Courses of Study 2019-2020 
    Oct 26, 2020  
Courses of Study 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Development Sociology

In the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences .

Course Offerings  

Environmental, demographic, social and economic changes affect individuals, communities, and the global order. At Cornell, Development Sociology students study these and other facets of social change in both domestic and international settings.

Courses offered by the department cover topics such as:

  • sociological theories of development
  • research methods
  • community development
  • sociology of the environment
  • agriculture and the food system
  • population dynamics and linkages with development and the environment
  • technology and social change
  • social movements
  • globalization
  • gender and development
  • class, gender, and ethnic stratification
  • migration and immigration
  • health status and differentials

Development Sociology is home to the Polson Institute for Global Development, which supports faculty and student research initiatives. The department also houses multiple programs that combine applied research and outreach education, including:

Department faculty actively engage in research and teaching that contributes to comparative studies of societies and institutions associated with the following area and ethnic studies programs at Cornell:

  • American Indian Program
  • Latino Studies Program
  • Africana Studies Center
  • Asian American Studies Program
  • Southeast Asia Program
  • South Asia Program
  • Institute for European Studies
  • Latin American Studies Program
  • East Asia Program
  • Institute for African Development


P. Eloundou-Enyegue, chair (240B Warren Hall, (607) 255-3163); A. Basu, R. Bezner Kerr, J. Goldstein, T. Hirschl, L. Leonard, F. Makki, P. McMichael, S. Peters, M. Pfeffer, J. W. Sipple, L. B. Williams, W. Wolford, J. Zinda

Undergraduate Major (B.S.)

Majors in development sociology are required to successfully complete eight core courses:

Three additional development sociology courses are also required, at least one of which must be at the 3000 level or higher.

Undergraduate Minors department offers a choice of two undergraduate minors

Development Sociology - offers students the opportunity to develop basic conceptual and methodological skills needed to examine the changing nature of society and how participation in human groups affects life chances.

Community Food Systems (CFS) - enables undergraduate students across the university to engage with critical contemporary issues relating to food security, food sovereignty, and food justice. In a context of diverse goals and approaches, the CFS Minor focuses on working with community partners to collaboratively understand and develop sustainable community food systems.

More information can be found at

Graduate Studies (M.S./Ph.D or Ph.D.)

Cornell’s Graduate Field of Development Sociology focuses on human well-being and environmental sustainability. We seek solutions for problems related to social and economic change, and engage organizations and people at all levels of society who are working to build community and local/global problem-solving capacity.

Members of the Department and graduate field conduct theoretical and applied research, teaching, and outreach on the causes, dynamics, and consequences of social, cultural, political and economic change.

Specific foci include:

  • community and civic organization and governance
  • agriculture, food and development
  • patterns of migration and other population processes
  • social change and environmental dynamics
  • poverty and social inequality