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Graduate Program

New!  Certificate in Applied Economic Analytics: A graduate-level certificate program in econometric, forecasting, and data analytics tools needed to succeed in modern applied economic management and related fields. {Learn more}

Virginia Tech's Department of Ag and Applied Economics offers traditional graduate studies leading to an M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics and a Ph.D. in Economics. The department also offers a 100% online, professional master's program in applied economics and data science in addition to the programs described below.

The Ph.D. in Economics is jointly offered with the Department of Economics. AAEC offers a number of economic areas of study for graduate students to pursue. At the master’s level, students can select between an applied economics focus and a focus on agribusiness. At the Ph.D. level, students can dive deeper into the fields of applied econometrics, environmental and natural resource economics, international development and trade, food and health economics, and rural and regional development.

Department faculty and students enjoy a collegial atmosphere for work and study. Class sizes are small and students work closely with faculty members on research and class projects. The town of Blacksburg, where Virginia Tech is located, offers a beautiful, friendly community, with few distractions for graduate students.

Over 90 percent of our students receive financial support in the form of graduate assistantships or fellowships. Graduate assistants help professors with teaching classes or carrying out research grants. More information on funding for AAEC students.

5-year B.S./M.S.

AAEC offers a 5-year B.S./M.S. program for outstanding undergraduates. Students who wish to pursue this opportunity must achieve at least a 3.5 GPA in their undergraduate coursework and apply to the graduate school by March of their junior year. 

Ph.D. with Data Analytics and Applied Statistics M.S.

Ph.D. students in AAEC have the option to also earn a M.S. degree in Data Analytics and Applied Statistics from the Virginia Tech Department of Statistics.

Interdisciplinary Degree in Remote Sensing

AAEC Ph.D. students can combine their program with the Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program in Remote Sensing by taking additional courses related to Remote Sensing and participating in a weekly seminar. Students who complete the requirements receive a certificate in Remote Sensing in addition to their Ph.D.

Academic Employment Track with Future Professoriate Graduate Certificate

AAEC partners with the Virginia Tech Graduate School to offer an academic employment track that prepares Ph.D. students for future roles in academia. To complete the program, students must take 9 additional credit hours that focus on teaching, instruct an undergraduate class, and have a teaching mentor sit on their committee.

*More information about these options are available in the Student Planning Guide.

Graduates of the M.S. program find careers with private businesses, consulting firms, non-governmental organizations, and in government. Many M.S. graduates also continue their studies in a Ph.D. or law degree program as well. Ph.D. graduates find career positions in academia, with government agencies, and in the private sector including non-governmental organizations and consulting firms.

List of AAEC graduate placement information.

Study or research abroad through AAEC's graduate exchange program with the University of Innsbruck in Austria. The program allows students to spend up to one year of their graduate studies abroad, where they can benefit from collaborating with more professors and researchers and gain exposure to international conferences and European culture. Learn more about the Innsbruck graduate exchange program and visit the Global Education Office to apply. Watch this UIBK video to learn more about the University of Innsbruck itself and stuyding abroad there.


All prospective students must apply to our program through the Virginia Tech Graduate School.

Looking for something different?
Check out our Online MS in Ag & Applied Economics

Graduate Program Contacts

Susan Chen
Graduate Program Director
316 Hutcheson Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Normand Adams 
Graduate Program Coordinator
309-B Hutcheson Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: 540-231-0913
Fax: 540-231-7417

Cover photo of the VT AAEC MS program fact book.

AAEC MS Factbook
AAEC's master's program fact book