Rural communities—both in the U.S. and globally—face an extraordinarily complex set of challenges due to sparse settlements and geographic isolation, exacerbated by globalization and technological change in an interdependent urban-rural system. Addressing these challenges requires both the theoretical insights of multiple disciplines and the practical wisdom that derives from engagement in solving actual problems in rural places. Emerging approaches to the study of rural people and places offer opportunities to examine rural issues from the perspective of multiple disciplines and diverse research methods that can capture the complexities at the intersections of place and space. Yet graduate training programs in these new approaches to rural studies are scarce.

Offered through campus and field-based experiential education, the graduate minor in Rural Studies provides students with the skills and competencies needed to understand economic, social, political and cultural dynamics of rural places.

The Rural Studies minor complements and supports other programs at OSU including the Master of Public Policy’s concentration in rural policy and other graduate programs where students and faculty engage in rural issues such as applied economics, anthropology, forest ecosystems and society, geosciences, and human development and family sciences.

Admissions Process

Please contact the program office.

Available Concentrations

  • rural studies

MAIS Participation

This program may serve as a secondary or third field of study in a MAIS degree.