Environment and Sustainability

Mission Statement

Rutgers University New Brunswick (New Jersey USA) offers one of the most expansive and outstanding national graduate programs in the sociology of the environment and sustainability. We have eight sociologists who specialize in society-environment interactions and sustainability across a wide range of research areas, theoretical orientations, and methods.   Our graduate faculty members are located in two distinct departments, Sociology (School of Arts and Sciences) and Human Ecology (School of Environmental and Biological Sciences). Together, we offer a graduate program that awards a Ph.D. in Sociology, along with a Graduate Certificate in Human Dimensions of Environmental Change.  

Our substantive interests include:  Environmental sociology, risks and disasters; environmentalisms; environmental health and justice; gender; food and sustainable food systems; agriculture; sustainable consumption and behavior; environmental and sustainable organizations (industry, nonprofits/civil society, and international organizations); climate change, adaptation, mitigation, finance, and policy; sociology of energy and energy use; environmental history and policy; water and water use; sociology of biodiversity conservation; forest and land use transitions.  We use multiple methods, combining a range of qualitative and quantitative approaches.  

Access to faculty from two departments provides our students with unique exposure to multiple perspectives, theories and methods, in addition to interdisciplinary approaches to understand environmental problems.  This is a rare combination that assists our students in securing 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 breadth of interests exposes graduate students to varied professional experts and networks and provides a deep bench for mentorship and committee assignments. 


Departmental Chair
Julie Phillips

Graduate Director
Steven Brechin