MSc Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics


Program Overview

Admission Requirements

Degree Requirements

M.Sc. Student Supervision

Master's Thesis


Program Overview

The MSc program in Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics focuses on two major areas of emphasis:

  • Food and agricultural economics
  • Natural resource and environmental economics

The aim of the MSc program is to develop in students a fundamental understanding of economic principles and their application in identifying and solving relevant problems related to food, agriculture, and natural resources. The program also strives to develop appropriate analytical, methodological, and communication skills to enable students to analyze agriculture and resource problems effectively and explain their findings.


Admission Requirements

Students entering the Master of Science program must have achieved  the University required minimum 70% (B-) average or equivalent.  Based on our experience, successful applicants tend to have a higher GPA, closer to 75% or Upper Second Class.  In addition, they are expected to have already taken, the following basic courses:

  • Intermediate level micro- and macro-economic theory (ECON*2310 and ECON*2410 or equivalent)  *
  • Calculus and matrix algebra with applications to economics (ECON*2770 or equivalent)
  • Intermediate level statistics (ECON*3740 or equivalent)

*  Advanced microeconomic theory course at the undergraduate level is strongly recommended as preparation for the course work in the MSc program.

The Departmental Graduate Program Committee examines each application before the student is proposed to the Office of Graduate Studies for admission into the program. 

As international grading scales and minimum requirements do vary, please consult the "International Credential Evaluation Guidelines".  Applicants must note that depending on their academic background obtained from some countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, or India, they are required to hold both a Bachelor degree and a Masters degree at the First Class/First Division Level to be eligible for a Masters program.

If you require further guidance in regards to the application process you may also contact the Graduate Program Assistant at:

If your first language is not English, you will be required to submit the results of a standardized language test. Please see chart below for acceptable tests and required scores for the Department of FARE. The University of Guelph English as a Second Language Test Code is 0892.

Acceptable tests and minimum required scores for FARE graduate programs are: 

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) = 7.0 overall score and a minimum score of 6.5 in the Speaking and Writing category

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

TOEFL - Paper based test (PBT) = 587

TOEFL - Internet based test (IBT) = 95

NOTE: A minimum overall score of 95 must be achieved, with at least 22 in Speaking, 26 in Writing and 21 in the Listening and Reading categories.

University of Guelph Language Certificate = Advanced Level

English as a Second Language tests are considered valid for a period of two years.  You may upload a letter requesting exemption from this requirement if you have completed your academic studies in a recognized  English speaking institution.  Please indicate institution, program and length where all were delivered in English.



Degree Requirements

In order to satisfy the degree requirements of the thesis-based MSc, students will complete successfully six taught courses, a seminar course, and write and defend an original MSc thesis.  The minimum course work requirements (assuming all undergraduate background requirements have been met) are:

FARE*6380 [0.50] Applied Microeconomics for Agricultural Economists
FARE*6910 [0.50] Applied Policy Analysis I
FARE*6970 [0.50] Applied Quantitative Methods for Agricultural Economics
FARE*6100 [0.50] The Methodologies of Economics
Two graduate courses in Food, Agricultural or Resource Economics as approved by the student's advisory committee.
FARE*6800 [0.00] Seminar in Agricultural Economics


With an appropriate undergraduate background, a student should be able to complete the MSc program with thesis in five or six full-time semesters (18 to 24 months). 

See Department of Economics and Finance for ECON course outlines



MSc Student Advising

All MSc students in the Department are required to select an Advisory Committee, by the end of their second semester at the very latest. Until this time, they are advised by the Departmental Graduate Program Committee. The Advisory Committee must consist of at least two graduate faculty members. The committee comprises of an Advisor plus one other member of the Department, or another member of graduate faculty (who may be from another department when appropriate).

The Advisory Committee is responsible for reviewing the progress of the student as well as the student's prescribed schedule of studies. The Advisory Committee should be consulted prior to registration each semester. The day-to-day responsibility of the students' progress rests with the Advisor. A list of prescribed courses for each student is agreed with the Advisory Committee.  



Master's Thesis

The thesis topic, research proposal and thesis draft are developed in conjunction with the Advisory Committee. The student is required to defend the final draft of the thesis in a public oral examination. The final oral examination committee is composed of the student's Advisory Committee and one other member of the graduate faculty who is appointed by the Chair of the Department. The latter member serves as chair of the examining committee.

To provide guidance to students, previous thesis topics of Master's students in the Department since 2011 are available through the Atrium:

Prior to 2011, titles and authors only can be found on the Departmental website:

Please note: The Master of Science programs offered by the Department must follow all regulations of the Office of Graduate Studies. These are given in the University of Guelph's Graduate Calendar under General Regulations. In addition, there are specific regulations found in the Calendar for MSc degrees. The information provided in these pages is provided for guidance only.