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Community Studies Concentration

The community studies concentration in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice allows for students to take courses that hone their insight into the social forces and processes that shape and affect small and large, rural and urban communities. Students will also take on an internship that puts them into communities and gets them involved in community issues. This concentration requires 15 hours of engaging and thought provoking classes. Students will learn about the local and international community through research and hands-on experiences.

Courses Offered

The community studies concentration allows students to get an abundance of hands-on experience. One way that this is accomplished is through projects given to students in the classroom. SOC 3310 has traditionally offered many opportunities to serve the urban society through visits to a tent city in Greenville to talk with those that live there. In SOC/RS 4590 students have partnered with the town of Clemson to help with a comprehensive plan for the next ten years. Students get the opportunity to learn through service and can apply this learning as they are doing real projects that affect the community in which we live. Students involved in the community studies concentration do not have to wait until they graduate to actually serve the community, but are able to do so as it is incorporated with their learning. Students will also choose an additional six hours of sociology, anthropology and criminal justice courses.

SOC/RS 4590 (The Community) is a close analysis of the development of contemporary communities and their places in society. Students will analyze the continuing effects of industrialization, migration, and technological change on community location and structure. Structural relations of social class, status, and the association among institutions are also explored.

SOC 3310 (Urban Sociology) will have students looking at urbanization as a social process and related conditions of work, family structure, social mobility, crime, lifestyle, technology, and development of urban areas in the third world. Students will focus on the policy of urban areas and how they originated. Analysis of educational systems and outcomes are also explored. This class has historically involved community service.

SOC 4950 (Field Experience) enables students to participate in selected field placements under supervision for eight hours weekly and in a weekly one-hour seminar to discuss their experience. This is where students get the hands-on, real world experience.

Popular Minors

  • Business Administration
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Global Politics
  • Legal Studies
  • Nonprofit Leadership
  • Public Policy
  • Women’s Leadership

Beyond the Classroom

Field Study: A summer field study to the Western Cape of South Africa is currently in the planning stages. The proposed community development and health disparities field study involves an assessment of selected community development and community health projects designed to help communities and local households to generate income, alleviate poverty, and achieve/maintain optimum health. This course will enable student participants to better understand development and related outcomes, the link between locally grown foods and health, as well as disparities in health from a cross-cultural perspective.

Conferences: Students in the community studies concentration will have the chance to present and attend conferences nationwide. Students will be able to present projects and learn from the valuable experience on how to present in an academic and professional setting. At the conferences there are many different sessions that range from issues of sustainability and rural communities to leadership. There are many experts in these fields who will present, and even students ranging from the undergraduate to graduate level will present. The conferences range in location including Charleston and Dallas. These are great opportunities to network and to learn from professionals all around the country. These conferences allow for students to gain valuable experience for their future, either in graduate school or in the work force.

Career Prospects

Students will have an excellent foundation for careers in the following fields:


  • Social Work
  • Social Statistics
  • Public Administration
  • Policy Analysis
  • Human Services
  • City Planning
  • City and Town Management
  • Law Enforcement

Regional and Urban Planning

  • Urban Policy
  • Community Development
  • Historic Preservation
  • Environmental/Regulatory Issues
  • Economic Development
  • Land Use
  • Program Development


  • Administration/Management
  • Fundraising/Development
  • Public Relations
  • Policy Analysis
  • Research
  • Grant Writing
  • Community Development
  • Advocacy


  • Prosecution
  • Defense
  • Corporate
  • Nonprofit or Public Interest
  • Government


  • Teaching
  • Administration
  • Student Affairs
    • Student Activities
    • Leadership Development
    • Career Services
    • Study Abroad
    • International Student Services
    • Library Sciences

Examples of Graduate Pathways

  • Urban Studies
  • Law
  • Education
  • Policy Studies
  • Public Administration
  • Health Fields/Medicine
  • Social Work
  • Traditional Disciplines (Sociology, Anthropology, Politics)
  • Urban & Regional Planning
  • Survey Research

Community Studies Students Have Become:

  • Community Organizers
  • Program Directors
  • Public Officials
  • Lawyers
  • University Teachers
  • Union Officials and Labor Organizers
  • Police Officers
  • Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Radio and News Directors
  • Forest Managers
  • Consultant Reporters
  • EPA Inspectors
  • Elementary and Secondary School Teachers
  • Urban Planners
  • Journalists

If you are interested in understanding human behavior in a social context and acquiring skills to serve others at the community level, the Community Studies concentration may be for you. For further information, please contact Dr. Kenneth Robinson.