Ph.D. Degree

Options and Requirements

  • The Ph.D. degree in Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics equips students with a strong foundation in microeconomic theory and empirical analytical methods.  Graduates proceed to careers in academia, research institutes, government, and business.
  • Ph.D. students establish competency in the fields of: economic theory and econometric methods (courses in the Department of Economics), applied microeconomics, and a major field in agricultural, food, and resource economics.  Students also complete a quantitative methods requirement and at least 9 credits of elective courses.
  • The major fields offered are development economics, environmental and resource economics, food and agribusiness management, and food and agricultural markets. Each student works with his or her guidance committee to develop a course program that supports the student’s long-term career goals and meets degree requirements.
  • Students must pass three written comprehensive examinations: microeconomic theory, statistics/econometrics, and the major field in agricultural, food, resource economics. The first two examinations are prepared and graded by the Department of Economics; they must be passed within the first two years of startng Ph.D. study.  The major field exam must be completed by the end of the thrid year.  Students may make two attempts  to pass each of these exams.
  • Upon passing written exams, students proceed to defend a dissertation research proposal, to complete the dissertation, and to defend it at a final oral examination.  Also required is a research paper suitable for publication, which is generally part of the dissertation.
  • The PhD program offers major field options in:
  • In addition, students may choose one of the fields listed above in support of a research program emphasizing regional development and policy
  • Typical degree completion time for the Ph.D. degree is five years (three after the M.S. degree).
  • Full details on Ph.D. degree requirements are available in the Department’s Graduate Policy and Program Handbook.

Completed Dissertations

  • To see dissertations written by AFRE Ph.D. graduates since 1990, click here, or use the subtab on the left, to view any or all PhD degrees, sorted by year, author and thesis topic.

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