The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics offers graduate degree programs leading to the master of science and doctor of philosophy. Long recognized as one of the top programs in the nation, the department is an active center of research and graduate training in environmental and natural resource economics, the economic development of low-income countries, agricultural economics and community economics.

Department faculty are affiliated with a broad range of institutes and centers across the campus, including the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, the University Center for Cooperatives, the Renk Agribusiness Institute, Center for Community Economic Development, and the area studies programs. Each program has its own rich intellectual life of seminars and other activities.

The department provides office space, a lounge, and IT support for its M.S. graduate students and Ph.D. students. The Taylor–Hibbard Club, the department's graduate student organization, serves as a link between graduate students and the faculty, elects student representatives to department committees, and promotes academic and social activities for its members.

There are two master's degree programs in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics: the M.S. Professional Option and the M.S. Agricultural and Applied Economics (A A E).


This full-time, 15-month, on-campus professional master's option is designed to prepare students to fill the growing private sector demand for quantitatively-skilled analysts and managers. Students will learn skills in economic reasoning, data management, empirical analysis, and technical communication in order to find analytical positions in governmental, or non-governmental sectors. Students take electives to pursue specific interests in AAE's focus areas of agriculture, development, and environmental and natural resource economics. Learn more. 


The AAE-MS option is a master’s degree program intended for students with research and specific academic interests, especially students who might want to pursue a double or dual degree with another department, or go on for a Ph.D. program in economics of development, agriculture, energy and natural resources, and community development. This program normally takes four semesters to complete. For more information please visit the AAE department website.

Students apply to the M.S. in Agricultural and Applied Economics through one of the named options:

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

M.S. students in agricultural and applied economics can apply for graduate positions listed under students jobs.

Students in the M.S. Professional Option are not permitted to accept assistantships or seek dual degrees. Scholarships are available for Wisconsin citizens and U.S. Peace Corp participants who graduated with a 3.4.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements


Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement See Named Option for requirement information.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements See Named Option for requirement information.
Assessments and Examinations See Named Option for requirement information.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required Courses

Select a Named Option for courses required.

Named Options

A named option is a formally documented sub-major within an academic major program. Named options appear on the transcript with degree conferral. Students pursuing the Master of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics must select one of the following named options:

Students should refer to one of the named options for policy information:

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Articulates and critiques theories and empirical methods for quantitative analysis relevant to agricultural, environmental, international development, or community economics.
  2. Identifies data sources, applies appropriate econometric methodologies, and evaluates quantitative evidence relevant to questions in agricultural, environmental, international development, or community economics.
  3. Clearly communicates applied economics issues, methods, and empirical analysis using both written and oral strategies.
  4. Recognizes and applies principles of ethical, collegial and professional conduct.


Deller, Steven
Foltz, Jeremy
Mitchell, Paul
Phaneuf, Daniel
Rutherford, Thomas
Schechter, Laura
Shi, Guanming (Chair)


Du, Sheldon
Grainger, Corbett
Fletcher, Jason*
Nicholson, Charles
Parker, Dominic


Conroy, Tessa
Dower, Paul
Hadachek, Jeff
Jerch, Rhiannon
Johnston, Sarah
Mukherjee, Priya
Stevens, Andrew


Beach, Jeremy
Berner, Courtney
van Rijn, Jordan


Roth, Kevin

Mary Treleven

*AAE Affiliate Faculty