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

January 11, 2023

Center for Socially Responsible AI awards seed funding to 6 projects

The Penn State Center for Socially Responsible Artificial Intelligence recently announced the results of its third seed funding competition. The center awarded $145,000 to advance six interdisciplinary research projects that feature researchers from eight colleges and institutes.

Read More

December 19, 2022

County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania extends Schmidt’s fellowship

As Cristy Schmidt, Penn State Extension applied research educator, nears the end of her two-year term as the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania’s Extension fellow, the organizations announced a yearlong extension of her fellowship, moving the end date to Dec. 31, 2023.

Read More

December 14, 2022

Penn State researchers battle food insecurity with native plants cookbook

Researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences have created a cookbook with information about wild food plants, including their nutritional values and recipes for how to cook with them, as a way to address food insecurity.

Read More

December 6, 2022

Donor brings arts and ag sciences together with Global Teach Ag Network Fund

Through a $25,000 gift, Hiram Larew created the Global Teach Ag Network Enhancement Fund, which is designed to enrich the Ag Sciences Global program through support specifically for the Global Teach Ag Network. This annually supported fund will be used to provide professional development for educators, programmatic and staffing support and research for domestic and global initiatives.

Read More

Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education

Address

Armsby Building
University Park, PA 16802
Directions