Kohl Centre

No doubt students get a world-class education at AAEC inside the classroom, but students in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics have boundless opportunities to apply their skills and extend concepts outside the classroom, making their educational experience come to life!


Beyond the classroom: student opportunities


Commodities Investing by Students (COINS) is a select group of AAEC students that invest over half a million dollars annually in commodity markets through exchange traded funds and notes and covered call options and protective puts. The group’s mission is to provide opportunities for Virginia Tech students to gain hands on educational experiences in trading and investing within the agricultural and energy commodities market while seeking a positive risk adjusted return on investment for the Virginia Tech Foundation.

For more information, visit the COINS website or contact the faculty advisor Olga Isengildina Massa

Kohl Centre 

The Kohl Centre has a dual mission to (1) provide business, financial, marketing, and management advice to clients in agribusiness and other sectors of the economy in the entrepreneurial spirit of Dr. Dave Kohl; and (2) facilitate action-oriented, immersive professional development project opportunities for student teams in response to identified clientele needs. For more information visit http://www.kohlcentre.aaec.vt.edu or contact Kim Morgan.

AAEC students can conduct research with faculty through independent studies.  Often students work one-on-one with faculty on topics as diverse as managing agricultural price risk to international development.  Students earn academic credit as determined by their faculty advisor.   Undergraduate research often leads to published papers.   For more information about current and future opportunities, contact Frenda Haynie.


Each year students prepare a marketing plan to compete in the National Agri-Marketing Association competition, which happens every spring. Students begin meeting in the fall to select a product and beginning planning. They receive credit in the spring when they attend the NAMA Conference.

Quiz Bowl

AAEC students compete in the annual Academic or Quiz Bowl competition hosted at the Southern Agriculture Economics Assocation (SAEA) meetings every winter. The double elimination Jeopardy-like tournament tests the teams on their agriculture economics knowledge. The members prepare by discussing questions, researching, making their own questions, and playing against each other. For more information contact advisor Kurt Stephenson and by visiting the SS-AAEA Academic Bowl website.

Qualified students can earn a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in five years. This option allows undergraduate students with strong academic records to take graduate level courses during their senior year with the courses counting toward both their B.S. and M.S. in Applied Economics. Students receive a B.S. in the fourth year and a M.S. in the fifth year. 

Process of admission

  • To gain admission to the program, students must be juniors, about to enter their senior year
  • Applicants must have attained in-major GPAs of at least 3.5 and overall GPAs of at least 3.2
  • Applicants must complete a formal application to the Graduate School at Virginia Tech

Once accepted, students may double-count a maximum of 12 credit hours toward undergraduate and graduate degrees (each credit hour counts toward both degrees at the same time): a maximum of six of those from 4000-level courses, and all others from graduate-level courses.Interested student should contact the Undergraduate Program Director for more information.

Ag Econ Club

The Ag Econ Club is dedicated to providing an environment of fellowship and leadership in which members pursue professional, educational, social and team work development through interaction and cooperation with fellow members, AAEC faculty, alumni, the university, and professional resources to empower themselves with opportunities in the ever changing fields of agribusiness, agrimarketing, and applied agricultural economics.

For more information about the club, contact the current advisors Kurt Stephenson and Normand Adams

Collegiate Young Farmers at Virginia Tech

The Collegiate Young Farmers at Virginia Tech is a chapter that provides students interested in agriculture and rural communities leadership, educational, legislative, networking, and social opportunities. The chapter is in association with Virginia Farm Bureau and American Farm Bureau Federations. For more information, contact the advisors Rachel Kohl

View other student organizations in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

We encourage students to pursue summer or semester abroad programs to promote personal and professional growth through experiencing different cultural perspectives and economic systems. 

Virginia Tech facilitates student education abroad opportunities at hundreds of universities around the world.  The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences also offers specific education abroad opportunities with an emphasis on agriculture.

AAEC hosts the following education abroad opportunities:

Summer Study Abroad in Australia: Environment, Land, Trade, and Culture

Students get to see most of Australia’s largest cities, some of the world’s best beaches, the outback, and the Great Barrier Reef. The study will focus on land use, trade, and food policy. The group will meet with university faculty, government agencies, and the private sector to develop an insight into policy alternatives. For more information  or contact Leon Geyer.

Sustainable Development Research Internships: Ecuador

Six undergraduate research internships in sustainable development are available, funded by a Virginia Tech research project in the Chimbo River watershed in Bolivar Province, Ecuador. Each intern spends five to six weeks during the summer working collaboratively with the Jeffrey Alwang, Darrell Bosch, or George Norton

Other Opportunities

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has numerous other education aboard program opportunities.

The university also has opportunities for students in Virginia Tech's education abroad program.