University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Graduate Program

The Department of Resource Economics offers programs of study toward the Master of Science Degree and the Doctor of Philosophy Degree. Major fields of study are (1) Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, (2) Marketing/Industrial Organization of the Food System, and (3) Applied Econometrics. A strong foundation in economic theory and quantitative methods is emphasized for students in all fields.

Graduates of the Master's program in Resource Economics are prepared for careers in marketing, resource-based industries such as electric utilities and petroleum, government environmental policy positions, and economic consulting. Doctoral program graduates typically find employment in research positions in industry, academia, and government.

Upon entering the Graduate Program, each graduate student is assigned an Academic Advisor from among the faculty members of the Graduate Studies Committee. The Advisor is responsible for ensuring that courses submitted toward the M.S. or Ph.D. degree constitute a coherent program and satisfy degree requirements. The Graduate Program Director is responsible for appointing committees to administer all qualifying and comprehensive examinations, and for submitting the names of Thesis and Dissertation Committee members for approval by the Dean of the Graduate School.

The Graduate Studies Committee is composed of three faculty members and two graduate student members. In accordance with University policy, all personnel actions, including admissions, evaluations of satisfactory progress, and recommendations for assistantships, are made by the faculty members only.

The handbook supplements general information and regulations presented in the Graduate School Bulletin and Graduate School Handbook. In case of conflict, Graduate School regulations take precedence over departmental policies. Departmental policies are proposed to the Graduate Faculty by the Graduate Studies Committee, and administered by the Graduate Program Director. Any exceptions to normal Department requirements must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.

Entrance Requirements

Entering students are expected to be familiar with economic theory and quantitative methods. Successful completion of first year courses requires a working knowledge of Intermediate Microeconomic Theory, Multivariate Calculus, Introductory Statistics, and Introductory Linear Algebra. Any deficiencies in these areas must be removed by taking the appropriate course work, which is not counted toward advanced degree credit requirements.

Although it is not a requirement, many students entering at the Ph.D. level will already have a Master's degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics or Economics. Students who are originally accepted into the M.S. program and who wish to transfer to the Ph.D. program may make a formal application through the Graduate School.

Students are normally admitted to regular Degree Status in either the M.S. or Ph.D. program. Master's degree students can be enrolled on Provisional Status for a maximum of 12 credits. At the end of this provisional period both the Department and the Graduate School evaluate the student's performance; at that time, either the student is admitted to Degree Status or enrollment is ended.