The Department of Agricultural Economics provides programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy. Graduate Faculty in the department provide areas of emphasis in agricultural policy, price analysis, agricultural marketing, agribusiness, farm management, domestic economic development, and production economics. Students must complete a core of courses in agricultural economics, economics and statistics.
Students holding degrees in agricultural economics are employed by academic institutions, local, state, and federal agencies that deal with agriculture, natural resources and economic development; private firms in the agricultural and business sectors; and agencies and governments of foreign countries. These agricultural economists conduct research, develop extension services, teach classes, and serve as managers and administrators in various types of firms and agencies.
Students entering the M.S. program are expected to have at least one course in each of the following areas: intermediate microeconomics, calculus, and statistics. An undergraduate degree in economics is advantageous, as is a good background in mathematics. There are no minimum GPA or GRE requirements beyond those of the Graduate School, but such information, along with letters of recommendation, is used qualitatively in the admission decision.
The master’s program is offered in either Plan A or Plan B. The thesis option (Plan A) requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit, a research thesis and an oral final exam. Plan B requires a minimum of 36 hours of graduate credit and an oral final exam.
Graduate students have considerable flexibility to structure their program with respect to course work and research topics consistent with individual interests. Each student has a major professor and an advisory committee to assist in course work selection and in the thesis and dissertation research.
A graduate handbook is available that provides information regarding program content, degree options and available financial assistance.