2004-2006 University of Guelph Graduate Calendar

VIII. Graduate Programs

Agricultural Economics and Business

PhD Program

The PhD program in agricultural economics focuses on three major areas of emphasis:

  • Economics of agricultural markets

  • Food business economics

  • Resource and environmental economics

Across these areas there is a focus on both developed and developing countries. Students in the PhD program must choose an area of specialization relevant to their thesis research, plus complete courses in economic theory and economic research methods. All students must complete and defend a thesis in their chosen area of specialization.

Admission Requirements

Students are admitted to the PhD program in the Fall of each year. Students entering the PhD program are expected to have satisfied the requirements, or their equivalents, of the department's MSc degree in Agricultural Economics (or will be required to make up any deficiencies before admission to the PhD program). In cases where a student's master's degree is not equivalent to that offered by the department, the student may initially be accepted into the MSc program and may then apply for transfer to the PhD program at some time during the first three semesters. Applications for transfer must be supported by the Agricultural Economics Graduate Studies Committee and approved by the Board of Graduate Studies. The student does not have to complete all the requirements of the MSc before transferring to the PhD program, but must achieve high academic standing.

Degree Requirements

The student is expected to demonstrate competence in a major field of specialization (see below). Six graduate courses or their equivalents related to this field are normally required. Further, a student must successfully complete a program of study in microeconomic theory, consisting of two graduate level courses, plus three courses in economic research methods. Although a total of 11 courses is a recommended minimum, students able to demonstrate satisfactory level of competence in any of these requirements may have these course requirements adjusted accordingly.

All students must complete the following microeconomic theory and economic research methods courses:

Microeconomic Theory:
ECON*6000 Microeconomic Theory I
ECON*6010 Microeconomic Theory II
Economic Research Methods:
AGEC*6360 Mathematical Programming
AGEC*6100 The Methodology of Economics
Plus ONE of:
ECON*6050 Introduction to Econometric Methods
ECON*6140 Econometrics I
COST*6060 Multivariate Research Methods
Specialized Field of Study:

In addition, students must complete the following courses related to their chosen area of specialization:

AGEC*6400 Advanced Topics in Agricultural Economics
Plus FIVE from:
AGEC*6420 The Economics of the Firm: Concepts with Applications
AGEC*6020 Economics of Food Safety and Quality
AGEC*6540 Advanced Price Analysis
AGEC*6570 Advanced Agricultural Marketing Analysis
ECON*6700 Industrial and Market Organization
AGEC*6250 Futures and Options
AGEC*6240 Agricultural Trade Policy
AGEC*6220 Agricultural Policy
ECON*6300 International Trade Theory
AGEC*6610 Economics of Renewable Resources
ECON*6800 Environmental Economics
ECON*6020 Macroeconomics I
ECON*6350 Economic Development
AGEC*6600 Agriculture in Economic Development
AGEC*6320 Cost Benefit Analysis
AGEC*6700 Advanced Resource Economics
Any other course approved by the Department Graduate Advisory Committee.

Students are required to complete their course work by the end of the fourth semester.

The required courses will prepare the student for the qualifying examination. The first element of the qualifying examination covers microeconomics theory, which is taken after the second semester. The second element examines competence in agricultural economics as a whole and the chosen field of specialization. The third element consists of an oral defence of a thesis proposal. The second and third elements are taken at the end of the fourth semester. Qualification must be completed by the end of the fifth semester at the very latest. Upon satisfactory completion of the qualifying examinations the student becomes a candidate for the PhD degree.