Jun 14, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Natural Resources Major (AE), PhD

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Natural Resource Economics Concentration

Students interested in pursuing doctoral studies in the area of natural resource economics may do so with a concentration in natural resource economics under the natural resources PhD major located administratively within the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries (see Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries  catalog entry for detailed information). The student’s doctoral committee will assist the student in developing a program of graduate course work that will meet the requirements for the natural resource economics concentration under the natural resources PhD major while drawing heavily from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and the Department of Economics.


Complete 72 semester hours of graduate course work beyond the bachelor’s degree. Forty-eight hours must be in graduate course work approved by the student’s doctoral committee. Up to 24 hours of course work completed for a master’s degree may be applied to the 48-hour requirement. A minimum of 12 of the remaining 24 (or 30 of the 48 if no master’s degree) hours must be graded A-F. If approved by the Faculty Committee, graduate level courses taken at another institution may be used to meet specific coursework requirements. A minimum of 6 hours of 600-level coursework, exclusive of dissertation hours, must be completed at UTK. Students are required to complete a minimum of 24 hours of AREC 600 , Doctoral Research and Dissertation.

Successfully complete FWF 601  (3 hours), FWF 612  (1 hour); and AREC 520  (1 hour) or similar graduate-level course.

Demonstrate competence in:

  • Microeconomic Theory by qualifying examination. Students must take this examination in the summer prior to their second year of study. Prior to taking the examination students must complete ECON 511  and ECON 512  for graduate credit or petition the Agricultural Economics faculty for exemption from these courses. 
  • Macroeconomic Theory by the completion of a three or more hour graduate-level course in Macroeconomics with a grade of B or better. 
  • Quantitative Methods by completion of ECON 581  with a grade of B or better and completion of ECON 582  and ECON 583  with a combined average grade of B or better.
  • Natural Resource Economics by written comprehensive examination. Preparation for this comprehensive examination will require completion of AREC 570 , or equivalent, and AREC 670 
  • Environmental Economics or another field related to natural resources, economics or agricultural economics by completing two or more courses approved by the student’s doctoral committee in the field of specialization with grades of B or better.
  • All course work by oral comprehensive examination. The examination is scheduled by the student and administered by the student’s doctoral committee when the student has completed all or nearly all of the course work.

Written qualifying and comprehensive examinations will be given in the summer. Students must take the oral comprehensive examination during the first semester after passing all written qualifying and comprehensive examinations. Students are expected to take the required courses that prepare them for the written examinations and must take these examinations on their first offering after completing the recommended course work. Students failing any qualifying or comprehensive examination must retake the examination the next time it is offered or they will receive a failing grade. Failing a qualifying or comprehensive examination for the second time will ordinarily result in dismissal from the program. A qualifying or comprehensive examination may be taken a third time with approval of the Agricultural and Resource Economics faculty. Students must file a petition with the Director of Graduate Studies who will submit the petition to the faculty. Generally, extenuating circumstances are needed to warrant approval to take an examination a third time. Failing a qualifying or comprehensive examination for a third time or not meeting the aforementioned minimum Quantitative Methods grade requirements will result in dismissal from the doctoral program.

Following formation of the student’s doctoral committee, submit a written dissertation proposal in the natural resource economics field to all members of the committee. The student’s major professor will then arrange an oral defense of the proposal. The proposal should be submitted and defended no later than one semester after the student takes the Microeconomic Theory qualifying examination.

Complete a doctoral dissertation in the natural resource economics field and pass an oral examination on the dissertation. The dissertation, in the form approved by the major professor, must be distributed to the committee at least two weeks before the examination. The examination must be scheduled through the Graduate School at least one week prior to the examination and must be conducted in university-approved facilities. The examination is announced publicly and is open to all faculty members. The defense of dissertation will be administered by all members of the doctoral committee after completion of the dissertation and all course requirements. This examination must be passed at least two weeks before the date of submission and acceptance of the dissertation by the Graduate School. The major professor must submit the results of the defense by the dissertation deadline.

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