The Department of Sociology at Rutgers University offers one of the most expansive and outstanding national graduate programs in the sociology of the environment and sustainability. Environment and sustainability (or environmental sociology) is a subfield of the discipline that captures society-environment interactions and sustainability across a number of research areas, theoretical orientations, and methods. The sociology of environment and sustainability is inherently interdisciplinary, open to a wide range of interpretations and approaches.

Eleven sociologists make up our graduate faculty, with three located in the neighboring Department of Human Ecology (School of Environmental and Biological Sciences), one in the School of Communications & Information, and one in the School of Management and Labor Relations. Faculty in our program employ multiple research methods and maintain active research programs across numerous research and teaching areas, including:

  • climate change, mitigation, adaptation, justice, and forced migration
  • climate finance, policy, advocacy and promotion
  • energy and energy use
  • environmental health
  • environmental history and policy
  • environmental justice 
  • environmental and sustainable organizations (industry, nonprofits/civil society, and international organizations, “green” publicity and marketing)
  • environmentalisms, media and environment; public opinion
  • food and sustainable food systems
  • gender
  • green jobs and just transitions
  • sustainable consumption, development, and environmental behaviors
  • risk and disasters

Students in our graduate program are exposed to varied professional experts and networks, and have access to a deep bench of faculty members for mentorship, supervision, and committee assignments. In addition to earning a Ph.D. in Sociology, graduate students who specialize in environment and sustainability have the opportunity to earn a Graduate Certificate in Human Dimensions of Environmental Change.  Graduates from our PhD program have successfully secured research and teaching positions across many settings – from top liberal arts colleges to large research universities in sociology, human ecology, and environmental studies programs, to employment in nonprofits, government agencies and think tanks. Our undergraduates have the opportunity to take a variety of sociology courses centered on environmental issues. A number of these courses fulfill requirements in the interdisciplinary major/minor, Environmental Studies, housed in the Geography department.