctoral committee and focuses on the student’s thesis research. A public oral presentation of the dissertation is also required.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 o 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400-499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students but courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up for deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

 

Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2011

Blue Sheet Item #: 40-04-106

Review Date: 01/10/2012

Faculty linked: 6/27/14

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