Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food & Environment

Agricultural Economics - Graduate

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Students holding degrees in agricultural economics are employed by academic institutions, local, state, and federal agencies that deal with agriculture, natural resources and economic development; private firms in the agricultural and business sectors; and agencies and governments of foreign countries. These agricultural economists conduct research, develop extension services, teach classes, and serve as managers and administrators in various types of firms and agencies. 

Master's Program Description

Students entering the M.S. program are expected to have at least one course in each of the following areas: intermediate microeconomics, intermediate macroeconomics, calculus, and statistics. An undergraduate degree in economics is advantageous, as is a good background in mathematics. There are no minimum GPA or GRE requirements beyond those of the Graduate School, but such information, along with letters of recommendation, is used qualitatively in the admission decision. 

Doctoral Program Description

Students entering the Ph.D. program are expected to have the following courses: at least a two-course calculus sequence, M.S. level microeconomic theory, M.S. level macroeconomic theory, and statistics theory. Some of these courses may be taken during the student’s first semester. A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline is generally required for entry into the Ph.D. program. In exceptional cases a student may be admitted directly to the Ph.D. program with only a Bachelor’s degree. There are no minimum GPA or GRE requirements beyond those of the Graduate School, but such information, along with letters of recommendation, is used qualitatively in the admission decision.

Master's or Doctoral Application Requirements

  1. CV
  2. Personal Statement
    • Please outline the reasons you are applying, your long-term goals, and any background information that might be helpful in assessing your potential for graduate study.
  3. All applicants admitted to our program are considered for funding on a competitive basis, depending on funding available.
  4. GRE
  5. Three letters of recommendation

Applicants must meet the Graduate School admission requirements.

Application Deadlines

​Spring: August 15

Fall: March 15

Our Students' Work


To better understand the interests and areas of study available within the Agricultural Economics Department, browse these recent dissertations and theses from our graduates:   

Kentucky Forest Sector: Structural Changes and Economic Impacts
Domena Attafuah Agyeman. 2021

Two Essays on Food, Environment, Nutrition, and Food Insecurity
Suliman Abdulaziz Almojel. 2021

Three Essays on Grocery Sales Taxes
Lingxiao Wang. 2021

Fellowships and Funding

  • H.B Price Fellowship: The Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky is recruiting the H.B. Price Graduate Fellowship in Regional Economics. The selected student will identify, in agreement with his/her advising committee, specific research topics, which may focus on (but are not limited to) issues related to regional economics including rural development, labor economics, firm formation and targeted attraction, economic geography, rural health, and other policy relevant topics. 


Clubs and Organizations

Ag Econ GSO: Ag Econ GSO serves to enhance the experiences and outcomes for UK Ag Econ graduate students. We accomplish this as a liaison between graduate students and the faculty and staff of the Department of Agricultural Economics, provide and communicate opportunities for professional growth such as funding, conferences, or workshops, and most importantly, have events & adventures that give students a chance to get to know Kentucky agriculture, Lexington - and each other - a little better! 

Our Research Areas

Choosing from the many specializations of our professors, students will find a variety of hands-on experiences to suit their interests. Faculty and researchers in the Agricultural Economics Department manage laboratories focused on: 

Students interested in learning more about these research operations are encouraged to email the associated contacts listed above.

Highlighted Courses

  • AEC 503 Price Theory and Applications: This course uses calculus to develop core concepts in microeconomics and show how they can be applied to agricultural and natural resource issues. A central objective of this course is to link mathematical techniques with economic analysis to show students that calculus provides an efficient way to study producer and consumer behavior. 
  • AEC 510 International Trade and Agricultural Marketing: A study of institutional, economic, and cultural factors that influence aggregate agricultural trade and exports of individual agribusinesses. Macro issues of agricultural trade policies are examined along with elements of international marketing for agricultural products. 
  • AEC 532 Agriculture and Food Policy: This course surveys a variety of current public policies that influence agricultural and rural economies. Students are exposed to the conflicting views of those concerned with food and agricultural policy issues in an international economy. Economic principles are used to evaluate alternatives in terms of the general welfare of society. 
  • AEC 622 ADV Agribusiness Management Strategies: This course integrates knowledge of economics, business administration, finance, accounting, marketing, decision making, and research methodology. The focus is on analytical skills and scholarly academic research.