VIII. Graduate Programs
Agricultural Economics and Business
The PhD program in agricultural economics focuses on three major areas of emphasis:
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.
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.
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:
Economic Research Methods:
Specialized Field of Study:
In addition, students must complete the following courses related to their chosen area of specialization:
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.