Doctoral Program


The AEDE PhD program is a globally recognized leader in the disciplinary areas of development, environmental and regional economics and in 2011, was ranked by the National Research Council as the top program in Agricultural and Resource Economics in the United States.

Students acquire rigorous training in economic theory and advanced quantitative methods, and learn to apply these skills to a wide range of real-world economic problems. Degree recipients go on to assume teaching, research, and managerial positions with universities and colleges, research institutions, government agencies, multilateral international institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and private companies and corporations.

An MS degree is not required for admission to apply to the PhD Program.  Students whose undergraduate degrees are not in economics or business are welcome to apply as well.  Please see the Admissions Process and Criteria page to learn more.

fields of specialization

The AEDE PhD program requires students to take a total of six doctoral level field classes, four of which must be taken in the AEDE department. 
The AEDE field courses include: environmental and resource economics, regional economics and development economics.
Graduate students are given wide latitude to design their own program of study and to choose a dissertation topic. 
In recent years, under the supervision of AEDE faculty members, doctoral students have conducted innovative theoretical and applied research on agricultural policy and trade, agricultural finance and risk management, consumption and marketing economics, food economics and agribusiness, environmental and natural resource economics, international and regional economic development, poverty and food security, climate change, spatial and land-use economics, health economics, bioeconomics, and experimental and behavioral economics.
Innovative research that addresses pressing social problems is encouraged, regardless of the sub-discipline of economics with which it may be identified.

course requirements

The PhD program requires a student to complete a minimum of 90 graduate semester credit hours. PhD students must take the non-credit Math Camp offered by the Economics Department in July and August immediately preceding the start of classes in the first year.
In addition, effective autumn 2012, they must complete the following core courses during their first and second years. 
In addition to core course requirements, PhD students, after the conclusion of their second year, must: Complete a minimum of thirty semester credit hours of AED Econ 8999, “Dissertation Research”; Enroll in 1 semester credit hour of AED Econ 8800, “Seminar in AED Economics”, in every autumn and spring semester they are in residence; Enroll in 1 semester credit hour of AED Econ 8895, “PhD Research Seminar”, in every autumn and spring semester they are in residence, making at least two presentations in that seminar


In addition to required coursework, a PhD student must: Pass a Microeconomics Theory Qualifying Examination prior to the beginning of the second year; Submit a quality research manuscript prior to the beginning of their third year; Pass the Candidacy Examination and defend their Doctoral Dissertation Proposal, typically before the beginning of their fourth year; Complete the Doctoral Dissertation and pass a Final Oral Examination.

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