About the program
The Rural Studies Program is a university-based program to support broadly multidisciplinary teaching, research and extension programs focused on rural people and places. It was founded at Oregon State University (OSU) by Emery Castle in 2001, and it was the first multidisciplinary program focusing on rural issues. In 2018, the University of Idaho established an affiliate program with the Rural Studies Program at OSU to facilitate interdisciplinary partnerships among researchers, extension faculty, students and stakeholders to address complex rural challenges in the Pacific Northwest.
Our program advances the frontiers of scientific knowledge in rural development, centering on matters that support the process of wealth creation in rural communities. By focusing on the totality of capital within rural communities, rural residents can envision a more inclusive, diverse and promising future built upon their existing assets.
The Rural Studies Program brings the knowledge and research of the University of Idaho to a broader audience of community members, elected officials and practitioners. Our goal is to provide learning opportunities that transform the lives of people and their communities.