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University of Tennessee, Knoxville    
 
    
 
  Sep 26, 2017
 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog

Agricultural and Resource Economics Major, MS


Requirements

The master's program may be completed under a thesis option with a concentration in agricultural economics or natural resource economics. A non-thesis option is available with a concentration in agricultural economics. For specific information, contact the department head.

Agricultural Economics Concentration

Thesis Option

The thesis option in agricultural economics is designed to prepare students for analytical and research careers in the public and private sectors and to prepare students interested in entering a PhD program. A candidate must complete a minimum of 31 graduate credit hours in courses approved by the student's master's committee. At least 28 credit hours must be earned in courses numbered at or above the 500 level. In the thesis option, 19 credit hours of agricultural and resource economics, 3 credit hours of economic theory, 6 credit hours of quantitative methods, and 6 credit hours of thesis are required. Each student must pass a final oral examination.

Non-Thesis Option

The non-thesis option in agricultural economics is designed to prepare students for analytical and research careers in the public and private sectors. A candidate must complete a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours in courses approved by the student's master's committee. At least 33 credit hours must be earned in courses numbered at or above the 500 level. In the non-thesis option, 27 credit hours of agricultural and resource economics courses and 9 credit hours of directed electives are required. Each student must pass a written comprehensive examination in the form of an approved written research project report integrating relevant coursework material with an approved research project. 

Natural Resource Economics Concentration

The natural resource economics concentration is designed to prepare students for analytical and research careers in the public and private sectors with emphasis on natural resource economics and to prepare students interested in entering a PhD program. A candidate must complete a minimum of 31 graduate credit hours in courses approved by the student's master's committee. At least 25 graduate credit hours must be earned at or above the 500 level. Thirteen credit hours of agricultural and resource economics, 3 credit hours of economic theory, 6 credit hours of quantitative methods, and 6 credit hours of thesis are required. Twelve credit hours of course work must come from a set of directed electives designed to enhance skills in natural resource economics and/or spatial analysis. Each student must pass a final oral examination.

 

Accelerated Five Year BS-MS Program, Agricultural and Resource Economics Major

The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics offers an accelerated 5-year Bachelors of Science and Masters of Science (BS-MS) Program for qualified students. Students obtain a BS degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics with a major in Food and Agricultural Business or Natural Resource and Environmental Economics in seven semesters by completing 120 credit hours, including 9 credit hours of graduate courses that count towards both the BS degree and the MS degree. Students then go on to obtain a thesis-based MS degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics (Agricultural Economics Concentration or Natural Resource Economics Concentration) in three semesters and one summer, completing an additional 22 credit hours of graduate work. Students are typically considered for conditional admission to the BS-MS Program during the third year of undergraduate studies at The University of Tennessee. The MS Program requires that a student complete a thesis project of original research. Therefore, a student is required to start developing a thesis research project in consultation with a thesis advisory committee immediately following their third year of undergraduate studies.

Students seeking admission into the Program must meet the following BS-MS Program requirements:

  1. The applicant must have declared a major in Food and Agricultural Business or Natural Resource and Environmental Economics.
  2. The applicant must have a minimum GPA of 3.25.
  3. The applicant must have completed MS Graduate Program prerequisites MATH 125, STAT 201 or STAT 207, ECON 311, and AREC 324 with a B or better in each course before taking graduate courses as an undergraduate.
  4. The applicant must have completed at least 90 hours of coursework toward a BS degree with a major in Food and Agricultural Business or Natural Resource and Environmental Economics.
  5. The applicant must ask for three letters of recommendation to be sent directly from the letter writer to the Director of Graduate Studies in Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  6. The applicant must complete an interview with the members of the Undergraduate and Graduate Committees in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  7. The applicant must obtain a commitment from a faculty member in Agricultural and Resource Economics to serve as their major professor and at least two other faculty members to serve on their thesis advisory committee. The major professor serves as mentor and advisor for the MS degree portion of the Program.

Besides the aforementioned BS-MS Program requirements, the department may consider other factors such as applicant maturity and work experience before conditionally admitting a student to the BS-MS Program. Conditional admission of a student into the BS-MS Program must be approved by both the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and the Graduate School. Applicants are informed of the admission decision before the beginning of the fourth year of their BS.

Any course taken for graduate credit before satisfying all of the requirements for the BS degree must be approved by both the Director of Graduate Studies in Agricultural and Resource Economics and the Graduate School. The courses must be identified in advance, in consultation with the undergraduate advisor, proposed major professor, and thesis advisory committee members. The form "Agricultural and Resource Economics Conditional Admission 5 Year BS-MS" is available from the Graduate Director and must be completed, signed by the student and the Graduate Director before submitting to the Graduate School for approval and processing. A student who is conditionally admitted to the BS-MS Program completes a maximum of 9 hours of graduate credit during the student's fourth year of undergraduate study, and applies those 9 credit hours to satisfy both BS and MS degree requirements.

Conditional admission into the BS-MS Program does not guarantee acceptance into either the Graduate School or the MS Program. Students in the BS-MS Program must apply for admission to the Graduate School and to the MS Program during their fourth year of undergraduate study, following the same procedures that all other student applicants follow. Students will be fully admitted to the MS Program after they have been accepted both by the Graduate School and by the MS Program in Agricultural and Resource Economics. Students will not be eligible for graduate assistantships until they are enrolled as graduate students in the Graduate School.