MS in Agricultural and Applied Economics

Degree Requirements

For the MS degree, students must complete a minimum of 30 hours selected from courses in one of three focus areas (Agricultural Economics and Policy Analysis; Environmental and Development Economics; Organizational Economics). Specific course requirements are determined by each focus area. All course work needs to be from courses numbered 7000-9000. The program includes graduate-level courses in microeconomic theory and quantitative methods. Students opting for the MS thesis must complete at least six credit hours of research as part of the minimum 30 hours. An alternative MS non-thesis program requires that additional course work be substituted for thesis research. Before admission to the MS program, a student should have completed at least nine hours of agricultural economics or economics, a course in calculus and one in statistics.  Note: Focus areas do not appear on diplomas or transcripts.

Sample Plan of Study

  • 9 hours designated as the MS focus area core
  • 6 hours of AAE 8090 Masters Thesis Research
  • 15 hours of Agricultural and Applied Economics courses and/or electives

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Thesis/Non-Thesis Requirements

Students in the Thesis track are expected to produce a thesis with the organization, degree of analysis, and style of presentation that can be readily converted into a professional publication.

Students in the non-Thesis track substitute coursework for the Thesis hours. Students also write a technical paper that represents a collaborative research agenda with his/her advisor. A typical paper would analyze an issue or problem of mutual interest to the student and advisor, such as a phenomenon in local, regional, or national economy; an analysis of a policy implementation or change; or a firm-level decision, such as a feasibility study or an organizational case study.

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The Department’s Graduate Studies Committee and Focus Area faculty oversee the admissions process. Admission into the MS program is determined by an assessment of program prerequisites and application materials. Domestic and international students are equally welcome to apply.

For More Information

For further information on admissions or financial assistance, write to Harvey James, director of graduate studies in agricultural economics, 200 Mumford Hall, Columbia, MO 65211, or

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