Rural Studies core faculty are from within the School of Environmental Design & Rural Development (Capacity Development and Extension, Landscape Architecture, Rural Planning and Development).
The program focuses on two fields:
- Sustainable Rural Communities - Sustainable rural communities are characterized by long-term well-being based on the integration of economic, social and environmental factors in their planning and activities. Four sectors of sustainable rural communities have been designated: environment and sustainability, social structure and processes, human resource development, and sustainable rural economic development.
- Sustainable Landscape Systems - The sustainable landscape systems field examines structure, process, and change in the rural landscape through research on bio-physical and socio-cultural sectors.
A number of different disciplines are represented and an interdisciplinary approach is taken to integrate across subject areas. Students may choose among fields and choose a sector within the field for relatively more-intensive study.
Director, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD)
Sean Kelly (101 Landscape Architecture, Ext. 56874)
Graduate Program Coordinator
Leith Deacon (122 Landscape Architecture, Ext. 52521)
Graduate Program Assistant
Lorena Barker (104 Landscape Architecture, Ext. 56780)
This list may include Regular Graduate Faculty, Associated Graduate Faculty and/or Graduate Faculty from other universities.
BLA, MUD Toronto, PhD Univ College London, CSLA, OALA - Associate Professor
B.Sc. McGill, M.Sc. Guelph, PhD McGill, RPP, MCIP - Assistant Professor
Wayne J. Caldwell
BA, MA Western, PhD Waterloo - Professor
B.Sc., M.Sc. Bangladesh, M.Sc. Wageningen, PhD Vienna - Assistant Professor
BLA Guelph, MLA Minnesota, PhD Michigan, CSLA, OALA - Professor
BA Windsor, M.Sc. Guelph, PhD Western, RPP, MCIP - Associate Professor
BA Dalhousie, MA Calgary, MA Carleton, PhD Guelph - Professor Emeritus
Associated Graduate Faculty
BA, MA Brock, PhD Guelph - Assistant Professor
John E. FitzGibbon
BA McMaster, M.Sc. Wales, PhD McGill, RPP, MCIP - Professor Emeritus
Associated Graduate Faculty
BA, MRD Brandon, PhD Memorial - Associate Professor
BURPI Ryerson, MPA Western, PhD Waterloo, RPP, MCIP - Assistant Professor
BA Toronto, MES, PhD York - Professor
BA Dalhousie, MLA Virginia, PhD UI Urbana-Champaign, CSLA, OALA,ASLA - Assistant Professor
BLA, M.Sc. Guelph, CSLA, OALA, ASLA - Associate Professor and Director
BLA, M.Sc. Guelph, PhD Queen's, OPPI - Professor
Allan C. Lauzon
BA, M.Sc. Guelph, EdD Toronto - Professor
BES Waterloo, BEd Brock, MA, PhD Wilfrid Laurier - Associate Professor
BLA Illinois, MLA Michigan, FCSLA, FASLA, OALA - Professor Emeritus
Associated Graduate Faculty
B.Sc. Central Peru, M.Sc., PhD Guelph - Assistant Professor
BLA Guelph, MLA UC Berkeley, CSLA, OALA, CAHP - Assistant Professor
To be considered for admission, an applicant must have a master's degree (or the equivalent) from a recognized university in a relevant discipline. Master's graduates in a range of humanities, social-science and applied-science disciplines are eligible for consideration for admission. As examples, master's graduates in geography, sociology, planning, landscape architecture, environmental science, capacity development and extension, and international development may be particularly suitable. Applicants who have not completed courses relevant to rural studies or gained experience in rural communities may be required to do so prior to admission or as part of initial phases of the PhD program.
The program's admission policy is governed by the availability of graduate advisors and other resources and by the need to admit applicants from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. The interaction of students with diverse backgrounds greatly enhances the interdisciplinary approaches in the program. The program also seeks to achieve the significant participation of women and Indigenous Peoples from North America and international students. Applicants should consult the program website and/or Graduate Program Assistant for the application deadline.
The objective of the program is to provide opportunities for advanced studies and research on the integration of socio-cultural and bio-physical components for capacity development, design, or planning of landscape systems and rural communities. Graduates are prepared to become leading specialists in addressing sustainable landscapes and rural community issues. Interdisciplinary research is emphasized, building on the disciplines of capacity development and extension, landscape architecture, and rural planning and development within SEDRD.
Each doctoral student has an Advisory Committee composed of faculty members from a range of disciplines pertinent to the field, specialization and research topic. Each committee consists of at least three members. Committees are broadly based with at least two major disciplines represented by its members. The Advisor and the Advisory Committee provide guidance to allow for the student's intellectual growth in the program
The Advisory Committee assesses and approves the thesis-research proposal, which is to be prepared by the student by the end of the second year and upon completion of the qualifying examination.
The minimum course and credit requirements for the PhD in Rural Studies consist of:
|RST*6000||Sustainable Rural Systems I||0.50|
|RST*6010||Sustainable Rural Systems II||0.50|
|RST*6100||Integrative Research Methods I||0.50|
|RST*6110||Integrative Research Methods II||0.50|
Additional courses may be required by the student's Advisory Committee. Make-up courses may be required prior to admission to the PhD program or early in the program. All courses will normally be completed prior to the qualifying examination. All or most of the courses should be taken in the first year of study.
The qualifying examination for the PhD program in Rural Studies assesses the acceptability of the intellectual capability and research potential of students. The examination committee is constituted to represent a range of disciplines pertinent to the field.
The qualifying examination is used to determine if the student has an advanced level of knowledge and competence in the area(s) of specialization related to their research. The areas of specialization typically focus on one of the program fields; however, it is acceptable to have an area of specialization outside of these fields as long as it is agreed upon by the graduate student, Graduate Program Coordinator, and the Advisory Committee. The qualifying examination has both written and oral components. The written component is based on the common core subject area of the field and the student's selected sector. The oral examination is devoted to discussion of the written materials. The examination evaluates the student's ability to integrate disciplinary knowledge within the field and to undertake interdisciplinary research. The qualifying examination must be completed by the end of semester five.
This course situates rural studies in its contemporary theoretical contexts and provides an elaboration of some of the core concepts used in the Rural Studies program. Students explore a range of sustainable development theoretical perspectives in the context of rural communities and landscape systems, and increase understanding of multiple disciplinary vantage points.
This course builds upon theoretical grounding developed in Sustainable Rural Systems I. Students work with their advisor to prepare and present a paper on sustainable development theory in the rural communities and environment context as it pertains to their research interests.
This course examines the nature, language and tools of established knowledge systems, including ontology, epistemology, and methodology. Students explore social science research design and evaluation with a focus on measures of sustainability and interdisciplinary applications.
This course builds upon research methods knowledge established in Integrative Research Methods I. Students apply research design and evaluation principles with a focus on interdisciplinarity through the review and critique of successful dissertations and the development of their own research proposal.