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Agricultural & Resource Economics
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Ph.D. Program

The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics is not funding Ph.D. students at this time. We encourage you to consider applying for a M.S. in AREC to better prepare you for your future Ph.D. program.

The Ph.D. program is offered in conjunction with the Department of Economics. This interdepartmental program provides quality training competitive with other programs in agricultural economics. Graduating students are prepared for faculty positions in colleges and universities and for senior level research positions in government and private industry.

Program of study
All Ph.D. students take the same core courses in economic theory and quantitative methods. In addition, students focus in two areas of specialization. A total of 48 units of coursework plus 18 units of credit for dissertation is required. Normally, a student can expect to complete the degree in four to five years. Students who have completed previous graduate work at other institutions may be able to transfer up to 12 credit hours of coursework towards the degree.

The core coursework of the Ph.D. program consists of 24 units, completed during the first three semesters of the program. The core provides students with a high level of understanding of economic theory and equips them with a strong technical background in the methods used in economic research.

Units required
Core Coursework - 24 units
Specialization 1
Seminar Courses - 6 units
Research Workshop - 3 units
Specialization 2
Seminar Courses - 6 units
Research Workshop - 3 units
Seminar Electives - 6 units
Dissertation Research - 18 units
Total - 66 units

Areas of specialization
Beyond the core courses, students must choose two areas of specialization. Agricultural and resource economics students select at least one specialization from within AREC. The second area of specialization may be chosen from AREC or from the Department of Economics offerings.

For each field of specialization, the student completes two seminar courses and a research workshop (two nine-unit sequences). While the seminar coursework provides a broad overview of the subject, the workshops focus on the frontiers of research in selected topic areas. The student prepares and presents two major papers: a review and synthesis of the literature on a particular topic, and an original paper that may serve as a precis of the dissertation. Faculty members from both departments participate in the workshops.

Dissertation and examinations
Ph.D. candidates are required to complete a dissertation based on original research. At least one member of the AREC faculty must serve on the student’s dissertation committee. Students are encouraged to select a Department faculty member as their principal advisor. Support for dissertation research is currently available in many areas of agricultural and resource economics. In addition to the dissertation, students are required to complete written and oral examinations. Students may have two attempts to pass each exam if needed. The Ph.D. degree will be conferred after the student has met all of the following requirements:

* completion of all coursework with a 3.0 or better grade average,
* passing scores on written proficiency examinations (taken at the end of the first year and after substantial completion of coursework),
* passing score on an oral preliminary examination, and
* successful defense of dissertation.