About the Department

Welcome to the college’s home for applied social sciences.

We are a small, welcoming community of scholars and friends united by our passion for preparing the next generation of teachers and improving our ability to reach out to communities. The scholarship in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education 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. The department strives to improve the health, prosperity, and welfare of people in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond. Our core disciplines for teaching and research are:

  • Agricultural and Food Systems — focuses on the interconnections between producers, distributors, regulators, and consumers in a variety of issues related to food choices, markets, pollution, and health
  • Community Development and Engagement — focuses on community resilience through civic engagement, leadership, and entrepreneurship to support sustainable communities and regional economies
  • Environment and Natural Resources — addresses the human impact on fundamental natural assets, such as land, water, and air, and tackling the challenges that growing populations create for economic efficiency, social equity, and environmental sustainability
  • Population Processes in Global Perspective —enhancing scholarship on migration and immigration, health, and material well-being of individuals and households across the world

The department offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees, with three thematic areas to guide our scholarship. 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.

The Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology programs and the departmental main office are located in Armsby Building. The faculty of the Agricultural Extension Education program is in Ferguson Building. Come meet our faculty, staff, and students and discover for yourself why we are happy to call the department our home.

Latest News

November 18, 2020

COVID-related unemployment hits people of color, women and older workers hardest

Job losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic have affected wide swaths of the population, but workers in some demographic groups and industry sectors have been hit harder than others, according to "COVID-19 and Pennsylvania’s Economy," a series of reports compiled by researchers in Penn State's Center for Economic and Community Development.

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October 13, 2020

Agricultural and extension education alumna receives national teaching award

Earlier this year, Krista Pontius, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural and extension education from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, was named one of three 2020 National Teach Ag Champions.

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October 2, 2020

Gender Fellows support research on gender differences in agriculture

A Gender Fellows Cohort, which began last fall under the auspices of the College of Agricultural Sciences' Gender Equity through Agricultural Research and Education initiative, examines gender equity in rural sociology, soil science, plant science and entomology as part of the International Agriculture and Development dual-title graduate degree program.

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August 11, 2020

College of Ag Sciences students receive Gilman grant for international study

Two students in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Janelle Answer and Justin Kurtz, have received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

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Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education

Address

Armsby Building
University Park, PA 16802
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