Graduate Program

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

Agricultural Economics Graduate Students

. . . receive a practical understanding of the economics of agriculture, rural community development, business economics, and natural resource policy. The program provides training for careers in business, public agencies, international development, and community development. The curriculum is also an excellent foundation for a Ph.D. program.
Few fields of study have horizons as broad or opportunities as great as agricultural and applied economics. Recent graduates have entered careers in farm and ranch management, professional services, and public agencies. Recently we’ve had students enter careers in:
  • Banking
  • Finance and insurance
  • International business
  • Diplomatic posts
  • International development
  • Federal and state agencies
  • Community and economic development
  • Energy industry
Graduate Program Poster (PDF format)               Graduate Student Handbook (PDF format)
Lake Marie
Furthermore, the Masters Program is very good preparation for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. Recent graduates have secured assistantships at a number of well known programs:
  • University of Wyoming (Economics and Finance)
  • Oregon State University
  • Washington State University
  • Purdue University
  • Kansas State University
  • Virginia Tech University
  • Colorado State University
  • University of California at Davis 
Graduates of our program have also pursued law degrees after completing the M.S. Economics is a valuable foundation for legal work for two reasons. First, many legal issues have economic motivations, and understanding the details of transactions assists the framing of legal arguments. Second, common law is based in part on economic efficiency issues. Students in our program have gone on to study water law, environmental law, and family law.

Master of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics . . .

The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wyoming offers several options for graduate work leading to the Master of Science degree. Completion of the traditional Master of Science degree requires a combination of course work and original research.
     Most students are able to complete their course work for the traditional M.S. degree in three semesters, and all requirements, including their thesis, in four semesters. As an alternative for students who are interested in graduate-level training with less emphasis on research, the department also offers a non-thesis Master of Science degree with an Agricultural Business option.
Inter-disciplinary options for a graduate degree in Agricultural Economics are also available in Environment and Natural Resources, and Water Resources. A new dual major program is also in the process of being developed with Agricultural Economics and International Studies. These programs expose students to the diverse technical, social, and political frameworks that are interweaved with economic decision-making. Finally, for graduate students looking for a foundation in a multidisciplinary framework, we offer a Graduate Minor in Applied Economics. This program of study accompanies a major in a non-economic discipline, and is designed for students that are looking for a second degree of specialization in economics.

Graduate Students in our department are involved in a diverse set of research topics as part of their assistantship and thesis work. Students use the latest economic tools to address issues that are directly relevant to the Rocky Mountain west and nation. Areas of research include:

  • Agribusiness
  • Production economics
  • Experimental economics
  • Natural resource economics
  • Environmental economics
  • Land economics
  • Energy economics
  • Community development  

Expectations for Graduate Student Behavior and Performance

In addition to the specific degree requirements specified, there are other expectations and responsibilities that can enhance your graduate education.

  • As a graduate student your primary responsibility is to learn. The faculty will provide you with opportunities to learn through courses, and research and outreach projects. Being a graduate student also is a unique experience in which the students learn from each other; via unique backgrounds and diverse ways of approaching issues.
  • Graduate students, particularly those on assistantship, have a responsibility to contribute to the Department's teaching, research and outreach programs.
  • As a member of the Department, students may have the opportunity to help with recruitment of graduate students and faculty and to contribute to other Department functions and activities.
  • Personal responsibility is an important aspect of graduate education. Students are responsible for selecting their major professor, filing required forms, and completing requirements within the designated timeline.
  • Students will be expected to publish and present their research in appropriate forums.
  • Students are representatives of this Department and the University both on and off campus. They are expected to be positive representatives.
  • Research represents the culminating learning experience of a graduate education. It is a demonstration of a student's ability to analyze, think, and write.

Experiences Students Can Expect

Graduate students in the Department can expect to:

  • Work closely with faculty members on thesis research.
  • Receive strong and personalized mentoring.
  • Be an integral part of the three-tier mission (teaching, research and outreach) of the Department. Participating in meaningful contributions to the Department's mission will enhance your learning experience.
  • Interact closely with fellow students and faculty in both formal and informal settings. This is a way to enhance the educational experience and gain valuable insight into the discipline.

A special opportunity . . .

The College of Agriculture, established in 1891, is one of seven UW colleges; Its graduate programs offer outstanding learning and research opportunities in specific disciplines and various multidisciplinary areas.

A special place . . .

Laramie, population 26,050 is a university and a ranching community. You will find the small-town quality of life and UW's enrollment of 13,000 students a pleasant contrast to the usual crowds at many other universities. In addition, quality campus research and classroom facilities are matched by superb recreational facilities as well as outstanding hiking, rock climbing, camping, fishing, skiing, and hunting in the nearby mountains.

To learn more about the University and the town please click on the following links:
     Laramie, Wyoming Chamber of Commerce page
     or see our page on the Laramie Area
Contact Us

Agricultural & Applied Economics

University of Wyoming

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2386


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