BS in Agricultural Economics with Emphasis in Public Policy

Degree Program Description

In the field or in public service, agricultural economists apply economic concepts and problem-solving skills to effectively and efficiently manage farm, environmental and commercial decisions.  Agricultural Economics is for students interested in improving food production and processing, developing agricultural policy, helping rural communities preserve and develop their economic strengths, or protecting our natural resources.  This emphasis is for students specifically interested in public policy, government, and pursuing graduate studies and/or law school. It prepares students in focus areas such as environmental and natural resource management, international economic development, and international trade and agricultural policy. Many of these careers are in the public sector or relate and work with public institutions.   In Policy Analysis, Agricultural economists often are employed by environmental groups, government agencies, commodity organizations and media to interpret how agricultural policies affect various interest groups. These policies include all aspects of agriculture, from water and soil use to technology adoption to international trade patterns. Such policies affect all of us through food and energy prices, the quality of our water and air, product development, and international trade and negotiations. 

Major Program Requirements

In addition to the Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics degree program requirements, the following courses are required within the public policy emphasis:

Emphasis core requirements24
AG_EC 2070Environmental Economics and Policy3
AG_EC 3230Agricultural and Rural Economic Policy3
AG_EC 3271International Agricultural Development3
or AG_EC 3272 International Food Trade and Policy
AG_EC 4990Economic Analysis of Policy and Regulation3
ECONOM 4351Intermediate Microeconomics3
Public Policy Electives9
Ethical Issues in Agriculture
International Food Trade and Policy
Agribusiness and Biotechnology Law
Rural and Agricultural Law
General Farm Management
Economics of Managerial Decision Making
Agricultural Marketing and Procurement
Agri-Food Business and Cooperative Management
Public Economics
International Electives3
International Agribusiness
International Agricultural Development
International Food Trade and Policy
International Agriculture and Natural Resources
International Agriculture and Natural Resources - Humanities

Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
AG_EC 10413AG_EC 10423 
AG_EC 43013AG_EC 43013 
ENGLSH 10003BIO_SC 10103 
MATH 11003BIO_SC 10202 
PHIL 12003MATH 14003 
 POL_SC 1100, 2100, HIST 1100, or HIST 12003 
 15 17  
Second Year
AG_EC 21833AG_EC 20703 
AG_EC 22253AG_EC 21233 
ACCTCY 2036, 2026, or 2136H3AG_EC 32303 
CHEM 1100, 1320, BIOCHM 2110, or BIOCHM 21123AG_ED_LD 2220 or COMMUN 12003 
Humanities Elective3ACCTCY 2037, 2027, or 2137H3 
 15 15  
Third Year
AG_EC 3271 or 32723AG_EC 32823AG_EC 49403
ECONOM 32293International Elective3 
AG_EC 42513Supporting Agriculture Science6 
Supporting Agriculture Science3Public Policy Elective3 
ECONOM 43513  
 15 15 3
Fourth Year
Public Policy Electives6AG_EC 49903 
Free Electives7Free Electives9 
 13 12  
Total Credits: 120

The following foundational courses are included in the Semester Plan above and are used by the Department to meet MU’s General Education Requirements and University Undergraduate Requirements.

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students who have attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by logging in to myZou and navigating to Self Service, then Student Center, and clicking on “Request Degree Audit.” The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.

MU students who have NOT attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

For newly admitted or prospective students, MU degree audits can be created at Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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