Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

   
    Aug 18, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Agricultural and Resource Economics Major, MS


Concentrations (Required) and Options Available

Agricultural Economics — Thesis Option, Project Option
Natural Resource Economics — Thesis Option

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • To be competitive for admission to the program, applicants should have completed prerequisite courses in calculus (3 credit hours), statistics (6 credit hours), and intermediate microeconomics theory or its equivalent (3 credit hours).
  • Applicants to the MS program must have a minimum grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale in their undergraduate studies.
  • Applicants must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores.
  • Applicants with undergraduate majors from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville are exempt from submitting GRE or GMAT scores.
  • Applicants must submit a statement of purpose describing professional goals and the reasons for applying to the program.
  • Applicants must request three recommenders capable of evaluating the applicant’s potential for graduate work to provide graduate ratings forms and letters of reference.
  • Submission of the online application, application fee, transcripts, and scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Academic Standards

  • Students are responsible for knowledge and compliance with Graduate School and department requirements in their degree program, as described in the current Graduate Catalog, and the Agricultural and Resource Economics Graduate Program Requirements booklet.
  • Students may be dismissed from the program for the following reasons:
    • A graduate student on academic probation earning less than a 3.00 semester graduate grade point average, or less than a C in any course, or NP in AREC 500, or withdrawal from courses without prior approval of the graduate advisory committee.
    • A graduate student earning less than a 3.00 cumulative graduate grade point average in mandatory agricultural and resource economics courses.
    • Other reasons for dismissal from the program include failure to make adequate progress towards other degree requirements (e.g., research project, thesis preparation), academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism, falsification of data), or other forms of gross misconduct as defined by the Office of Equity and Diversity, Human Resources, Dean of Students’ Office, Hilltopics or Graduate Council.
    • Dismissal will be accomplished by written notice to the student with a copy to the Graduate School.
  • All “incomplete” (I) grades must be removed within one year.
  • No student may graduate with an I (grade of Incomplete) on his/her record.
  • Courses may not be repeated for the purpose of raising a grade already received.

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.

  • The student and the major advisor must select a minimum of two additional faculty members who hold the rank of assistant professor or above, to serve on the student’s thesis advisory committee. The responsibility of this committee is to assist the student in planning a program of study and carrying out research, and to assure fulfillment of the degree requirements.
  • The advisory committee must be formed during the first semester of the student’s program.
  • If the student has a minor, one member of the committee must be a faculty member from the minor program to assist in designating courses required for the minor.
  • Students must receive approval of their academic program by the student’s advisory committee.
  • Students must complete satisfactory preparation of a written thesis proposal and its oral defense to the student’s advisory committee.
  • Students must complete satisfactory preparation of a written thesis and pass a final oral examination by the student’s advisory committee.
  • Research ethics training is required upon entry into the program, which may be achieved through CITI RCR training, as evidenced by presenting a valid CITI RCR certificate to the Director of Graduate Studies or their designee.
  • Human subjects training is required upon entry into the program, which may be achieved through IRB/Human Subjects training, as evidenced by presenting a valid CIT IRB/Human Subjects certificate to the Director of Graduate Studies or their designee.
  • Students must complete any other training mandated by the department or University.

Credit Hours Required

31 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • 13 credit hours must be in mandatory agricultural and resource economics courses
    • AREC 505  (3 credit hours of microeconomic theory)
    • AREC 524  and AREC 525  (6 credit hours quantitative methods)
    • AREC 542  or AREC 550   (3 credit hours of microeconomic applications)
    • AREC 520  (1 credit hour of research methods)
  • AREC 500  Thesis (6 credit hours)
  • 12 credit hours of electives selected in consultation with the major professor and/or guidance committee
    • 6 credit hours must be in agricultural and resource economics
    • 6 credit hours of other electives

Additional Course Requirements

  • At least 28 credit hours of the 31 credit hours must be earned in courses numbered at, or above the 500-level
  • A maximum of 3 credit hours of AREC 593  can be used to satisfy the 31 credit hour requirement

Agricultural Economics Concentration, Project Option

The project option in agricultural economics is designed to prepare students for analytical and research careers in the public and private sectors.

  • Students must register for 3 credit hours of AREC 593  (non-thesis research project) and complete a non-thesis research project. The research project must be approved by the student’s advisory committee and supervised by the major advisor or a member of the advisory committee.

Credit Hours Required

36 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • 12 credit hours must be in mandatory agricultural and resource economics courses
    • AREC 505   (3 credit hours of microeconomic theory)
    • AREC 524  and AREC 525  (6 credit hours quantitative methods)
    • AREC 599  (3 credit hours of non-thesis research project)
  • 12 credit hours of 500-level and above in agricultural and resource economics electives selected in consultation with the major professor and/or guidance committee
  • 12 credit hours of graduate level electives approved by the student’s advisory committee
    • 6 credit hours must be in agricultural and resource economics

Additional Course Requirements

  • A maximum of 3 credit hours of AREC 593  can be used to satisfy the 36 credit hour requirement.
  • At least 30 credit hours of the 36 credit hours must be earned in courses numbered at or above the 500-level.

Non-Course Requirements

  • Each student must pass a comprehensive examination by the student’s advisory committee in the form of an approved written research project and oral defense of the project integrating relevant course work material with an approved research project.
  • The student and the major advisor must select a minimum of two additional faculty members who hold the rank of assistant professor or above, to serve on the student’s advisory committee. The responsibility of this committee is to assist the student in planning a program of study and carrying out the non-thesis Research Project, and to assure fulfillment of the degree requirements.
  • The committee must be formed during the first semester of the student’s program.
  • If the student has a minor, one member of the committee must be a faculty member from the minor program to assist in designating courses required for the minor.
  • Students must receive approval of their academic program by the student’ advisory committee.
  • Research Ethics training is required upon entry into the program, which may be achieved through CITI RCR training, as evidenced by presenting a valid CITI RCR certificate to the Director of Graduate Studies or their designee.
  • Human subjects training is required upon entry into the program, which may be achieved through IRB/Human Subjects training, as evidenced by presenting a valid CIT IRB/Human Subjects certificate to the Director of Graduate Studies or their designee.
  • Students must complete any other training mandated by the department or University.

Natural Resource Economics Concentration, Thesis Option

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.

Credit Hours Required

31 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • 13 credit hours must be in mandatory agricultural and resource economics courses
    • AREC 505  (3 credit hours of microeconomic theory)
    • AREC 524  and AREC 525   (6 credit hours quantitative methods)
    • AREC 570  (3 credit hours of natural resource economics)
    • AREC 520  (1 credit hour of research methods)
  • AREC 500  Thesis (6 credit hours)
  • 12 credit hours of coursework must come from a set of electives selected in consultation with the major professor and/or guidance committee that are designed to enhance student skills in natural resource economics, quantitative methods, and/or spatial analysis.
  • Six of the 12 credit hours must be in Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Additional Course Requirements

  • At least 25 credit hours of the 31 credit hours must be earned in courses numbered at or above the 500-level
  • A maximum of 3 credit hours of AREC 593  can be used to satisfy the 31 credit hour requirement

Non-Course Requirements

  • The student and the major advisor must select a minimum of two additional faculty members who hold the rank of assistant professor or above, to serve on the student’s thesis advisory committee. The responsibility of this committee is to assist the student in planning a program of study and carrying out research, and to assure fulfillment of the degree requirements.
  • The advisory committee must be formed during the first semester of the student’s program.
  • If the student has a minor, one member of the committee must be a faculty member from the minor program to assist in designating courses required for the minor.
  • Students must receive approval of their academic program by the student’ advisory committee.
  • Students must complete satisfactory preparation of a written thesis proposal and its oral defense to the student’s advisory committee.
  • Students must complete satisfactory preparation of a written thesis and pass a final oral examination by the student’s advisory committee.
  • Research ethics training is required upon entry into the program, which may be achieved through CITI RCR training, as evidenced by presenting a valid CITI RCR certificate to the Director of Graduate Studies or their designee.
  • Human subjects training is required upon entry into the program, which may be achieved through IRB/Human Subjects training, as evidenced by presenting a valid CIT IRB/Human Subjects certificate to the Director of Graduate Studies or their designee.
  • Students must complete any other training mandated by the department or University.

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 3.30.
  3. The applicant must have completed MS Graduate Program prerequisites MATH 125, STAT 201 or STAT 207, ECON 311, and AREC 324 or BAS 320 or ECON 381 with a B or better grade in each course before taking graduate courses as an undergraduate.
  4. The applicant must have completed at least 90 credit 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.

A student who is conditionally admitted to the BS-MS Program can complete a maximum of 9 credit hours of graduate credit during the student’s fourth year of undergraduate study and use those 9 credit hours to satisfy both BS and MS degree requirements. Before enrolling in these courses, the student must: (i) Identify the courses to be taken, in consultation with the student’s undergraduate advisor, proposed major professor, and thesis advisory committee members; and (ii) Obtain approval from the Graduate School and the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. To obtain approval from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, the student must submit a completed “Agricultural and Resource Economics Conditional Admission 5 Year BS-MS” form to the Department’s Director of Graduate Studies. Copies of the form are available from the Director of Graduate Studies. To obtain approval from the Graduate School, students must submit a completed “Senior Requesting Graduate Credit Form” to the Graduate School. A separate “Senior Requesting Graduate Credit Form” must be completed and submitted to the Graduate School before each semester in which the student enrolls in courses for graduate credit.

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 MS Program by completing an Application for Admission to Graduate Admissions 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.