The M.S. program is designed primarily for students who have the desire and the aptitude to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics or Agricultural Economics, but require additional coursework background before beginning Ph.D.-level studies. These students are encouraged to apply for an upgrade to the department's Ph.D. program after one year in the M.S. program, before actually finishing the M.S. requirements.
Other students follow the M.S. Normal Progress Guidelines and complete the M.S. degree requirements, in 1.5 to 2 years, and pursue Ph.D. studies elsewhere or enter the workforce directly. (See the M.S. Job/Further Education Placements.) In any case, students develop their understanding of economic theory, sharpen their quantitative skills, and gain the ability to analyze a wide variety of applied problems.
Majors: Economics, Agricultural Economics
M.S. Degree Research
Thesis: The thesis option requires a minimum of 24 credits of formal coursework plus completion of a traditional master's thesis (maximum 6 credits) for a total of 30 credits.
Non-thesis: The non-thesis option requires 30 credits of formal coursework plus completion of a less formal research project called a creative component (2 credits) for a total of 32 credits.
All M.S. students must pass a final oral exam during which they defend their thesis or creative component. Students do not formally declare an area of concentration in the M.S. program. Nevertheless, most students concentrate their study in one or two fields. The most common fields include:
- Agricultural Marketing
- Agricultural Policy
- Human Resources
- Industrial Organization
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