Degree Programs

The Department offers programs leading to a Master of Sciences (M.S.) in Agricultural and Applied Economics and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Economics. The AAEC Ph.D. in Economics is jointly offered with the Department of Economics. A brief description of the various degree programs in Agricultural and Applied Economics is presented below. More detailed information is included in the Academic Requirements section. 


The Agricultural and Applied Economics graduate program offers an M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics. A student may select courses that build upon a broad-based undergraduate economics curriculum or may specialize in a specific field of interest. By choosing among core courses and use of various electives, students may develop specialties in diverse areas such as General Economics, Econometrics and Quantitative Methods, Food and Health Economics, Natural Resource and Environmental Economics, Food System Economics and Management, Policy and International Trade, and Economic Growth and Development.  The M.S. offers both thesis and non-thesis options.


The AAEC graduate program offers a Ph.D. in Economics jointly with the Department of Economics. Ph.D. students take a common set of core courses in the first three semesters of the program and a common written qualifying examination. Each student must also pass a preliminary examination based either on the student’s declared fields of study or defense of the student’s dissertation proposal. Students also write a dissertation and present a final dissertation defense.

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 coursework and 30 hours of Research and Dissertation (AAEC/ECON 7994).


Klaus Moeltner
Graduate Program Director
312 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