COVID-19 Update

Rutgers University has moved teaching online for the remainder of the semester. For all those enrolled in classes, all instructors should have provided you with information on how to best contact them during this period. If you have more general departmental inquiries, please contact one of us using the email addresses below. Take care, all.

Department Chair: Julie Phillips, Email: soc-chair@sociology.rutgers.edu
Graduate Director: Steven Brechin, Email: gpd@sociology.rutgers.edu
Undergraduate Director: Sharon Bzostek, Email: ug-dir@sociology.rutgers.edu
Senior Department Administrator: Lisa Iorillo, Email: liorillo@sociology.rutgers.edu
Graduate Program Coordinator: Marie Ferguson, Email: meferguson@sociology.rutgers.edu
Undergraduate Administrative Assistant: Carissa Nadonley, Email: undergrad-soc@sociology.rutgers.edu

Environment and Sustainability

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.

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

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