Master of Science


Graduate Studies

Application Requirements

We admit for the Fall Semester only. Deadline to apply is February 1. Applications are submitted via the Graduate School portal.

Documents required to be considered for admission:

  • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommentdation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores for international students (see exceptions).
    • Required TOEFL ≥ 84 or IELTS ≥ 7
  • Application fee

Additional documents required to be considered for Assistantship Funding:

  • Official GRE scores
    • Recommended: Verbal ≥ 150 and Quantitative Reasoning ≥ 150
  • Official transcripts

We do not waive any of these requirements or fees for any applicants.

Note that no particular scores are a guarantee of admission to the program or of assistantship funding as those decisions are made on a competitive basis each application cycle. Ideally, applicants should have some background in introductory microeconomics, statistics, and calculus.

Admission and assistantship funding decisions are made by the department’s graduate admissions committee. Prospective students are encouraged to direct enquiries about program admission or assistantship eligibility to the Graduate Coordinator.

For more information, see the Graduate School Deadlines.


A limited number of research assistantships are available on a competitive basis. These come with a $20,000 annual stipend and a full tuition waiver.

Students identify their thesis major advisor and research area in their first (fall) semester. While a student’s assistantship work may be tied to a particular faculty member and project, the student can conduct thesis research with any faculty member.

A Program with You in Mind

Students in our M.S. program work closely with devoted, knowledgeable, nationally- and world-renowned faculty in their respective fields. Students learn how to conduct cutting-edge research using the latest data analysis and modeling methods so that they're prepared to address a wide variety of problems in a Ph.D. program or in the workplace after graduation. Students learn to use data analysis and other software programs they're likely to use after graduation: R, SAS, Stata, MATLAB, and Qualtrics, to name a few.

Our M.S. program graduates are well positioned to either enter the workforce directly upon graduation or to continue into a Ph.D. program to further develop their skills and expertise. The program stresses mastery of advanced microeconomic theory and quantitative data analysis for application to problems related to agriculture, the environment, health, and more.

Our M.S. program is STEM-designated. A STEM-designated program is an academic program that falls under at least one of the approved categories from the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). These categories are recognized by the government for their focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics.

The Degree

The M.S. program typically takes two years to complete. Requirements include the completion of at least 26 hours of course work and 6 hours of thesis research. Students pursue thesis research topics in natural resource and environmental economics, agricultural risk and risk management, policy, health, behavioral and experimental economics, econometrics, etc. For more information on research conducted by our faculty, see the individual faculty links on our department's website. See below for more detailed information on the program, admissions, and assistantships.

Program of Study

First Year, Fall Semester
AEC 6713 Quantitative Economics 3
AEC 6733 Econometric Analysis in Agricultural Economics 3
AEC 8163 Consumers, Producers, and Markets 3
AEC 8611 Research Seminar I 1
First Year, Spring Semester
AEC 8123 Analysis of Agricultural Markets 3
AEC 8143 Agricultural Production Economics 3
AEC 8403 Game Theory 3
AEC 8621 Research Seminar II 1
First Year, Maymester
AEC 8843 Survey Design and Experimental Economics 3
Second Year, Fall Semester
AEC 8233 Applied Welfare and Environmental Economics 3
AEC 9000 Thesis research hours in AEC 6
Second Year, Spring Semester
AEC 9000 Thesis research hours in AEC 9

Where are they now?

Our alumni can be found in academics, government, and industry, including some of our own faculty, such as MSU President Dr. Mark Keenum! Below are some examples.

Alumni in Academia

  • Dr. Francis Annan, Assistant Professor, University of California Berkeley (LINK)
  • Dr. Hunter Biram, Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas (LINK)
  • Dr. Eugene Frimpong, Coastal Economic Specialist, University of Georgia (LINK)
  • Dr. Barry Goodwin, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor, North Carolina State University (LINK)
  • Dr. Bert Greenwalt, Professor, Arkansas State University (LINK)
  • Dr. Julian Hwang, Assistant Professor, West Virginia University (LINK)
  • Dr. Sun Kim, Assistant Professor, Arkansas State University (LINK)
  • Dr. Dick Levins, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota (LINK)
  • Dr. Joey Mehlhorn, Dean of Graduate Studies, University of Tennessee at Martin (LINK)
  • Dr. Lanier Nalley, Professor and Interim Head, University of Arkansas (LINK)
  • Dr. John Michael Riley, Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University (LINK)
  • Dr. Mike Salassi, Executive Associate Vice President & Director, Louisiana State University (LINK)

Alumni Working in Government or Industry

  • Jessica Browne, Business Process Analyst, Ingalls Shipbuilding (LINK)
  • Seanicaa (Edwards) Herron, Founder and Executive Director, Freedmen Heirs Foundation (LINK)
  • Shea (Gould) Ishee, Vice President, American Cotton Shippers Association (LINK)
  • Zach Ishee, Attorney, Memphis, TN (LINK)
  • Dr. Marty Fuller, Senior Consultant, Cornerstone Government Affairs (LINK)
  • Cannon Kent, Associate Research Economist, RTI Health Solutions (LINK)
  • Joseph Linton, Senior Credit Administrator, Southern AgCredit (LINK)
  • Corey Miller, State Economist, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (LINK)
  • Betty (Thomas) Resnick, Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation (LINK)
  • Delmy Salin, Senior Economist, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (LINK)
  • Derrick Surrette, Executive Director, Mississippi Association of Supervisors (LINK)
  • Andy Whittington, Environmental Programs Coordinator, Mississippi Farm Bureau (LINK)

Alumni Pursuing a Ph.D.

  • Esther Agyemang-Duah, Applied Economics, Oregon State University (LINK)
  • Kelvin Amon, Food & Resource Economics, University of Florida (LINK)
  • Katie Barkley, Economics, University of Wyoming (LINK)
  • Mckenzie (Carvalho) Boyce, Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Wisconsin (LINK)
  • Mphatso Chinsinga, Economics, Tulane University (LINK)
  • Freedom Enyetornye, Natural Resource Economics, West Virginia University (LINK)
  • Fred Nyanzu, Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Illinois (LINK)
  • Kaylee Wells, Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Illinois (LINK)

Additional Inquiries

If you have additional questions, contact Dr. Dan Petrolia, Professor & Graduate Coordinator, Department of Agricultural Economics.