Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics

Program Requirements Graduate Admissions
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At Nebraska, you can create the future you want. Our STEM-certified Ph.D. program gives you the tools to do more. One-on-one faculty membership helps you grow as a student, a researcher, and a citizen. Our students collaborate with each other, across disciplines, and across the world.

Why Agricultural Economics?

At Nebraska, you'll find a community of students and faculty ready to help you succeed. The three-part mission of a land grant institution means you have access to researcher, teachers and extension specialists. Faculty research is concentrated in five areas:

Agriculture Firm Profitability and Sustainability
Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Industrial Organization of the Agri-Food System
International Trade and Development
Natural Resources
Rural Innovation and Development

Why Nebraska?

In the Department of Agricultural Economics, you get the best of both worlds. You'll attend a world-class, Big Ten university and have access to the all the academic resources and activities that come with it. At our East Campus location, you get a small-school atmosphere with one-on-one personal advising and a community that cares about you. At Nebraska, we believe in the power of every person. And we don't rest on our strengths — we stretch them.

Students come from across the world to participate in our STEM designated doctoral program. The program is enriched by the diverse experiences and backgrounds of our students. We encourage collaboration and value the contributions of our PhD students to our department.


How to Apply

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  • A master's degree with a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Students without a master’s degree will also be considered but they must have completed core requirements for the master's degree in agricultural economics.
  • See all Graduate Studies admission policies.
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  • Master's level microeconomics
  • Master's level macroeconomics
  • Master's level econometrics
  • Calculus I, II, and III

Field courses in areas of interest are recommended but not required.

Other Information

  • The GRE is not required but is recommended for students seeking an assistantship.
  • If your native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required. Graduate Studies determines exemptions from this requirement.
  • You do not need to contact a faculty member to be considered for admission or an assistantship.
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In addition to Graduate Studies' requirements. We require:

  • A one-page to three-page statement of purpose. It should explain why you want to pursue a graduate degree and describe your interests.
  • Three letters of recommendation. We recommend at least two of these letters are from faculty members who can describe your academic abilities.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae

What You Will Learn

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All doctoral students take:

  • ECON 912A and 912B - Advanced Microeconomics I & II
  • ECON 912A and 912B - Advanced Macroeconomics I & II
  • ECON 917, 918, and 919 - Econometrics I, II & III
  • STAT 882 - Mathematical Statics I-Distribution Theory
  • Two courses from the AECN 901 block (6 credit hours)
  • Two courses from the AECN 902 block (6 credit hours)

In addition to the core requirements, Ph.D. students are expected to:

  • Prepare a department or a conference presentation (or paper) before the fourth year begins
  • Have a paper submitted to a peer-reviewed journal before graduating
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Credit Hour Requirements

  • At least 90 credit hours, including 12 to 55 hours of dissertation research
  • At least half of the graduate work, including the dissertation, will be completed in the department

Funding and Cost

Graduate Tuition and Fees

For current graduate tuition and fee structure and rates, visit


Graduate research assistantships are the most common form of financial assistance. A GRA consists of a stipend and benefits. Tuition is waived for students on assistantships, but fees of approximately $1,200/year must be paid by all students. A major portion of the fee for student health insurance is included in GRAs. Each year, we receive funding from the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources Agricultural Research Division for GRAs. These are not tied to a specific research project but support the research needs of the department and institute. There is no separate application for assistantships and applicants do not need to contact a faculty member to be considered.

Faculty often have grants or other funding to support graduate students. More information.