Sociology and Rural Studies Department Records

Identity elements

Reference code

UA 005.09

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Sociology and Rural Studies Department Records


  • 1938-2012, undated (Accumulation)


6.0 linear feet (6 records boxes)

Name of creator

Administrative history

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.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection is composed of records generated by the department, including enrollment records, correspondence, course schedules, exit exams, graduate records, publications, reports, pamphlets, and surveys.

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Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.

Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

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Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Languages of the material

  • English

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Finding aids

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General note

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Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)




UA 5.9

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