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Applied Economics: MS, MAE

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.


  • 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.
  • Climate Adaptation Science (Applied Economics MS): The Climate Adaptation Science specialization provides students with experiences in actionable science through internship and research experiences. Program includes interdisciplinary research to identify adaptive responses to changing climate extremes and two-part internships with agency, NGO, and industry partners. In a first internship, students contribute to projects and learn the workplace cultures and science needs of the host. The internship experiences inform interdisciplinary climate adaptation research by student teams. In a second internship, students share science results and tools with the host organization and help put that science into action.

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

Admission 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.

Admission 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


Program Requirements

Although it is not required, many students in this program choose to participate in an internship. Recently, students have found internships at statewide environmental advocacy groups, municipal economic development agencies, and nationally recognized macroeconomic consulting firms.

Master's Degree Plan Option(s)

Students can receive the MS by pursuing one of two options:

  • 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.

Sherzod Akhundjanov, PhD, Washington State University
Assistant Professor
Department: Applied Economics Department
Area: Applied Economics/Statistics, Applied Microeconomics
Office: AGRS 225
Phone: (435) 797-8552

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

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
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Area: Climate policy and production risk
Office: AGRS 229
Phone: (435) 797-2359

Ryan Larsen, PhD, Texas A&M University
Assistant Professor
Department: Applied Economics Department
Area: Agribusiness, Farm Management, Risk Analysis
Office: AGRS 228
Phone: (435) 797-0784

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

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.

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Academic Advising

Man-Keun Kim
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
Office: AGRS 229
Phone: (435) 797-2359

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