Agricultural Economics

Master's Program

We offer two primary tracks for a Master's degree in Agricultural Economics: the traditional track and the professional MS in international agribusiness. Students with an interest in either program should contact the graduate program coordinator, Ryan Good, at​.

Traditional Track 

The traditional track is research-oriented and leads to the completion of a thesis. This track prepares students for careers in business, consulting, finance, government and non-governmental organizations. The Thesis Research M.S. also provides the necessary foundation to prepare a student for more advanced graduate work in pursuit of a Ph.D. Exact opportunities for research vary depending upon a student’s choice of specialty area, available topics for research, and faculty interest. More details may be found under Specialty Areas.

Below you will find information on prerequisites, course listings, a worksheet and sample MS plan of study, and degree requirements for the traditional track option.

Professional MS in International Agribusiness

The second track is the Professional M.S. in International Agribusiness. This is a non-thesis degree that can be completed in three semesters of residence plus the summer. The primary aim is to prepare students for a career in international agribusiness. Although the Professional M.S. in International Agribusiness shares some courses and features with the Research M.S., it is a distinct program with somewhat different course requirements. Learn more.

Prerequisites for Traditional and Professional MS track

Students are expected to demonstrate proficiency in the following four prerequisite areas. These prerequisites may be satisfied by courses taken in prior degree programs, or courses may be taken at Purdue University without credit. Since progress towards the M.S. degree can be delayed by incomplete preparation (especially in mathematics), students are encouraged to complete prerequisites prior to enrollment at Purdue. Students are expected to complete these prerequisites as early as possible in their program and no later than second semester of resident study.​

  • Principles of Economics (micro and macro theory equivalent to ECON 251/252)
  • Differential and integral calculus (equivalent to Purdue’s MA 223/224)​
  • Statistics (equivalent to STAT 301/501/511)
  • Knowledge of Matrix Algebra

Traditional Track - Course Option​s


Economic Theory (6 credits)​
ECON 511 & ECON 512 
Quantitative Methods (6 credits)​Choose 2: STAT 512, AGEC 552, AGEC 650
Policy Analysis (3 credits)AGEC 602


Electives Basic Advanced
Agribusiness​​AGEC 530-
Agricultural FinanceAGEC 524AGEC 600
Agricultural Policy-
AGEC 640
Benefit-Cost AnalysisAGEC 608-
EconometricsAGEC 650AGEC 651
Mathematical ProgrammingAGEC 552AGEC 652
Marketing, Price AnalysisAGEC 506AGEC 605, AGEC 621, AGEC 622
Production EconomicsAGEC 612AGEC 600, AGEC 613, AGEC 614
Resource Economics-AGEC 616
Trade and DevelopmentAGEC 644AGEC 643, AGEC 691T
Welfare EconomicsAGEC 604AGEC 617

Graduate Degree Requirements

​Master of Science

​Doctor of Philosophy

Thesis Option

​Professional Option

​Minimum course credits



(includes acceptable M.S. credits)

AGEC 60200



​M.S. Thesis

Minimum Ag Economics Credits



(excluding special problems courses)

Core Economic Theory Credits 1




​Core Quantitative Credits 2




Other Core Required Credits 3




​Minimum Specialty Credits




​Minimum Credit at 500+ Level 4




​Maximum Transfer Credits 5



​No Limit

​Minimum Research Credits 6




​Total Credits 7




  1. MS - ECON 51100, ECON 51200; PhD - ECON 60600, ECON 60700, ECON 60900, and ECON 61500
  2. MS – either STAT 51200 or AGEC 65000, plus AGEC 55200; For the Professional MS in International Agribusiness, AGEC 55200 and AGEC 65000 are required; PhD - ECON 67000, AGEC 65100, AGEC 65200, AGEC 65400 (2)
  3. MS – the Professional MS in International Agribusiness has additional requirements, including AGEC 57100 (1 credit), AGEC 57200 (2 credits) AGEC 57300 (3 credits) and a Capstone Project. Check with the Graduate Coordinator for details; PhD - AGEC 62500 (3) or ECON 60800 (2) by permission
  4. Use of course below the 500 level on a Plan of Study requires approval from the Graduate Committee. Written requests for approval should justify inclusion of these courses on a course by course basis. MGMT/OBHR course work must represent less than 50 percent of the credit hours on a Plan of Study.
  5. Credit for acceptable courses taken at other universities may be transferred after one satisfactory semester in residence. Undergraduate transfer credits from another university must be declared in excess for the BS Degree, must be taken for graduate credit and must be equivalent to Purdue 500 or 600 level courses. Equivalency of transfer credits to Purdue credits is determined by the Graduate School. A maximum of nine credits may be transferred if earned as excess undergraduate credit or in post-baccalaureate status at Purdue University.
  6. The research credits for the professional option MS degree are in the form of a special problem, the MS thesis and PhD dissertation research credits are not considered "courses".
  7. The Graduate School requires that all courses appearing on the Plan of Study be passed with a grade of C- or better.
Note: Pass-fail grades are acceptable only for prerequisites. Courses must be taken for a grade to be listed on the Plan of Study. Prerequisite courses and grades will appear on the student's official transcript.

Agricultural Economics, 403 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4191

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