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Applied Economics: MS, MAE

Specialization(s): Natural Resource Economics; Regional Economic Development; Agricultural Economics
Department: Applied Economics Department
College: College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

Applied Economics

The master’s degree in applied economics is a preparatory degree for students wishing to do applied work in areas where economics is the focus of the career. This is an applied degree as opposed to a research degree, meaning students receive the education necessary to enter the workforce in economic programs, or work as consultants in government areas, nonprofits, and private sectors.


Students must choose a specialization.

  • Natural Resource Economics: This specialization focuses on solving environmental problems and natural resource management, all in relation to economics.
  • Regional Economic Development: Students in this specialization study how communities and regions develop economically.
  • Agricultural Economics: In this specialization, students study agricultural policy, production, and marketing.

Peace Corps Master's International Program:s

Students have an option to participate in the Peace Corps Master’s International Program. To participate in this program, students must first be accepted into the Peace Corps. Once accepted, students may apply to the applied economics master’s program. Students take one year of classes toward the applied economics master’s degree. Then they spend approximately two years assigned to a country for Peace Corps field service, and upon their return, they complete an additional year at Utah State University to earn the master’s degree. The Peace Corps is particularly interested in students with backgrounds in economics. Students in the Peace Corps Master’s International Program must also choose a specialization.

  • MS - Logan
  • MAE - Logan

This degree prepares students for positions in:

  • Industry
  • Private consulting firms
  • Regional and national policy-making agencies
  • Private, not-for-profit organizations
  • Community/regional economic planning and development agencies

Admissions Requirements

Prerequisite course work for all Masters Degree programs in APEC:

B.S./B.A. in Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics, Applied Economics, Economics, Environmental/Natural Resource Economics, or a closely related degree.

Or at a minimum evidence of the following coursework:

  • Microeconomic principles
  • Calculus
  • Basic Statistics
  • Intermediate/Managerial Microeconomics or comparable course

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Score at or above the 40th percentile on the GRE
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
  • Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Admissions Deadlines

The department has the following application deadline for students wishing to receive funding:

  • Fall semester – January 31

The deadline for admission without funding is:

  • Fall semester – June 30


Master's Degree Plan Option(s)

Students can receive the MS by pursuing one of two options. Students going through the Peace Corps Master’s International Program must choose plan A or B:

  • In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis for their degrees.
  • The Plan B option requires the production of a paper or creative work of art and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis.

Students pursuing the MAE are not required to write a thesis or research paper. The degree requires only course work.

Financial Assistance

The department offers a limited amount of competitive research assistantships with a tuition award for out-of-state students. As the availability of these assistantships varies from year to year, students should check with the department for more information.

A variety of additional funding opportunities are available, including fellowships, scholarships, and travel support. Additionally, students may be eligible for subsidized health insurance through qualifying assistantships.

For students pursuing the MAE, the department does not offer any research assistantships or tuition awards.
Students may be eligible for other funding opportunities, including fellowships and scholarships.

DeeVon Bailey, PhD, Texas A&M University
Area: Agricultural economics
Office: AGRS 225
Phone: (435) 797-2300

Ryan Bosworth, PhD, University of Oregon
Associate Professor
Area: Health/environmental economics
Office: AGRS 218
Phone: (435) 797-0594

Arthur Caplan, PhD, University of Oregon
Area: Environmental and applied economics
Office: AGRS 230
Phone: (435) 797-0775

Kynda Curtis, PhD, Washington State University
Area: International agriculture, food marketing
Office: AGRS 222
Phone: (435) 797-0444

Eric Edwards, PhD, University of California - Santa Barbara
Assistant Professor
Area: Natural Resources Economics
Office: AGRS 227
Phone: (435)797-0915

Dillon Feuz, Ph.D., Colorado State University
Professor and Department Head
Area: Agricultural Economics
Office: AGRS 220A
Phone: (435)797-2296

Paul Jakus, PhD, North Carolina State University
Area: Natural resource and environmental economics
Office: AGRS 226
Phone: (435) 797-2309

Man-Keun Kim, PhD, Texas A&M University
Assistant Professor
Area: Climate policy and production risk
Office: AGRS 229
Phone: (435) 797-2359

Gholamreza Oladi, PhD, McGill University
Associate Professor
Area: International trade
Office: AGRS 231
Phone: (435) 797-8196

Veronica Pozo, PhD, Kansas State University
Assistant Professor
Area: Agricultural Economics
Office: AGRS 223
Phone: (435) 797-3863

Donald Snyder, PhD, Utah State University
Professor, Assistant Director of the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Dir.of Graduate Studies
Area: Agricultural and resource management
Office: AGRS 414
Phone: (435) 797-2383

Ruby Ward, PhD, Texas A&M University
Area: Strategic management, business planning, mathematical programming
Office: AGRS 224
Phone: (435) 797-2323

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

Association of Environmental Resource Economists: AERE is a professional association for economists working in the environmental and natural resources fields. It serves as a means for exchanging ideas, stimulating research, and promoting graduate training in environmental and resource economics.

Labs, Centers, Research

Center for Integrated BioSystems: The CIB leads a progressive, interdisciplinary effort in research, core services, and education serving agriculture and life sciences. The CIB is where the first hybrid animal, a mule, was cloned, and was named one of “30 Awesome College Labs” by Popular Science magazine. The CIB has a research program with several active projects in diverse areas of life science that encompass plant, animal, and microbe functional genomics.

Utah Agricultural Experiment Station: The UAES is part of a network of researchers and facilities at the nation’s land-grant universities and is committed to improving agriculture and managing natural resources for the people of Utah. At research facilities on the USU campus and throughout the state, UAES supports hundreds of research projects that promote agriculture and human nutrition and enhance the quality of rural life.


Donald Snyder
Professor, Assistant Director of the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Dir.of Graduate Studies
Office: AGRS 414
Phone: (435) 797-2383

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