Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics

The Agricultural Economics Ph.D. program prepares students to do research on economic issues related to public and private decision making in agriculture, the food sector and natural resources.

The core of the program consists of five courses in advanced economic theory and econometrics, taught through the Economics Department.

Field courses are designed to provide students with a solid knowledge of the literature and guided research efforts in the following areas:

  • production economics,
  • agricultural industrial organization,
  • international trade,
  • development, and
  • natural resource economics.

Students and faculty interact in an apprenticeship environment. Well-prepared students should finish the program with three years of study beyond a masters degree.

The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 90 semester hours of graduate credits beyond the baccalaureate degree, including credit for dissertation research.


Admission Requirements

Students must have completed or complete after admission the equivalent of the core requirements for the Master's degree in agricultural economics, and the following courses or their equivalent

  • MATH 107 and 208 Analytic Geometry and Calculus (9 semester hours)
  • AECN/ECON 815 Analytical Methods in Economics and Business (1 semester hour)
  • ECON 874  Macroeconomic Models and Applications (3 semester hours)

Official verification of English proficiency is required for students whose native language is not English. Exemptions are granted for non-native speakers who have received a bachelor's or more advanced degree from a university at which English is the official language of instruction. Additional information on English proficiency requirements and exemptions can be found from the Office of Graduate Studies.

The GRE exam is not required, but is strongly recommend.

Application Process

Application form: The Graduate Studies Application form is found here. The UNL Office of Graduate Studies will not consider your application complete until the application fee is paid.

Once you've completed an application and received an email from Graduate Studies, submit your other materials though GAMES

  • Statement of goals or objectives, not to exceed one page
  • Resume/vita
  • Three recommendations
  • Any other material you feel would be useful to us
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score (recommended for students applying for assistantships)

To be fully considered for financial assistance, all application materials should be submitted by January 15.

In general, unless there are extenuating circumstances, we strongly suggest interested candidates to submit applications to begin their graduate program in the fall semester. The Ph.D. program is based on a set of core courses offered in a sequence and with timing that assumes a fall semester start to the program.

Core Requirements

The Ph.D. program approved by the student's supervisory committee must include the following core courses or their equivalents:

  • ECON 917 and ECON 918 Econometrics I & II        (6 credit hours)
  • ECON 912A and ECON 912B Advanced Microeconomics I & II    (6 credit hours)
  • ECON 911A Advanced Macroeconomics I        (3 credit hours)
  • Two courses from the AECN 901 block    (6-credit hours)
  • Two courses from the AECN 902 block    (6-credit hours)
  • Any M.S. core program not previously taken

A minimum of 90 semester hours of graduate credit, including the dissertation, is required. Not fewer than 45 semester hours must be completed at the University of Nebraska.



Kara Heideman
Program Coordinator
Department of Agricultural Economics
308A Filley Hall
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68583-0922