Credits required
18 Oregon State University is on a quarter-term system. There are four quarters each year and classes are 11 weeks long. This program's 18 quarter credits are equal to 12 semester credits.*
Cost per credit
$560 Cost per credit is calculated using tuition per credit for the current academic year. It does not include associated fees, course materials, textbook expenses, and other expenses related to courses.
Online You can complete all or nearly all requirements of this program online. View the curriculum.
Start terms
4 per year

Graduate Certificate in Rural Policy – Online


The coursework in Oregon State’s rural policy graduate certificate program will help you join the next generation of interdisciplinary researchers who can engage rural communities in place-based research and develop knowledge of these communities and environments in order to effect positive change.

All core classes are taught by Ph.D. faculty in OSU’s School of Public Policy who are subject matter experts in the courses they teach. These multidisciplinary faculty are actively engaged in research related to public policy, rural social sciences and rural public policy.

As a student in this 18-credit program, you can choose from more than a dozen courses that will provide the skills and competencies you need to understand economic, social, political and cultural dynamics of rural places, and to design and evaluate rural policy.

For curriculum details, please visit Oregon State's academic catalog.

Pathway to a Master or Executive Master of Public Policy

You can transfer the credits you earn in this graduate certificate or the energy policy graduate certificate toward OSU's online Master or Executive Master of Public Policy. Successful completion of the certificate or its courses does not guarantee admission to the MPP or EMPP program.

Required courses (10 credits)

You will choose from two of the three required core classes below. You also will complete a policy-brief writing project as part of a capstone course (PPOL 501) under the supervision of the certificate coordinator, Mark Edwards, Ph.D.

  • PPOL 552 – International Comparative Rural Policy (4) 
  • SOC 539 – Welfare and Social Services (4)
  • SOC 575 – Rural Sociology (4)
  • PPOL 501 – Research and Scholarship (2)

Elective courses (8 credits)

You must earn at least 8 credits from this collection of program-approved elective courses.

  • AEC 554 – Rural Development Economics and Policy (3)
  • ANTH 581 – Natural Resources and Community Values (3)
  • AEC 534 – Environmental and Resource Economics (3)
  • PS 575 – Environmental Politics and Policy (4)
  • RS 521 – Rural Social Safety Net (3)
  • SNR 520 – Social Aspects of Sustainable Natural Resources (3)
  • SOC 580 – Environmental Sociology (4)
  • SOC 581 – Society and Natural Resources (4)
  • PPOL 505 – Reading and Conference (various)
  • SOC 575 – Rural Sociology (4)

You may petition to take other elective courses with the approval of the rural policy program’s certificate coordinator, Mark Edwards.


Notice: Oregon State University students may now take part in internships anywhere in the United States. Read more about Ecampus’ authorization to operate in your state.

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