M.S. Agricultural Economics

The Master of Science in Agricultural Economics is a one-year, intensive program designed to yield job-ready graduates with advanced training in applied economics. Students graduating from this STEM-designated program will be well-positioned for careers in:

  • agribusiness finance
  • farm management
  • agribusiness extension
  • risk analysis
  • commodity market analysis
  • agricultural policy, and other similar fields.

Career Opportunities

Providing rigorous training in research and analysis, the M.S.A.E. program leads to varied careers. Our graduates’ job placements show they fill vital positions in government and business.


Master’s program students will enter in the fall and take coursework during fall and spring semesters. The program concludes with a summer term dedicated to completing a creative component project in their field of interest with the potential to collaborate with industry stakeholders.

Applications are now accepted online at the ISU Admissions Office. There is no formal deadline for application; however, applications received early are prioritized for scholarship consideration.

Program, application, and admission details are below. For more information on the MSAE, please contact econgrad@iastate.edu.

Questions? Please email MSAE Program Director Hongli Feng at hfeng@iastate.edu.

Program Requirements:

The MSAE is a 32-credit program comprised of 30 credits of coursework and 2 creative component credits (Econ 599) dedicated to the summer practicum.  Econ 500 (4 cr), Econ 501 (4 cr) and Econ 571 (4 cr) are required of all students. MSAE students work with program advisers to select and approve electives and to carry out their creative component project. Below is sample program schedule.

Fall Semester
Course Description Credits

Econ 500

Quant. Methods in Econ Analysis 4
Econ 501 Microeconomics 4
  Electives* 7
  Total Credits 15
Spring Semester
Course Description Credits

Econ 571

Intermediate Econometrics 4
  Electives* 11
  Total Credits 15
Summer Semester
Course Description Credits
Econ 599 Creative Component 2
  Total Program Credits 32

*Elective Requirements: 15 credits total

  1. At least 6 credits of 500-level economics electives (excluding Econ 532)
  2. Up to 9 credits of undergraduate credit including 400-level economics and 300- and 400-level courses outside economics (of which no more than 3 hours are at the 300 level)
  3. ISU Undergraduates Admitted to the MSAE: Students coming with an Iowa State undergraduate degree may use up to 6.0 credits of coursework from the undergraduate degree to fulfill MSAE coursework requirements.

Admission Guidelines:
For fall 2022 applications, GRE scores are strongly recommended, but not required.

Admissions decisions are holistic in nature, taking account of a range of indicators of applicants’ preparation and ability. We have found that successful students meet some or all of the criteria below. Applicants are not automatically disqualified if they fall short in some areas, nor are applicants who meet all these criteria guaranteed admission.

  •  For all applicants, we recommend:
  • GRE-Verbal>152*
  • GRE-Quantitative>155
  • Analytical Writing 4.0*
  • High grades in math/statistics courses including calculus, linear algebra, and statistics are preferred.
  • High grades in undergraduate economics courses including principles of economics, intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics, and econometrics.

Note: The Department of Economics does not track the average GPA of incoming students. Rather than focus purely on an applicant's overall GPA, the admissions committee will review grades/marks of  coursework to ensure standards are met prior to admission.

International Applicants

In addition to the guidelines listed above, successful international applicants generally meet the following requirements:

  • TOEFL > 88 (Internet-based) OR IELTS: 6.5

*We understand that some international applicants may struggle in the verbal and analytical writing portions of the GRE. The admissions committee will take into consideration if English is not an applicant's first language.


Learn about tuition, fees, housing, and other expenses.

Financial Assistance

At this time, MSAE students are not eligible for department assistantships. However, all applications are reviewed for scholarship opportunities. Applications received early are prioritized for scholarship consideration.