University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
 
 
Masters Degree

Master's Degree Programs

The Master's degree programs in the Department of Agricultural Economics qualify students for a degree as "Master of Science in Agricultural Economics."


Types of Master's Programs

Currently, two types of Master's degree programs are offered. One is the research Master's degree (Plan A), in which the student conducts research and writes a thesis. The other Master's Degree program (Plan B) is in Applied Agricultural Economics and does not require a thesis.

Master's Degree in Agricultural Economics (Plan A)

This program is designed to meet the needs of students who have a strong interest in a specific topic and wish to fully develop their understanding of it by preparing a major research paper. Students in this program will be expected to complete a thesis plus a minimum of 24 hours of course work, 12 hours of which must be at the 600 level and 12 hours of which must be in agricultural economics courses.

Requirements for the Plan A Master's degree in Agricultural Economics include the following:

Preprogram Requirements

  • Calculus (MA 113 or MA 137 at UK)
  • Business and Economic Statistics (ECO 391 at UK)
  • Intermediate macro-economic theory (ECO 402 at UK)

Required Courses

  • AEC 503: Advanced Microeconomic Theory
  • AEC 531: Agricultural Price Analysis
  • AEC 624: Advanced Quantitative Methods in Agricultural Economics

Other Requirements

  • At least 12 credit hours in graduate Agricultural Economics courses (500- or 600-level courses)
  • At least 12 credit hours in 600-level graduate courses.
  • Total graduate course credit hours required: 24
  • A thesis and final examination.
  • Defense of the thesis at an oral examination.

The MS thesis research will be conducted under supervision of the student's major professor and advisory committee. Once the thesis is completed, the student's final oral examination can be scheduled. In addition to the oral examination, students are encouraged to present seminars based on their work. They are also encouraged to write papers for presentation at professional meetings and for submission to professional journals.


Master's Degree in Applied Agricultural Economics (Plan B Non-Thesis Masters')

There exists a continuing need for a Master's degree program which produces individuals with a broad set of professional skills. By taking a larger set of courses, students develop the capacity to apply most of the tools available to an applied economics. Academic work in this program concentrates on applied agricultural economics courses directed toward the special needs of the individual student. This program does not require a thesis, but it does require 36 credit hours of graduate coursework, at least 15 hours of which must be at the 600 or higher level, and 18 hours of which must be in agricultural economics courses.

The following summarizes course requirements for the Plan B Master's degree in Agricultural Economics:

Preprogram Requirements

  • Calculus (MA 113 or MA 137 at UK)
  • Business and Economic Statistics (ECO 391 at UK)
  • Intermediate macroeconomic theory (ECO 402 at UK)

Required Courses

  • AEC 503: Price Theory and Applications
  • AEC 531: Agricultural Price Analysis
  • AEC 624: Advanced Quantitative Methods in Agricultural Economics

Other Requirements

  • At least 18 credit hours in graduate Agricultural Economics courses (500- or 600- level courses)
  • At least 15 credit hours in 600-level graduate courses
  • Total graduate course credit hours required: 36
  • Oral examination.

This program is not recommended for students who have any aspirations towards pursuing a Ph.D. Since students in this program are not engaged in research, graduate research assistantships are not available for Plan B students.


If you have questions or would like additional information about the AEC Graduate Program, please contact:

AEC Director of Graduate Studies
University of Kentucky
Department of Agricultural Economics
400 Charles E. Barnhart Bldg.
Lexington, KY 40546-0276

E-mail: aecdgs@lsv.uky.edu.