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Our Program

Advanced study leading to the master of science degree in the field of agricultural economics prepares students for such professional careers as: 

  1. Commodity outlook analyst/trader
  2. Management specialist in business firms
  3. Loan analyst or bank officer
  4. Government planner
  5. Economic analyst or research coordinator in various branches of local, state, and federal governments
  6. Market analyst
  7. Strategic planner
  8. International marketing manager
  9. Business forecasting specialist
  10. Rresearch analyst or extension specialist at land-grant universities and agricultural colleges

 

Basic Information

Three alternatives exist for satisfying requirements for the M.S. degree:

  1. 30 credit hours, including six credit hours for a thesis;
  2. 32 credit hours, including two credit hours for a formal report; and
  3. 33 credit hours of course work and an informal report. Students holding an assistantship are required to write a thesis.

The primary opportunity for differentiation and specialization by the M.S. degree student on assistantship is through development of a research project and choice of electives. Students not writing a thesis will have more hours of electives and will be able to specialize through their selection of courses.

 

The candidate's ability to understand the concepts and to use the tools of the agricultural economist are more important than mastery of factual details. Students must take a final oral examination. This examination tests the student's understanding of economic principles and methods, as well as their application to real-world situations.

 

  • Degree Requirements
    1. Admission to the program.
    2. Successfully completing the courses included on an approved plan of study.
    3. Conducting the research necessary to prepare a M.S. thesis, formal report, or informal report (creative component).
    4. Passing a final oral examination in defense of the thesis, formal report, or informal report (creative component).
    5. Preparing a draft of a publication based on the thesis research.
    6. A graduation clearance form should be signed by the department head and submitted 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.
    7. 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

    The core requirements for M.S. degree candidates assure breadth and competence in key areas of knowledge and professional activity. The following courses constitute the core of the general M.S. program:

    • AGEC 5101 Research Methodology (required for thesis students only)
    • AGEC 5103 Mathematical Economics
    • AGEC 5403 Production Economics or ECON 6033 Macroeconomic Theory I

    + 6 hrs from:

     

    • STAT 4043 Applied Regression Analysis or ECON 4213 Econometric Methods
    • AGEC 5213 Econometric Methods
    • AGEC 5113 Applications of Mathematical Programming

    The above courses are preferred, but the following substitutions are permissible:

    • ECON 6013 Microeconomic Theory I for AGEC 5103
    • ECON 6213 Econometrics I for AGEC 5213

    Six additional hours in agricultural economics at the 5000 or 6000 level (exclusive of AGEC 5000) are required, with a minimum of 3 hours in marketing or prices. A total of 21 credit hours at 5000 and 6000 level is required.

     

    The department encourages M.S. degree candidates to broaden their training by taking courses in fields related to or in support of agricultural economics. Electives in such fields as economics, statistics, accounting, public finance, marketing, management, agronomy, animal science, forestry, horticulture, operations research, mathematics, sociology, and philosophy may be selected to complete the student's program, illustrating the flexibility of M.S. degree programs in agricultural economics.

     

    Some suggested elective courses for M.S. degree programs follow. However, the student should select courses that best fit his or her goals in consultation with his or her advisory committee.

  • Suggested Elective Courses
    • ACCT 5113 Financial Accounting Research
    • AGEC 5203 Advanced Agricultural Prices (odd years)
    • AGEC 5233 Primary Data Analysis in Economic Research
    • 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
    • AGEC 5603 Advanced Agricultural Finance
    • AGEC 5723 Planning and Policy for Development
    • AGEC 5343 International Agricultural Markets and Trade (even years)
    • AGEC 5113 Managerial Accounting
    • ECON 5033 Macroeconomic Analysis
    • ECON 5603 Global Economics
    • ECON 5713 Industrial Organization I
    • ECON 5543 Labor and Personnel Economics
    • FIN 5223 Investment Theory and Strategy
    • FIN 5763 Derivative Securities and The Management of Financial Price Risk
    • IEM 5023 Optimization Applications
    • LSB 5163 Legal Environment of Business
  • Agribusiness Specialization

    The agribusiness specialization is designed to insure development of analytical skills and the capacity to cope with a broad expanse of agribusiness-oriented problems and decision situations. The agribusiness specialization is noted on the student's transcript. The elective courses are:

     

    • AGEC 5113 Applications of Mathematical Programming
    • AGEC 5203 Advanced Agricultural Prices(odd years)
    • AGEC 5233 Primary Data Analysis in Economic Research
    • 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 5423 Advanced Agribusiness Management
    • AGEC 5503 Economics of Natural and Environmental Resource Policy
    • FIN 5213 International Business Finance
    • FIN 5223 Investment Theory and Strategy
    • FIN 5053 Theory and Practice of Financial Management
    • MKTG/MGMT 5113 Management and Organizational Theory
    • MKTG 5133 Marketing Management
    • MKTG 5553 International Marketing Strategy
    • MKTG 5613 Seminar in Consumer Behavior
    • MSIS 5313 Production Operations Management
  • International Agricultural Development Emphasis

    The international agricultural development emphasis is designed to prepare students for positions as

    1. agricultural program advisors in international development organizations,
    2. rural project and area administrators in foreign governments
    3. technical personnel in national and regional planning agencies for agricultural development, and
    4. foreign agricultural experts in private corporations. The elective courses are:
    • AGEC 5343 International Agricultural Markets and Trade (even years)
    • AGEC 5503 Economics of Natural and Environmental Resource Policy
    • AGEC 5723 Planning and Policy for Development
    • ECON 5033 Macroeconomic Analysis
    • ECON 6623 Economic Development I
  • Preparation for Ph.D. in Ag Econ

    Students wishing to prepare for a Ph.D. program may wish to select electives from the following:

     

    • ECON 5033 Macroeconomic Analysis
    • ECON 5311 Agricultural Marketing Concepts and Tools
    • ECON 5321 Agricultural Marketing and Economic Development
    • ECON 5331 Agricultural Marketing Advanced Concepts
    • AGEC 5343 International Agricultural Markets and Trade (even years)
    • AGEC 5503 Economics of Natural and Environmental Resource Policy
    • AGEC 5203 Advanced Agricultural Prices
  • Example M.S. Plan of Study (thesis option)

    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 M.S. plan of study includes eight three-hour courses, a one-hour research methodology course, and six hours for the thesis research. The following sketch of courses is provided as an example:

     

    Fall (year one):

    • AGEC 5103 Mathematical Economics (prerequisites: differential calculus; intermediate microeconomics)
    • STAT 4043 Applied Regression Analysis (prerequisite: undergraduate statistics)

    + one elective

     

    • AGEC 5311 Agricultural Marketing Concepts and Tools
    • AGEC 5321 Agrciltural Marketing and Economic Development
    • AGEC 5331 Agrciltural Marketing Advanced Concepts
    • AGEC 5723 Planning and Policy for Development

    Spring (year one):

    • AGEC 5403 Production Economics (prerequisite: AGEC 5103)
    • AGEC 5101 Research Methodology
    • AGEC 5213 Econometric Methods (prerequisites: AGEC 5103; STAT 4043 or ECON 4213)

    + one elective

     

    • AGEC 5203 Advanced Agricultural Prices (prerequisites: AGEC 5103; STAT 4043) (odd years)
    • AGEC 5233 Primary Data Analysis in Economic Research
    • AGEC 5343 International Agricultural Markets and Trade (even years)
    • AGEC 5713 Rural Regional Analysis (prerequisite: AGEC 5103)
    • ECON 6013 Microeconomic Theory I (prerequisite: differential calculus; intermediate microeconomics)
    • ECON 6213 Econometrics I (prerequisites: STAT 4043 or ECON 4213)

    Summer (year one):

    • AGEC 5000 Thesis or Report in Agricultural Economics

    Fall (year two):

    •  AGEC 5000 Thesis or Report in Agricultural Economics

    + two electives

     

    • AGEC 5113 Applications of Mathematical Programming
    • AGEC 5503 Economics of Natural and Environmental Resource Policy (prerequisites: intermediate microeconomics or AGEC 4503; differential calculus)
    • AGEC 5603 Advanced Agricultural Finance
    • ECON 5033 Macroeconomic Analysis
  • M.S. Thesis or Report

    Students who plan to write a thesis or report are encouraged to obtain a copy of the Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines. A thesis or report must conform to the format specifications set forth in these guidelines. The style of the document is to be determined by the Academic Advisory Committee and should be reflective of publications in the student’s discipline. The style of a creative component need not conform to the format of the guidelines.

     

    Since a report must conform to the same format and other requirements as specified by the Graduate College, and since the report option requires two additional hours, use of the report option is not encouraged. After completing the research, the student prepares a complete and legible final draft of the proposed thesis or report and submits a copy to each member of the examining committee. Theses and formal reports must be signed by the advisor and be submitted to the Graduate College no later than the stated deadline.

     

    If the thesis or report option is used, the student arranges for the final examination after the draft copy of the thesis or report has been filed at the Graduate College and/or distributed as described in the preceding section. A draft of a publication from the thesis or report must be submitted to your major professor before the final draft is signed.

  • Creative Component

    A creative component is a scholarly product that does not qualify as a research thesis or report. Examples of creative components are software, experiment station bulletins, extension publications, and journal articles. The creative component is an alternative to writing an M.S. thesis or report. This M.S. degree requirement is designed to enable the student to demonstrate a level of maturity beyond that of successfully taking courses and examinations. The student should exhibit such qualities as creativity and good judgment, as well as independence, clarity, depth, and breadth of thought. This alternative permits students to demonstrate their mastery of theory and skills in an applied fashion through the process of creating original work. Each creative component must be presented and defended by the student before his or her graduate committee. A one-page summary of the report, along with a form obtained from the program specialist, 417A Ag Hall, should be submitted to the program specialist to be kept in the student file.

  • Final Examination

    All M.S. students are required to complete a final examination. The final examination is primarily a defense of the thesis, creative component, or report. If the defense is judged inadequate, a decision on whether to permit re-examination will be made by the Academic Advisory Committee. 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 changes in the thesis, report or creative component as required by the committee and by the Graduate College.

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