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Camden Newark New Brunswick/Piscataway
  Graduate School-New Brunswick 2017 Programs, Faculty, and Courses Food and Business Economics 395 Programs  
Graduate School-New Brunswick

The graduate program in food and business economics resides in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS). The objective of this graduate program is to develop the ability of students to apply economic theory and high levels of quantitative and analytical skills to significant problems facing society in the areas of economics of biotech/pharmaceutical sectors, production and marketing of agricultural and food products, land/environmental policy and management, and international development.

The learning goals of this program follow the overarching mission of the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics. In particular, the mission states that the "focus will be on applied economic research to identify management and marketing techniques and policies" that address significant issues facing society. To achieve the goals inherent in the overarching mission, students will (1) develop an advanced understanding of microeconomic theory; (2) demonstrate the ability to apply quantitative methods to economic theory and real-world problem solving; (3) develop an in-depth understanding of an area within economics; and (4) utilize both oral and written communication skills to effectively communicate such understanding in a variety of formats. Because of the program's problem-solving focus, policy analysis is emphasized. Students are provided with a strong background in economic theory and quantitative methods of analysis and with the ability to use this knowledge in solving problems. With this training as applied economists, students are prepared for careers in either industry or government. With proper planning by the student, the program can also provide the necessary preparation for entry into doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in agricultural economics, economics, or a related field.

The program offers a master of science (M.S.) degree. A five-year bachelor of science/master of science (B.S./M.S.) program is also available for eligible undergraduates at Rutgers. The program offers two options for obtaining an M.S. degree. The first involves 24 credits of coursework and 6 additional credits for successful completion of a research thesis. Under the second route, students take 30 credits of coursework and submit an acceptable 3-credit research paper on the economics of the food industry, agriculture, biotechnology, or natural resources and the environment. A full-time student normally takes two years to complete the program. Teaching and research assistantships that include tuition remission are available for a limited number of full-time students. To the extent that space is available, full-time students are assigned office space in the Cook Office Building, which houses the department.

All students are required to take introductory econometrics in their first semester (unless they have taken this course before entering the program). The remaining core-course requirements consist of three graduate courses: microeconomic theory, research methods, and applied econometrics. Students must pass a comprehensive examination after they complete the required core courses. In addition, at least two other courses in food and business economics (16:395) must be taken. Selected courses may be taken from other programs, including business management, anthropology, computer science, economics, environmental sciences, geography, political science, psychology, sociology, statistics, and planning and public policy. In addition, students are encouraged to take advantage of the Princeton Exchange Program, which allows Rutgers graduate students to take courses at Princeton University. There are no language or residency requirements for the degree.

A dual master's degree arrangement is available with the graduate program in planning and public policy. This track leads to an M.S. degree in food and business economics and either an M.S. in planning and public policy or a master of city and regional planning. Students are accepted independently into both graduate programs after making separate applications to each. Students must meet the requirements of both programs. However, with proper course selection, 9 credits of coursework from each program may be applied to the other degree. Students interested in this dual-degree arrangement must also apply for graduate admission to the planning and public policy program.

Applicants to the graduate program in food and business economics normally are accepted for matriculation only in the fall semester of each year. Applicants must submit scores of the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), three letters of recommendation, and a statement of personal objectives. Foreign applicants whose native language is not English also must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). For applicants wishing to receive full consideration for financial aid, the application and all supporting credentials should be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by March 1.

Individuals who have a limited undergraduate background in economics or agricultural economics should successfully complete the following courses before applying to the program: an undergraduate course in intermediate microeconomic theory, calculus (minimum of one, but preferably two semesters), and introductory statistics. In a few cases, outstanding students who lack these courses may be admitted on a conditional basis, subject to successful completion of the specified courses. Credits from these courses may not be used to fulfill the requirements of the master's degree. Financial aid is not available to entering students admitted on a conditional basis, although such students subsequently may apply for aid upon completion of conditions imposed at the time of admission. Details about the program can be found at this website:

For additional information, contact RU-info at 732-932-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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