Texas Tech University

4.0. Master of Science Degree Programs

We offer a Master of Science (M.S.) degree with thesis and non-thesis options. Both options are also available under the Accelerated Bachelor's-to-Master's degree programs. In addition, we cooperate with the Texas Tech University Law School to offer a joint Master of Science/Doctor of Jurisprudence (M.S./J.D.) degree.

The M.S. degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics provides training in economic theory and methods of analysis, with an emphasis on addressing applied economic problems. Students who select the thesis option are expected to demonstrate competency as economic analysts by completing a thesis, which is a work of original research. The non-thesis option requires more coursework than the thesis option. Considerable flexibility is incorporated into the non-thesis option so that the student can focus elective courses in an area of concentration of their choosing.

The Accelerated B.S./M.S. program allows qualified students who are pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics in our department to work concurrently on their B.S. and M.S. Students in this program are able to take up to six hours of graduate coursework (two of four eligible courses) which can count for credit in both their undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The joint M.S.-J.D. degree provides students who want to practice law in an agricultural and/or natural resource setting with graduate training in economics. Those who select this option must be admitted to both the Law School and the departmental M.S. program.

4.1. Prerequisites

A student entering the M.S. degree program must have completed an accepted bachelor's degree program or be an Agricultural and Applied Economics undergraduate who has been admitted into the Accelerated B.S./M.S. program. Undergraduate requirements that normally will have been completed, earning a grade of B or better, before beginning M.S. graduate coursework include the following courses or their equivalent.

  • Basic Calculus (MATH 1331)
  • Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (AAEC 3315)
  • Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory (AAEC 3311)
  • Regression Analysis (AAEC 4302)
  • In addition, computer literacy is expected of all applicants

A student who has not satisfactorily completed the above requirements may be required to do so prior to or during the first semester of the graduate program. This prerequisite coursework will not count toward the M.S. degree requirements.

4.2. Credit Hour Requirements

The Master of Science program in Agricultural and Applied Economics consists of a minimum of 30 hours of graduate credit for the M.S. thesis option, and 36 hours of graduate credit for the M.S. non-thesis option. Requirements for Master's degrees through the Accelerated B.S./M.S. programs (thesis or non-thesis) are exactly the same as for students who enter the graduate program after completing an undergraduate degree. The only difference is integration of the undergraduate and graduate curriculum in a way that can be considerably more time and cost efficient than when the degrees are pursued sequentially rather than contemporaneously.

4.3. Substitution for Core Courses

Except for unusual situations, substitutions for core courses are not permitted. Requests for substitutions for core courses must be initiated by the student and submitted, with written justification, to the department Graduate Advisor. Final decisions on substitutions for core courses taught outside our department are made by the department Graduate Advisor. Decisions on core courses taught inside the department are made by the current instructor of the core course being replaced.

4.4. Thesis Proposal and Proposal Defense

Information on the Thesis Proposal and Proposal Defense is provided in Section 9.0 of this Handbook.

4.5. Professional Paper Requirement for Non-thesis Students

M.S. non-thesis students are required to complete a professional paper demonstrating an understanding of economic concepts and analytical methods covered in their coursework. The development of this paper will be supervised by the student's advisory committee chair or another member of the student's advisory committee.

4.6. Final Examination

The Final Examination will be conducted by the student's advisory committee. This examination is an oral defense of the student's thesis or professional paper. The exam will begin with a public presentation of the student's research (thesis or professional paper). After the public presentation, and a question and answer period, the guests will be asked to leave the room and the student's committee will ask further questions, provide comments on the thesis or professional paper, and determine whether the student has successfully completed the examination.

Public announcement of exams will be done through the department Graduate Advisor. Exams must be announced at least one week prior to the exam date.

4.7. Degree Program Course Requirements

Listed below are the course requirements for the Master of Science and for the joint Master of Science/JD programs. Courses listed specifically by number are core courses.

M.S. Degree Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics (Thesis option)1

Course number / Course title / credit hours

  • AAEC 5303 / Advanced Production Economics / 3
  • AAEC 5307 / Applied Econometrics I / 3
  • AAEC 5310 / Advanced Market Analysis / 3
  • AAEC 5321/ Research Methodology in Economics / 3
  • ECO 5311 or AAEC 5316 / Macroeconomic Theory or International Trade / 3
  • ECO 5312 / Microeconomic Analysis / 3
  • AAEC 6000 / Master's Thesis / 6
  • AAEC Electives / / 6
  • General Electives / / 0

total credit hours 30

M.S. Degree Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics (Non-thesis option)1

Course number / Course title / credit hours

  • AAEC 5303 / Advanced Production Economics / 3
  • AAEC 5307 / Applied Econometrics I / 3
  • AAEC 5310 / Advanced Market Analysis / 3
  • ECO 5311 or AAEC 5316 / Macroeconomic Theory or International Trade / 3
  • ECO 5312 / Microeconomic Analysis / 3
  • AAEC Electives / / 12
  • General Electives / / 9

total credit hours 36

Joint M.S. and J.D. Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics1,2

Course number / Course title / credit hours

  • AAEC 5303 / Advanced Production Economics / 3
  • AAEC 5307 / Applied Econometrics I / 3
  • AAEC 5310 / Advanced Market Analysis / 3
  • AAEC 5312 / Agribusiness Analysis / 3
  • AAEC 5318 / Finance and the Agribusiness Sector / 3
  • AAEC and/or ECO Electives / / 9
  • Law School Electives / / 12

total credit hours 30

1Courses listed specifically by number are core courses.
2Must be approved by the Law School

<<<top>>>

Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

  • Address

    Texas Tech University, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics
  • Phone

    806.742.2821