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Our Program

Graduate study in Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University provides intensive training in the application of economic theory and quantitative methods to the economic problems of the food sector and rural areas. The Ph.D. program of study includes a core of courses to assure that all students obtain a satisfactory background in the various areas of the field. The broad background enables students to consider a wide variety of jobs upon completion of the degree as well as in future years. The desired specialization is normally obtained through the selection of electives and a dissertation topic.

 

Basic Information

A minimum of 60 semester hours is required for students who have a M.S. degree or equivalent. The required number of hours depends on the advisory committee’s evaluation of the course work and research needed to provide depth and breadth of preparation. Students may earn a minor in Statistics by completing 18 hours in statistics including hours earned at the M.S. level.

 

Written examinations given for microeconomics, macroeconomics, and quantitative methods test the student’s comprehensive understanding and use of tools, concepts and basic principles developed in the graduate program. An oral qualifying examination is given as soon as possible after the three written comprehensive examinations have been successfully completed. The oral exam is administered and evaluated by the student’s advisory committee.

 

  • Degree Requirements
    1. Admission to the program.
    2. Successfully completing the courses included on an approved plan of study.
    3. Passing written preliminary examinations.
    4. Passing an oral qualifying examination.
    5. Conducting the research and writing necessary for a Ph.D. dissertation.
    6. Passing a final examination or defense of the dissertation.
    7. Submitting official copies of the dissertation to the Graduate College.
    8. Preparing and submitting a draft of an article written from the dissertation research.
    9. A graduation clearance form should be signed by the department head and submitted by April 1 for the spring and summer semester and by November 1 for the fall semester in which the student intends to complete degree requirements.
    10. A diploma application should be submitted online by April 1 for the spring and summer semester and November 1 for the fall semester in which the student intends to complete degree requirements.
  • Core Requirements (26 credit hrs)
    • Economic Theory (6 credit hrs)
      • ECON 6023 Microeconomic Theory II
        • One of the following courses:
          • ECON 6033 Macroeconomic Theory I
          • ECON 5033 Macroeconomic Analysis
          • ECON 6043 Macroeconomic Theory II
    • Quantitative Methods (9 credit hrs)
      • STAT 4203 Advanced Econometrics I
      • STAT 4213 Advanced Econometrics II
      • AGEC 5213 Econometric Methods
      • STAT 5000 (or above)
      • STAT 6103 Advanced Applications of Math Programming
      • AGEC 6213* Advanced Econometrics (*required)
      • ECON 6243 Econometrics II
      • AGEC 5113 Applications of Mathematical Programming (for students without previous mathematical programming coursework)
    • Agricultural Economics (11 credit hrs)
      • AGEC 6303 Advanced Agricultural Marketing (prerequisite: AGEC 5203 or AGEC 5311, 5321, 5331) (odd years)
      • OR
      • AGEC 6403 Advanced Production Economics

    Additional 6000-level course in Agricultural Economics, Economics, or related field

    • AGEC 5733 International Agricultural Policy and Development (even years)
    • AGEC 6102 Teaching Practicum in Agricultural Economics

    The following substitutions are permissible:

    • ECON 6243 Econometrics II for AGEC 6213
    • ECON 6213 Econometrics I for AGEC 5213
  • Foreign Language Requirements

    A two-hour teaching practicum (AGEC 6102) is required of all Ph.D. candidates. The teaching practicum is designed to give candidates classroom teaching experience. The practicum usually involves classroom lectures, leadership in handling laboratory sections of courses, or major teaching responsibility. Credit may be earned by enrolling in AGEC 6102 under the professor responsible for the course or subject matter area.

     

    The number of credit hours included in the plan of study depends on the advisory committee's evaluation of the course work and research needed to provide depth and breadth of preparation. A minimum of 90 semester credit hours is required (60 if student has M.S. or equivalent). As many as 30 of these hours (24 if student has M.S.) may be earned for thesis research. Courses equivalent to those taken as part of a master’s program cannot be included in a Ph.D. Plan of Study. Thus, neither AGEC 5103 nor STAT 4043 can be included on a Ph.D. plan of study. Either AGEC 5213 or AGEC 5113 (but not both) can be included. AGEC 5101 can be included and is required if the student has not written a M.S. thesis.A Ph.D. student must take at least 14 hours of 6000-level courses in addition to AGEC 6000 dissertation hours.

     

    Minimum core requirements for the Ph.D. degree can be met by such combinations of courses as the following. Other combinations are possible and should be considered in line with the student's interests.

  • Sample Ph.D. Core
    • ECON 6023 Microeconomic Theory II
    • CON 6043 Macroeconomic Theory II
    • AGEC 6213 Advanced Econometrics
    • STAT 4203 Mathematical Statistics I
    • STAT 4213 Mathematical Statistics II
    • AGEC 6403 Advanced Production Economics
    • AGEC 6303 Advanced Agricultural Marketing (prerequisite: AGEC 5203 or AGEC 5311, 5321, 5331)
    • AGEC 5703 Economics of Agriculture and Food Policy
    • AGEC 6102 Teaching Practicum in Agricultural Economics
  • Elective Courses

    The desirability of both depth and breadth of preparation is recognized and the department encourages broadening of the student's background by including courses in philosophy, law, psychology, political science, history, sociology, foreign languages, computer science, and engineering. If a student, with the advice of his or her committee, chooses to receive 24 credit hours for thesis research, then 36 hours of course work are required to accumulate 60 credit hours. Twenty-six of the 36 hours are used to meet core requirements, leaving 10 hours available to broaden the student's training.

  • Sample Ph.D. Electives

    The following examples illustrate electives that may be chosen. However, students are encouraged to design programs to meet their own goals.

    • Marketing
      • AGEC 5203 Advanced Agricultural Prices (odd years)
      • AGEC 5233 Primary Data Analysis in Economic Research
      • AGEC 5311 Agricultural Marketing: Concepts and Tools
      • AGEC 5321 Marketing and Economic Development
      • AGEC 5331 Agricultural Marketing: Advanced Concept (AGEC 5311, 5321, & 5321 are one class.)
      • AGEC 5343 International Agricultural Markets and Trade (even years)
      • AGEC 6303 Advanced Agricultural Marketing (odd years) (prerequisite: AGEC 5203 or AGEC 5311, 5321, 5331)
    • Production
      • AGEC 5403 Production Economics
        AGEC 5603 Advanced Agricultural Finance
        AGEC 6103 Advanced Applications of Mathematical Programming
        AGEC 6403 Advanced Production Economic
    • Rural Development
      • AGEC 5723 Planning and Policy for Development
        AGEC 6623 Economic Development I
        AGEC 6643 Economic Development II
    • Natural Resources
      • AGEC 5013 Contemporary Environmental Policy
      • AGEC 5503 Economics of Natural and Environmental Resource Policy
      • AGEC 6103 Advanced Applications of Mathematical Programming
  • Oral and Written Examinations

    Written examinations for doctoral students test the student's comprehensive understanding and use of tools, concepts and basic principles developed in the graduate program. Written comprehensive examinations are administered and evaluated by the Departmental Graduate Examination Committee after the completion of core requirements. The examinations are given two times each year. Exams are given for Economic Theory and Quantitative Methods.

     

    The oral qualifying examination is completed as soon as possible after the written comprehensive examination has been successfully completed. The qualifying examination, which may cover the entire area of the student's graduate study, including the specialty area, is administered and evaluated by the student's advisory committee. In certain cases, the student and the advisory committee may choose to replace this with a thesis proposal seminar.

     

    The final oral examination, which is administered by the student's advisory committee, concludes the doctoral program and is given on completion of the student's doctoral thesis.

  • Example Plan of Study

    Plans of study are customized to meet the needs of the student. The student prepares the plan with input from the student's advisor and advisory committee. All members of the advisory committee and the department head must sign the plan. A typical plan of study includes twelve three-hour courses and 24 hours of research problems. The following sketch of courses is provided an example.

     

    Fall (year one):

    • ECON 6023 Microeconomic Theory II (prerequisites: ECON 5123 – Welfare Economics)
    • STAT 4203 Mathematical Statistics I (prerequisites: differential and intregral calculus)
    • + one fall semester elective

    Fall Semester Electives:

    • AGEC 5113 Applications of Mathematical Programming
    • AGEC 5311 Agricultural Marketing Concepts and Tools
    • AGEC 5321 Agricultural Marketing and Economic Development
    • AGEC 5331 Agricultural Marketing:Advanced Concepts (AGEC 5311, 5321, & 5321 are one class.)
    • AGEC 5503 Economics of Natural and Environmental Resource Policy (prerequisites: intermediate microeconomics or AGEC 4503; differential calculus)
    • AGEC 5603 Advanced Agricultural Finance (prerequisites: AGEC 3603 or FIN 3113)
    • AGEC 5723 Planning and Policy for Development
    • AGEC 6303 Advanced Agricultural Marketing (prerequisite: AGEC 5203 or AGEC 5311, 5321, 5331)(odd years)
    • AGEC 6403 Advanced Production Economics (prerequisite: AGEC 5403) (even years)
    • ECON 6243 Econometrics II (prerequisites: AGEC 5213; STAT 4203)
    • MATH 3013 Linear Algebra

    Spring (year one):

    •  + two spring semester electives from
    • AGEC 5101 Research Methodology(for students who have not written a M.S. thesis)
    • AGEC 5203 Advanced Agricultural Prices (prerequisites: AGEC 5103; STAT 4043)
    • AGEC 5213 Econometric Methods (prerequisites: AGEC 5103; STAT 4043 or ECON 4213)
    • AGEC 5233 Primary Data Analysis in Economic Research
    • AGEC 5403 Production Economics (prerequisite: AGEC 5103)
    • AGEC 5343 International Agricultural Markets and Trade (even years)
    • AGEC 6103 Advanced Applications of Mathematical Programming (prerequisites: AGEC 5103; AGEC 5113) (even years)
    • ECON 6033 Macroeconomic Theory I
    • STAT 4213 Mathematical Statistics II (prerequisite: STAT 4203 and MATH 3013)

    Summer (year one):

    •  AGEC 6000 Research Problems

    Fall (year two):

    •  ECON 6043 Macroeconomic Theory II (prerequisite: ECON 5133)
    • + fall semester electives (see fall, year one)

    Spring (year two):

    •  AGEC 6213 Advanced Econometrics (prerequisites: AGEC 5213 or ECON 5243; STAT 4203 and STAT 4213 recommended) (odd years)
    • AGEC 6102 Teaching Practicum in Agricultural Economics

    Summer (year two):

    •  AGEC 6000 Research Problems
    • + Ph.D. written qualifying exams

    Fall (year three):

    •  AGEC 6000 Research Problems

    Spring (year three):

    • AGEC 6000 Research Problems
  • Minor in Statistics for Ph.D. Students

    Agricultural Economics doctoral students may earn a minor in Statistics by completing a minimum of 18 hours in statistics with no more than six transfer hours. The following courses are required, either STAT 4203 (Mathematical Statistics I) or STAT 4113 (Probability) and either STAT 4213 (Mathematical Statistics II) or STAT 4223 (Inference). The 12 additional hours may be selected from STAT 4043 (Applied Regression Analysis) and from STAT 5000-6000 level courses excluding STAT 5013 (Statistics for Experimenters I).

  • Preliminary and Qualifying Examinations

    The department requires a written Preliminary Examination and an oral Qualifying Examination for all students seeking admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.

     

    Purpose

    The major purpose of the Preliminary Examination is to test the student's:

    1. Ability to understand the various tools, concepts, and basic principles developed in the central core of courses;
    2. Ability to integrate the tools, concepts, and basic principles as may be required to analyze and to develop solutions to economic problems; and,
    3. Ability to apply the appropriate integrated set of tools, concepts, and basic principles to analyze economic problems in a clear and concise written form.

     

    Structure and Content

    The written portion of the Preliminary Examination shall consist of separate four-hour (4-hour) examinations in two major areas as follows:

    1. The general area of "Economic Theory" covering such basic concepts as the theory of the firm, the theory of consumer choice, the theory of market price with emphasis on applications to the field of agriculture, and basic concepts of the theory of income and employment, monetary theory, theory of economic growth and development, economic policy and the history of economic thought with emphasis on application to the field of agriculture.
    2. The general area of "Quantitative Methods" covering mathematical programming, methodology, statistics, econometrics, and primary data analysis with emphasis on applications to the field of agriculture.

     

    Administration

    The Departmental Graduate Examination Committee shall administer the written Preliminary Examination. This committee shall consist of at least three members of the Department of Agricultural Economics appointed by the head of the department. This committee may be assisted by other members of the department and faculty members of complementary departments in preparing and grading the examinations, either in part or in their entirety.

     

    The Preliminary Examinations shall be administered twice each year with the three exam portions offered in one-week intervals. The first portion of the examination shall be administered on the Friday before spring semester classes begin and again on the Friday before summer session classes begin, with the two remaining portions offered on succeeding Fridays. Students must obtain approval from their major advisor to take the exams, and should notify the chair of the Graduate Examination Committee of their intention to participate. Students are ordinarily required to write all three of the scheduled examinations within one of the regularly scheduled examination periods. However, a student may be required to retake in a subsequent examination period any examinations that were previously failed.

     

    The chair of the Graduate Examination Committee should solicit faculty members for exam questions, and should post notices and in other ways inform faculty and students of the time and place of the exams several weeks in advance.

     

    Grading and Reporting

    The Graduate Examination Committee will evaluate each written examination and report grades of Pass with Distinction, Pass, or Fail for each of the two exams. The chair of the Graduate Examination Committee will send a letter to the student (and a copy to the student's major advisor) advising the student of the committee's evaluation of each exam and other pertinent information.

     

    A student who fails either portions of the exam three times, fails to qualify for a Ph.D. degree in agricultural economics. A student will not be permitted to take either of the two portions more than three times. However, an appeals process, designed to allow appropriate discretion in deserving cases, is afforded to students who believe that extraordinary personal circumstances significantly contributed to the failure. Such events must be highly unusual such as the death of immediate relative, a serious illness, severe financial distress, or personal crisis. A student who wishes to petition to take an exam for a fourth time will be given one week after notification of a third failure to submit the request. The student's written appeal to the committee must provide evidence showing how this circumstance was a factor in his/her performance on the exam. The Graduate Examination Committee will review and rule on the petition.

     

    Qualifying Examination for Ph.D. Students

    After the student has received a grade of Pass or Pass with Distinction on each of the two exams, the student’s Academic Advisory Committee will administer an oral Qualifying Examination. The Qualifying Examination is comprehensive, covering the entire area of the student’s graduate study. To be admitted to candidacy, a doctoral student must have

    1. an approved Plan of Study on file with the Graduate College and
    2. a dissertation proposal or outline approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee.

    As part of fulfilling degree completion requirements, a Ph.D. student must successfully complete (grades of ‘SR’) at least 10 hours of dissertation (6000) coursework after being admitted to candidacy. If a student is admitted to candidacy prior to the end of the eighth week of a regular semester or prior to the end of the fourth week of an eight-week summer session, one-half of the dissertation credits taken that term can be counted toward this minimum hour requirement. Students with an approved plan of study on file at the Graduate College prior to December 31, 2008 may elect to use the former requirement (no less than six months in candidacy status prior to graduation) instead of the 10 (7) hour enrollment requirement. Upon fulfillment of the above criteria, and any other criteria appropriate to the specific program, the advisory committee chair should submit the form to the Graduate College. The results of the examination are reported to the Graduate College on the Application for Admission to Candidacy form. Before taking the Qualifying Examination, the student must have an approved plan of study on file in the Graduate College, and have the approval of their Academic Advisory Committee.

     

    It is the responsibility of the student's Academic Advisory Committee to evaluate the student's "frontier" level of competency and familiarity with the literature in what is perceived to be the specialty areas of the student. It may be appropriate for faculty members who are not on the student's Academic Advisory Committee, but who have a similar specialty area, to participate in the oral examination. For students who have demonstrated strong performance in the written Preliminary Examination, the Academic Advisory Committee may choose to focus the oral qualifying examination on the dissertation proposal. The verdict of this evaluation must be reported to the Graduate College.

     

    In case of failure to pass any part of this examination, the student will be notified in writing of the conditions under which another examination can be taken. A second examination may not be given earlier than four months after a failure.

     

    If the results of the second examination are unsatisfactory, no other examination may be given without the approval of the Graduate Council.

     

    Admission to Candidacy

    A student must be admitted to candidacy at least six months before the commencement in which the Doctor of Philosophy degree will be received. Before being admitted to candidacy, the student must have passed the Qualifying Examination, and have an approved plan of study filed in the Graduate College.

  • Ph.D. Dissertation and Final Examination

     A dissertation (doctoral thesis) is required of each doctoral candidate. The student’s Academic Advisory Committee must approve the subject of the dissertation and the dissertation is prepared under the direction of members of the committee or a special dissertation committee approved by the Academic Advisory Committee chair. 

     

    After completing the research, the student prepares a final draft copy (complete and legible) of the proposed dissertation and submits a copy, along with the abstract, to each member of the committee and to the Graduate College. The student’s dissertation adviser must approve the copy submitted to the Graduate College. The final draft copy must be submitted to the Graduate College no later than the stated deadline date.

     

    The final examination is primarily a defense of the dissertation. If the defense is judged inadequate, the Academic Advisory Committee will make a re-examination decision. Examinations are open to all members of the graduate faculty and may be attended by anyone else who obtains the permission of the committee. The student is responsible for arranging with the specialist to announce the defense at least two weeks in advance to faculty and graduate students in AGEC and other appropriate departments in the University. (Typically, these will include some or all of the departments in Spears School of Business and in the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources).

     

    The committee will notify the Graduate College immediately of results of the final examination. Following satisfactory completion of the final examination, the candidate will make any changes required by the committee and by the Graduate College and submit the dissertation in final form signed by the committee to the Graduate College.

     

    The dissertation must follow specifications in the Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines. All dissertation copies must have the necessary approval signatures before submission to the Graduate College.

     

    A draft of a publication from the dissertation must be submitted to your major professor before the final draft is signed.

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