Rural Studies is an evolving field concerned with understanding the historical and existing experience of rural life in all its aspects. Although rural life has been studied for many decades, rural studies as a field is developing out of a need to understand how rural and urban communities interact with each other. Moving away from predictable concepts of organization, the field of rural studies seeks to promote critical thinking on how both rural and urban communities are interlinked with each other and the world. The Rural Studies Program seeks to operate across broad areas of interest from social inequality and policy making to terrorism and environmental issues with the goal to improve the communities we call home.
Each area emphasizes the importance of critical thinking skills, encourages an appreciation of diverse cultural perspectives, and develops a greater understanding of the issues particular to the rural environment to provide an avenue of self-knowledge, cultural understanding, and social responsibility.
Social and Community Development
The Rural Studies Social and Community Development track is an interdisciplinary degree focusing on equipping students with the skills and abilities to create positive change in the social, economic, political, and cultural aspects of rural communities. The program emphasizes critical thinking skills, cultural understanding, and social responsibility and provides opportunities for hands-on learning and internships. Students are prepared to pursue a variety of career paths in community planning, nonprofits, public administration, governmental agencies, chambers of commerce, and agencies serving individuals and families or for graduate study in psychology, sociology, and human services among others.
The Politics and Modern Cultures track of the Rural Studies major prepares students for work in government, non-profit, and private sector organizations that deal with rural issues, such as Habitat for Humanity, the University of Georgia (UGA) extension service, the Southern Rural Development Center, Main Street programs, and others of similar nature; for work in museums and archives; or be ready to enter graduate school programs in areas such as historic preservation, global studies, journalism, law, and others. Politics and Modern Cultures emphasizes critical thinking skills, encourages an appreciation of diverse cultural perspectives, and develops a greater understanding of the issues particular to the rural environment to provide an avenue of self-knowledge, cultural understanding, and social responsibility.
Writing and Communication
COMING FALL 2017
The Community Health track of the Rural Studies major prepares individuals for roles as health and wellness professionals in private business, industry, community organizations, and health care settings. The track prepares graduates to serve a critical need in the newly emerging health-related fields demanded by the evolving healthcare system in rural areas. The program is designed for students who are interested in working in the health care industry, but not in delivering direct patient care as clinical practitioners.
* Current and prospective students should see an academic adviser for the most current information.