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Department of Agricultural Economics

Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics

Graduate education in Agricultural Economics stresses the development of superior competence as an applied economic analyst. Students should have the desire to understand and solve the complex and changing economic problems facing the food and agricultural industries, and rural society and our natural resources and the desire and ability to learn methods of rigorous logical analysis.

The Ph.D. program is operated in cooperation with the Department of Economics. Students earn a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics. Our graduates have taken postitions in academia, research, extension, government and industry. We are very proud of our impressive record of success.

Students will learn about economic theory, apply that knowledge in research methodology, general agricultural economics and a specialty branch including: agribusiness, international development, natural resources, price analysis/marketing, production/farm management/finance, community and regional economics, trade and policy. Our faculty is well-respected not only in these areas but also in the fields of econometrics, entrepreneurship, environmental economics, food safety, industrial organization and regulation.

At the completion of 12 hours of microeconomics and macroeconomics, students take qualifying examinations in micro and macroeconomic theory. Students then continue to complete all course work in their area of study. Next, students take a general agricultural economics preliminary examination. When the student has passed this exam, he or she is admitted to candidacy.

Candidates prepare a written dissertation proposal, which includes an identification of the problem, a review of literature, and an outline of proposed research procedures to be used. The candidate must satisfactorily defend the proposal in a seminar at least six months before the final Ph.D. oral, in which the candidate defends the dissertation.

Course Requirements

Specialty Areas

Ph.D. Handbook


Graduate Program Information

For information regarding our on-campus Master's degree and Ph.D. options, please contact:

Dr. Nathan Hendricks
Director of Graduate Programs
326 Waters Hall

For information on our online Master of Agribusiness program, please contact:

Dr. Allen Featherstone
Master of Agribusiness Program Director
342 Waters Hall