Graduate Student Handbook

Link to current handbook.

Graduate education in Agricultural Economics represents a new and different learning experience for most students. Graduate education in the sciences, including Agricultural Economics, is defined by the research experience. It is qualitatively different from undergraduate education and different from postgraduate education in the professions, such as Law and Medicine. Specific, advanced skills and competencies must be acquired, and a conceptual framework developed through which analytical tools can be brought to bear and applied on the economic problems of agriculture and rural people. The primary role of teachers and advisors is to facilitate learning and the development of research capabilities that will help students attain their goals. Because interests usually are clearer to graduate students than to undergraduates, fewer areas of subject matter are covered, less reliance is placed on formal teaching processes, subjects are pursued in greater depth, and greater independent effort is expected and required, particularly in research.

The coursework requirements and other rules and procedures described in this handbook are current as of July 1, 2012. Students entering after July 1, 2012 are bound by these requirements. Students entering before that date are bound by the requirements existing at the time of their entry, or by the new requirements, whichever they prefer.

The department has both Master of Science and Ph.D. programs in agricultural economics. Students holding Bachelor's degrees are eligible to apply for admission to the Master's program. Students with a Master’s degree are eligible to apply for admission to the Ph.D. program. Students can petition to enter the Ph.D. program after one year in the M.S. program. The decision on entering the Ph.D. program without an M.S. will be determined by the student’s academic background and potential as documented by test scores and performance in M.S. level classes.