South Dakota State University. Department of Sociology and Rural Studies

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

South Dakota State University. Department of Sociology and Rural Studies

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence


Sociology was established as a formal department at South Dakota State University in 1925. Courses were taught in sociology before that time in the history and political science departments. The first course with a particular rural focus was taught in 1913-14. / The development of rural sociology as a department occurred primarily because of the Purnell Act of 1925. This act provided funding for research in sociology and economics, and South Dakota State University responded by forming department in those areas. By the 1930's, the department was established enough to be in charge of sociological research with the WPA. From 1933-1942, cooperative between government agencies and the department was common, and this assisted in carving the place rural sociology now holds at South Dakota State University. / The curriculum of South Dakota State University has grown enormously since the one class initially taught. Students may now receive a BA or a BS in sociology in one of six options: general sociology, teaching, social work, human services, criminal justice, or personnel service. Since 1932, the department has offered an MS in rural sociology. In 1961, a social science Ph. D. program began. In this unique program, students could select from a combination of courses in history, political science, psychology, economics and sociology and receive a Ph. D. After three years, the joint program was dropped and the Ph. D. became available only in sociology. / The Department of Sociology and Rural Studies continues to hold its own in the College of Agriculture and Biological Science. The courses offered by the department have been organized with three definite objectives in mind: 1) a sequence for those who may wish to earn an undergraduate major or minor in sociology; 2) basic service courses that will be of interest and practical help to students in any college; and 3) courses to fulfill requirements of a Master's degree or Doctor of Philosophy degree in Sociology.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places