M.S. Program

Each M.S. student must have an Advisory Committee. This committee must be formed before the plan of study is filed. Some graduate students may be assigned an interim, while others are recruited to work with a specific faculty member, who will serve as the major professor. A permanent major professor should be selected prior to forming the Advisory Committee. The student’s major professor serves as the chair of the student’s Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will consist of three faculty members (including the advisor). Each Advisory Committee should include at least one external (Non-AAEC) faculty member.

Before the end of the second semester, each student must choose an advisory committee to replace the temporary advisor and a M.S. Plan of Study (DOCX | 16KB) must be submitted to the Graduate School. The plan of study includes a list of courses the student intends to take to satisfy the core requirements for the degree sought, and the signatures of members who will serve on the student’s graduate advisory committee.

The student should submit a copy of the program of study, signed by all Advisory Committee members to the Graduate Program Coordinator. Upon approval by the Graduate Committee and the Department Head, the Graduate Program Coordinator will electronically submit the program of study to the Graduate School.

The general requirements for the master’s degree thesis option are: (1) a minimum of 32 semester hours, including 26 hours of course work and 6 hours of research and thesis (AAEC/ECON 5994), (2) completion of a thesis acceptable to the student’s advisory committee, and (3) satisfactory performance on a final oral examination.

The general requirement for a M.S. degree non-thesis option is a minimum of 30 semester hours or course work of which at least 23 hours must be at the 5000 level or above. A student must also pass a final oral or written examination.

Required Courses for M.S.

Course Credits
AAEC 5004 Seminar in Professional Ethics and Expectations 1
AAEC 6004 Seminar in Professional Engagement and Communication 1
AAEC 5025 Applied Microeconomics 3
AAEC/STAT 5804G Econometrics 3
AAEC 5024, AAEC 5026, and ECON 5015 Choose 2 from Math Programming, Applied Microeconomics, and Macroeconomics 6
Applied Economics Courses: Choose 2 from among AAEC 5134, 5144, 5154, 5244, ECON 5964 (Experimental Economics) and FOR 5415 (AAEC 5024 may substitute for one of the applied economics courses if AAEC 5026 and ECON 5015 are taken) 6
Total Core Required 20

Additional Coursework

Beyond the core requirements, students pursuing an M.S. complete their coursework program with electives in economics and agricultural and applied economics, as well as forestry, statistics, mathematics, management, and other disciplines. Up to three credit hours of AAEC/ECON 5904 (Project and Report) may be substituted for other courses if the student and his/her advisory committee decide to include a research paper as part of a non-thesis program. No more than 5 semester hours of independent and special students (numbered 5874, 5984) and 6 hours of 4000 level courses may be used to satisfy the course requirements.

Each M.S. degree candidate is required to submit a written proposal to the student’s Advisory Committee stating the significance, goal, and general approach to be taken to accomplish the stated objectives. 

Progress reports are submitted twice annually to the Graduate Program Director. Reports are reviewed and signed by the chair of the student’s advisory committee or temporary advisor. For students with assistantship financial support, the progress reports may be used to help determine the student’s stipend level for the following year. The progress reports will be filed with the student’s permanent record and may be reviewed or copied by the student upon request.

Students are encouraged to participate actively in the research seminars within the department. All master’s degree and Ph.D. students writing a thesis or dissertation are expected to present a seminar on their research proposal or results. In order to schedule a final thesis or dissertation defense, the student may need to complete a short form, which is signed by the chair of his/her advisory committee, indicating that the seminar was given. A copy of the form is obtained from the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Each graduate student should prepare an article based on his/her thesis research for an appropriate technical journal and, after approval by the major professor, submit it for publication.

All M.S. degree students must pass a final examination. If it is an oral examination, it must be scheduled with the Graduate School at least two weeks in advance of being held. Once scheduled, a final oral examination is open to any faculty member, and the Dean of the Graduate School may appoint a representative to take part in the examination.  The exam is administered by the student's advisory committee. This examination includes a defense of the thesis and may also include examination on coursework and its application. The final oral examination cannot be scheduled until the student’s committee chair and designated reader(s) agree that the thesis is suitable for defense.

Ph.D. Program

All Ph.D. students must have an Advisory Committee. This committee must be formed before the plan of study is filed. The major Professor normally serves as chair of the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will consist of minimum of four faculty members (including the advisor). The committee chair, or at least one co-chair, must have a Ph.D. in economics, agricultural economics, or applied economics. Ph.D. students must identify at least two dissertation readers, but readers are not designated on the program of study.

Each student is encouraged to visit with faculty members concerning his/her interests prior to forming an advisory committee. In selecting the committee and committee chair, students are encouraged to have at least one member committed from the faculty in Economics, and at least one member from Agricultural and Applied Economics, and may also include member(s) from other departments.

Once selected, it is the responsibility of the advisory committee to review the student’s proposed coursework, and to assess the likelihood of the student successfully completing his/her program. As a student progresses with their program, research plans should be discussed with and approved by their advisory committee. It is the responsibility of the advisory committee chair and the readers to evaluate drafts of the dissertation and provide continuous reviews.

Each Ph.D student’s plan of study must be approved prior to completion of the third semester. The plan of study should include a listing of all courses, giving name and credit hours, using the appropriate form. The student should submit a copy of the program of study, signed by all Advisory Committee members, to the Graduate Program Coordinator. Upon approval by the Graduate Director and the Department Head, the Graduate Program Coordinator will electronically submit the program of study to the Graduate School.

The Graduate School requirements for a Ph.D. degree include a minimum of 90 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the baccalaureate, with at least 27 hours of course work and 30 hours of Research and Dissertation (AAEC/ECON 7994).

Core Courses Description Credits
ECON 5005 and 5006 Microeconomic Theory 6
ECON 5015 and 5016 Macroeconomic Theory 6
AAEC/ECON 5125, 5126, and 5946 Econometrics 9
ECON 5124 Mathematical Economics 3
AAEC 5004 Seminar in Professional Ethics and Expectations 1
AAEC 6004 Seminar in Professional Engagement and Communication 1
Sub-total core courses 26
     
Field Courses Description Credits
AAEC Field 1 Course 1   3
AAEC Field 1 Course 2   3
AAEC Field 2 Course 1   3
AAEC Field 2 Course 2   3
AAEC 5114 Applied Microeconomic Theory 3
Elective   3
Sub-total beyond core 18
Total Required 44

Doctoral students must satisfactorily complete both Qualifying and Preliminary examinations according to the guidelines in the Student Planning Manual. The Qualifying examination should be taken during January of the second year. The preliminary examination must be taken before entering a seventh semester of full time enrollment in the Ph.D. program.

Each student must pass a preliminary examination consisting of a written and an oral component. The preliminary examination is required by the Graduate School. A student and his/her advisory committee can choose from two approaches to the preliminary examination: either a three-hour written examination followed by an oral examination, or preparation of a dissertation proposal with the oral examination a defense of that proposal. In either case, a student must attempt the preliminary examination before entering a seventh semester of full-time enrollment in the Ph.D. program unless approval for extension is given by the co-chairs of the GPC. The determination of whether a student fails or passes the preliminary examination rests solely with the student’s advisory committee.

Under the written examination approach, the examination covers material relevant to the student’s declared fields of study. The oral part of the exam will cover all of the student’s coursework and material that the student’s advisory committee deems relevant for a Ph.D. candidate. The preliminary examination proceeds as follows:

1. The written preliminary examination is designed by the student’s advisory committee, which may enlist the help of other faculty in preparing and grading individual questions.

2. A successful attempt at passing the written examination is followed within two months by the oral examination. The oral examination must be scheduled with the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to taking the examination and a card must be obtained for recording the grade on the day of the exam. The results of the oral examination (pass or fail) are recorded with the Graduate School by filing the card upon completion of the oral examination.

3. If a student is unsuccessful on the written examination, it is considered a failure of the preliminary examination and recorded with the Graduate School. A failure on the written examination is recorded by the chair of the student’s advisory committee who writes a letter to the student, with copies to the Dean of the Graduate School and the Graduate Program Director, indicating that the student has failed the written portion of the examination, which constitutes failure of the preliminary examination.

Under the dissertation proposal approach, the written component consists of a preliminary investigation of a certain field of research. The proposal should contain evidence that the student has a thorough and broad understanding of the field of investigation, evidence of sufficient innovations within this field of investigation to constitute at least one paper, and an outline of a research agenda beyond the proposed innovations leading to the completion of a dissertation. The proposal should be accompanied by a bibliography of the field of investigation.

The preliminary examination proceeds as follows:

1. The student must submit a draft of the written dissertation research proposal at least six weeks prior to the proposed date of the oral examination to his or her advisor and the designated readers. The student is required to have at least one meeting with his/her advisor and the designated readers regarding the dissertation research proposal prior to the submission of the proposal to the advisory committee as a whole. If necessary the student will have the opportunity to modify his/her proposal to respond to the remarks from the advisor and the designated readers.

2. The student has to submit the final version of the written dissertation research proposal at least two weeks prior to the defense date to all members of his/her advisory committee. The oral examination must be scheduled with the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to taking the examination and a card obtained for recording the grade on the day of the exam. The results of the oral examination (pass or fail) are recorded with the Graduate School by filing the card upon completion of the oral examination.

If a student fails the first attempt of the preliminary examination, the student’s Department Head/Chair may grant a second attempt. If a second attempt is granted, the preliminary examination process must be retaken between fifteen weeks and six months after the first attempt. A maximum of two attempts to pass the preliminary examination will be allowed.  There will be no opportunity to repeat the preliminary examination process after two attempts.

Progress reports are submitted twice annually to the Graduate Director. Reports are reviewed and signed by the chair of the student’s advisory committee or temporary advisor. For students with assistantship financial support, the progress reports may be used to help determine the student’s stipend level for the following year. The progress reports will be filed with the student’s permanent record and may be reviewed or copied by the student upon request.

Students are encouraged to participate actively in the research seminars within the department. All master’s degree and Ph.D. students writing a thesis or dissertation are expected to present a seminar on their research proposal or results. In order to schedule a final thesis or dissertation defense, the student may need to complete a short form, which is signed by the chair of his/her advisory committee, indicating that the seminar was given. A copy of the form is obtained from the Graduate Program Coordinator.

In addition to coursework, Ph.D. students are required to pass three examinations: (1) a written qualifying examination, (2) a written and oral preliminary examination, and (3) a final oral dissertation defense.

  • Students are required to take the written qualifying examination during January of their second year. Exceptions, while unusual, may be obtained on an individual basis. To be considered for an exception, a student must petition the AAEC Graduate Program Director in writing as early as possible, and not later than four weeks prior to the examination date. Students who fail to take the written qualifying examination without the required permission will be considered to fail, unless there are extraordinary extenuating circumstances.
  • Each student must pass a preliminary examination consisting of a written and an oral component. The preliminary examination is required by the Graduate School. A student and his/her advisory committee can choose from two approaches to the preliminary examination: either a three-hour written examination followed by an oral examination, or preparation of a dissertation proposal with the oral examination a defense of that proposal. In either case, a student must attempt the preliminary examination before entering a seventh semester of full-time enrollment in the Ph.D. program unless approval for extension is given by the co-chairs of the graduate program committee. The determination of whether a student fails or passes the preliminary examination rests solely with the student’s advisory committee.

  • The final oral examination is a defense of the student’s dissertation. The Graduate School requires that the final oral exam not be scheduled less than six months after the student has successfully passed the preliminary examination.

At the completion of their degree, students are also expected to provide the Graduate Coordinator with their forwarding address, date of degree, title of thesis or dissertation, and position of employment or further educational plans.