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

July 28, 2022

After a two-year hiatus, College of Ag Sciences resumes study abroad programs

After a two-year pause due to the pandemic, students in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences once again are taking advantage of study abroad opportunities. In the spring semester, students visited countries around the world, including Spain, Ireland, Germany and Kenya.

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July 7, 2022

Harbaugh Faculty Scholars named in College of Agricultural Sciences

Two faculty members in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have received funding to support the development of innovative curricula under the college’s Harbaugh Faculty Scholars program. Justine Lindemann, assistant professor of community development and resilience, and Ricky Bates, professor of horticulture, received awards under the program, which was created by a gift from Penn State alumnus Earl Harbaugh and his wife, Kay.  

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July 1, 2022

Penn State scientists examine the effects of child maltreatment on survivors

Benjamin Bayly, assistant professor in family studies, child and youth development in the College of Agricultural Sciences, led a study examining how different types of childhood maltreatment were associated with depressive symptoms and heavy episodic drinking between the ages of 14 and 30.

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June 2, 2022

Three honored for their commitment to diversity in College of Ag Sciences

Three individuals are the recipients of the 2022 Dr. William Henson Diversity Achievement Award from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, which recognizes distinctive and outstanding teaching, research, extension, or creative work advancing diversity in the college.

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Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education

Address

Armsby Building
University Park, PA 16802
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