2006-2007 University of Guelph Graduate Calendar

VIII. Graduate Programs

Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics

PhD Program

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

  • Natural resource and environmental economics

  • Food business economics

  • Economics of agricultural markets

Across these areas there is a focus on both developed and developing countries. Students in the PhD program focus on 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

Minimum University of Guelph admission requirements for a Doctoral program include: 1) a satisfactory baccalaureate; and 2) at the very minimum high second-class honours ('B' standing) in a recognized Master's degree. 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 Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics.

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 Departmental Graduate Program 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

Students enrolled in the PhD program must successfully complete a program of at least 11 taught courses that prepare them for the various elements of comprehensive examination. However, students that are able to demonstrate satisfactory level of competence in any of these requirements may have these course requirements adjusted in accordingly, subsequent to evaluation and the decision of the Departmental Graduate Program Committee.

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 from the following:
ECON*6050 Introduction to Econometric Methods
ECON*6140 Econometrics I
COST*6060 Multivariate Research Methods
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:
ECON*6700 Industrial and Market Organization
AGEC*6250 Futures and Options
ECON*6300 International Trade Theory
ECON*6800 Environmental Economics
ECON*6020 Macroeconomics I
ECON*6350 Economic Development
AGEC*6600 Agriculture in Economic Development

Students may also be permitted to take other courses as substitutes for the above, subject to approval by the Departmental Graduate Program Committee.

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

Qualifying Examination

The required taught courses are intended to prepare students for the qualifying examination. The PhD qualification examination process evaluates a student's readiness to conduct independent research in Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics at the PhD level, including:

  1. Mastery of the breadth and depth of the subject matter.

  2. Ability to integrate the material derived from his or her studies.

  3. Ability and promise in research.

It should be noted that successful completion of these courses is not necessarily sufficient for qualification to PhD candidacy.

Before proceeding to the qualifying examination students are expected to complete successfully pre-qualifying examinations in microeconomic theory and in food, agricultural and resource economics, which aim to assess a student's understanding of key theoretical and empirical concepts. Students are allowed two attempts at each of these pre-qualifying examinations. Students that fail any one of these pre-qualifying examinations will not be permitted to proceed to the qualifying examination.

The qualifying examination consists of a written thesis proposal and an oral defence of this proposal. Students will be permitted two attempts at the qualifying examination.