The M.S. in agricultural and resource
economics (AREC) provides a strong foundation in economic theory
and quantitative methods. Students
examine a wide array of economic and political issues and are encouraged
to develop and apply their skills to economic analysis in real
world problem-solving in the areas of advanced applied econometrics,
international economic development, environmental, and resource
The master’s degree prepares
a student to…
Students can earn an M.S. in agricultural and resource economics
to specifically prepare for careers in the corporate world and
in government service as policy analysts, forecasters, economic
consultants, etc. The M.S. also prepares students to enter
mathematically rigorous Ph.D. programs in agricultural and resource
economics, applied economics, economics, etc.
The AREC program has a graduate enrollment of approximately 30
students. The Department has 12 full-time faculty members, providing
a favorable graduate student/faculty ratio.
About our faculty
Our 12 faculty
members strive for excellence in both teaching
and research. In addition, four faculty members provide
extension programs, working directly with the public.
Faculty members have been honored on many occasions
for their outstanding teaching, research, and extension
programs. Additionally, our graduate students have
received numerous recognitions, including Outstanding
Thesis awards from the WAEA, AAEA, and Food Distribution
Length of program
The degree can be completed by well-prepared students in as little
as two years. Due to the sequential nature of the
core courses, students are usually admitted in the fall semester.
Students design their master’s program
After taking the core course requirements, graduate students choose
their thesis topic and thesis advisor. They propose their own plan
of study appropriate to their individual needs as approved by
their thesis advisor. There is sufficient flexibility for students
to choose elective graduate course offerings from within and from
outside the Department.
The faculty place substantial emphasis on involvement of
students in research efforts. Because of the close ties between
teaching and extension faculty and the diversity of Arizona agriculture,
the Department can offer students wide-ranging opportunities for
field research and exposure to "real world" problems.
Production and marketing research deals with a wide range of commodities,
including irrigated field crops, livestock, and numerous fruit,
nut, and vegetable crops. Research projects include analysis of
futures markets, food loss from farm-gate to retail, minimum tillage
systems, modeling of yields for rating crop insurance contracts,
and demand for organic foods. Natural resource problems are the
subject of numerous research projects, including safe drinking
water, water conflicts in the West, the economics of takings, climate
forecasting in Brazil, and reallocation of resources to environmental
The importance of international markets to Arizona farms and agribusinesses
has created strong support for research in international trade
and development. Recent projects include the role of non-tariff
barriers in trade and the impact of exchange rates on commodity
International research projects have been undertaken to study
poverty assessment and alleviation in Kenya, impacts of structural
adjustment in Brazil, cross-border agribusiness development between
Mexico and the United States, and the effects of improved infrastructure
on household food security in Bangladesh. M.S. and Ph.D. candidates
are often involved in field research efforts. Other opportunities
for foreign research are provided by affiliations with outstanding
agricultural economics programs in Italy (Portici, Naples) and
Portugal (University of Lisbon).
Finally, the Department offers students considerable exposure
to pertinent research through numerous seminars offered each semester
by leading researchers from domestic and foreign institutions.
In addition, a Department brown bag seminar series allows faculty
to discuss current research projects.