The University of Arizona. The University of Arizona
Agricultural & Resource Economics
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Graduate Programs Overview

The M.S. in agricultural and resource economics (AREC) provides a strong foundation in economic theory and quantitative methods. Students examine a wide array of economic and political issues and are encouraged to develop and apply their skills to economic analysis in real world problem-solving in the areas of advanced applied econometrics, international economic development, environmental, and resource economics.

The master’s degree prepares a student to…
Students can earn an M.S. in agricultural and resource economics to specifically prepare for careers in the corporate world and in government service as policy analysts, forecasters, economic consultants, etc. The M.S. also prepares students to enter mathematically rigorous Ph.D. programs in agricultural and resource economics, applied economics, economics, etc.

Program size
The AREC program has a graduate enrollment of approximately 30 students. The Department has 12 full-time faculty members, providing a favorable graduate student/faculty ratio.

About our faculty
Our 12 faculty members strive for excellence in both teaching and research. In addition, four faculty members provide extension programs, working directly with the public. Faculty members have been honored on many occasions for their outstanding teaching, research, and extension programs. Additionally, our graduate students have received numerous recognitions, including Outstanding Thesis awards from the WAEA, AAEA, and Food Distribution Research Study.

Length of program
The degree can be completed by well-prepared students in as little as two years. Due to the sequential nature of the core courses, students are usually admitted in the fall semester.

Students design their master’s program
After taking the core course requirements, graduate students choose their thesis topic and thesis advisor. They propose their own plan of study appropriate to their individual needs as approved by their thesis advisor. There is sufficient flexibility for students to choose elective graduate course offerings from within and from outside the Department.

Research opportunities
The faculty place substantial emphasis on involvement of students in research efforts. Because of the close ties between teaching and extension faculty and the diversity of Arizona agriculture, the Department can offer students wide-ranging opportunities for field research and exposure to "real world" problems.

Production and marketing research deals with a wide range of commodities, including irrigated field crops, livestock, and numerous fruit, nut, and vegetable crops. Research projects include analysis of futures markets, food loss from farm-gate to retail, minimum tillage systems, modeling of yields for rating crop insurance contracts, and demand for organic foods. Natural resource problems are the subject of numerous research projects, including safe drinking water, water conflicts in the West, the economics of takings, climate forecasting in Brazil, and reallocation of resources to environmental demands.

The importance of international markets to Arizona farms and agribusinesses has created strong support for research in international trade and development. Recent projects include the role of non-tariff barriers in trade and the impact of exchange rates on commodity prices.
International research projects have been undertaken to study poverty assessment and alleviation in Kenya, impacts of structural adjustment in Brazil, cross-border agribusiness development between Mexico and the United States, and the effects of improved infrastructure on household food security in Bangladesh. M.S. and Ph.D. candidates are often involved in field research efforts. Other opportunities for foreign research are provided by affiliations with outstanding agricultural economics programs in Italy (Portici, Naples) and Portugal (University of Lisbon).

Finally, the Department offers students considerable exposure to pertinent research through numerous seminars offered each semester by leading researchers from domestic and foreign institutions. In addition, a Department brown bag seminar series allows faculty to discuss current research projects.