The master's programs in agricultural, food and resource economics may be designed to serve either as final preparation for professional employment or as the foundation for a doctoral program.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, students must meet the requirements specified below.
Applications to the Master of Science Degree in Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics are evaluated by an admissions committee formed by the Department Chairperson and chaired by the Graduate Program Director.
Several criteria are used to evaluate applications including:
- Academic preparation including review of previous degrees and grades, Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores.
- Letters of recommendation.
- Match between the applicant’s background, interests, and educational objectives, and the department’s research, teaching, and/or outreach programs.
- The applicant’s contribution to the diversity and balance of the department’s graduate study body.
Many undergraduate programs provide background for graduate study in agricultural, food and resource economics. However, a student with inadequate background in areas deemed important to the program of study may be required to complete collateral courses in addition to the minimum credit requirements for the degree and may be admitted on a provisional status until some deficiencies are remedied. All applicants for admission to graduate degree programs in agricultural, food and resource economics are required to submit scores for the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination.
Additional details on admission requirements and procedures are outlined on the department Web site at http://www.canr.msu.edu/afre/graduate/applying.
Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics
The student may elect either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (non-thesis research paper). The student's plan of study should be approved by the department prior to the beginning of the second year of enrollment in the program.
A total of 30 credits is required for the degree under Plan A, and a total of 33 credits is required for the degree under Plan B.
Requirements for Both Plan A and Plan B:
- Complete a minimum of 3 credits of microeconomic theory in AFRE 805 or its equivalent.
- Complete a minimum of 9 credits of quantitative methods by enrollment in AFRE 801 and AFRE 802, or equivalent, and 3 credits of an elective, usually AFRE 835. A grade point average of 3.0 or greater is required in all three quantitative methods courses.
- Complete an additional 12 credits of advanced course work at the 800- or 900-level, at least 9 credits must be AFRE courses.
- Pass a final oral examination at which the student presents their thesis or research paper results.
- Have a grade point average of at least 3.0 in the student’s approved course program before the student can be certified for graduation. Collateral courses are not included in this calculation.
Additional Requirements for Plan A:
Additional Requirements for Plan B:
- Complete 6 credits of AFRE 899 Master's Thesis Research.
- Complete 3 credits of AFRE 898 Master's Research.
- Complete 6 credits within or outside AFRE in consultation and approved by the Graduate Program Director.
New students are assigned a temporary major professor by the Graduate Program Director, in consultation with the student and faculty member. The student is responsible for assembling a long-term major professor and guidance committee via consultation with faculty and, if desired, the Graduate Program Director. Students must have a major professor and guidance committee by the end of their second semester. The guidance committee consists of three or more Michigan State University regular faculty members. A majority of the guidance comittee members must have appointments in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics.