Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education

The Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education, in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State University, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Who are we?

The Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education (AESE) is the administrative home of the College of Agricultural Sciences disciplines in Agricultural and Resource Economics, Rural Sociology, and Agricultural and Extension Education. As a uniquely positioned department in the College of Agricultural Sciences, it builds on long traditions of high quality research, teaching and outreach programs in all three clusters. Our vision is to provide excellence and leadership within and across these disciplines.

The scholarship in the department is related to people, society, and economic systems grounded in theory and methods from the social, behavioral and economic sciences. Faculty and students develop and employ rigorous approaches to discover fundamental and applied principles that advance science in their core disciplines and improve the health, prosperity and welfare of people in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond. The department offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees, some unique to the three core disciplines while others are organized along overarching themes.

The department has identified three thematic areas to guide our scholarship. "Agricultural and food systems" focuses on the interconnections among producers, distributors, regulators and consumers in a variety of issues related to food choices, markets, pollution and health. “Environment and natural resources” addresses the human impact on fundamental natural assets, such as land, water and air, tackling the challenges that growing populations create for economic efficiency, social equity and environmental sustainability. “Human, community and regional development” focuses on community resilience through civic engagement, leadership and entrepreneurship to support sustainable communities and regional economies. These three themes utilize the respective strengths of each of the three core disciplines while providing an overall collaborative framework for research scholarship, teaching and outreach.