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.
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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.
Spring 2017 Rural Studies Extended Course Descriptions
School of Human Sciences
Social and Community Development Degree Requirements
The School of Human Sciences offers a track in Social and Community Development within the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in Rural Studies. This interdisciplinary degree focuses 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.
School of Liberal Arts
Politics and Modern Cultures Degree Requirements
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 Degree Requirements
The Writing and Communication track of the Rural Studies major addresses issues related to identifying the rural audience and shaping and publishing materials for that audience in meaningful ways. It emphasizes the social and cultural aspects of rural development and prepares students to identify needs and to offer workable solutions for issues of the changing rural landscape. The track prepares students for work in public and private sector communications departments such as government agencies, hospitals, non-profit organizations, businesses that deal with rural issues or operate in a rural setting, and others of similar nature; or be ready to enter graduate school programs in areas such as writing, communication, journalism, law, and others. The track 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
Ag Communication Degree Requirements
The Agricultural Communication track of the Rural Studies major prepares students to work in ag-related agencies and enterprises that focus on production agriculture, such as farm broadcasting, agricultural chemical sales, agricultural publications related to specific or broad-based agricultural specialties and to serve as communication specialists or public relations agents for agricultural commodity organizations, businesses, or non-profits. It also prepares students to enter graduate school in Ag Communication.
Rural Studies Internships