Master of Science in Agricultural Economics
Master of Science in Agricultural Economics

Objective of the Program

The Master of Science in Agricultural Economics program is designed to provide students with a solid understanding of economic theory and analytical tools needed in the study of economic issues related to agricultural and rural development.

Admission Requirements

An applicant to the master’s program (MS) must hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent together with a strong academic record. The admitted applicant should belong to the upper quartile of his/her graduating class.

Depending on the recommendation of the DAAE Graduate Instruction Committee, successful applicants to the MS program may be advised to take a refresher program in economics.

Application for admission to the MS program will also be evaluated on the basis of the student’s work experience and letters of recommendation from at least two former professors or immediate supervisors. Applicants beyond 35 years of age are eligible only under meritorious circumstances. Foreign applicants from countries where English is not the medium of instruction must pass an English proficiency examination. Those who fail must take remedial English course(s) until they pass the examination. A student shall not be permitted to begin working on a thesis until the English requirement is satisfied.

New students are admitted preferably every first semester of each academic year. Application for admission should be filed not later than November 30 of each academic year to the Dean of the UP Los Baños Graduate School. The application form must be submitted together with a copy of the official transcript of records, a certification of English proficiency if English is not the medium of instruction in the country of origin, an application fee in bank draft or money order, and letters of recommendation from at least two former professors or immediate supervisors.

Academic Requirements

To be conferred the degree of Master of Science in Agricultural Economics, a student must complete the program of study approved by his /her Graduate Advisory Committee. The study program shall consist of a minimum of 26 units of course work (to include 2 units of graduate seminar) with at least 20 units on the 200-level and a maximum of 6 units of 100 level courses.  Nine units of the course work are allocated to core courses which consist of Microeconomic Theory I (ECON 202), Macroeconomic Theory I (ECON 201) and Econometrics (ECON 237).  Nine units must be registered in a cognate field such as economics, statistics, sociology, environmental science, or other related fields to satisfy the cognate or minor requirements. The core courses may be considered as cognate field courses if economics is chosen as cognate but the student must still satisfy the 26-unit course requirement. In addition, a master’s thesis equivalent to 6 units is required. The thesis work formally begins after the student passes the oral comprehensive examination to be administered by his/her Graduate Advisory Committee on the course work component of the study program. The student qualifies for the comprehensive examination by obtaining a weighted average grade of at least 2.0 in the course work. The academic requirements are completed by successfully finishing the final oral defense of the thesis.

All requirements of the MS program are normally completed in two years. The first year is devoted to course work (13 units per semester) and the second year to the comprehensive examination, thesis work and its final defense. However, a well-prepared student who is able to identify a thesis topic by the second semester of the first year may be able to obtain his/her MS degree in about 18 months of full time study.  The maximum length of time permitted by the university to complete the M.S. program is five years. Thereafter, the student may apply for readmission to the MS program following the guidelines set by the Graduate School.

Fields of Specialization

The following are the areas of specialization and the corresponding required courses in addition to the core and cognate courses.

a. Production Economics and Farm Management

The field of Production Economics and Farm Management provides major students with a strong foundation in the application of advanced production theories, farm management tools and other quantitative methods to analyze problems and issues in agricultural production and farm management. This field of specialization prepares students for employment opportunities or a professional career in the public and private sector as teachers, researchers, farm managers, financial analysts, economic analysts, and project consultants, among others.

b. Natural Resource Economics

The field of Natural Resource Economics provides Agricultural Economics majors with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the applications of basic and advanced economic theories, principles, concepts and tools in the formulation and economic analysis of natural resources and environmental policies. Students in this field usually take cognate courses in environmental science and management thus adding a technical component to their training. The specialization develops in students a good grasp of current and emerging natural resource and environmental policy issues, making them well qualified to be project analysts, consultants, policy researchers and teachers. 

c. Agricultural Marketing and Price Analysis

The field of Agricultural Marketing and Price Analysis prepares graduate students for teaching, regulatory, consulting, research, and staff analysis positions in the area of agricultural and food marketing systems and strategies, food and agricultural product prices, organizations and performance of markets, and policies affecting the marketing and pricing systems. The field provides a strong foundation of marketing concepts and quantitative methods to analyze agricultural markets and prices.

d. Policy and Development

The field of Policy and Development provides graduate students in Agricultural Economics with the foundation to clearly understand the entire spectrum of development as well as to identify the major challenges and issues of economic development in time and space. It equips students with theories and economic tools for effective application of the policy analytical approach to economic development.

Graduate Courses

AECO 210. Advanced Agricultural Production Economics (3). Selected economic theories and their application to problems in agricultural production and their distribution. 3 hrs (class). PR. COI. (1)

AECO 211. Advanced Farm Management (3). Production problems of small and large farms; farm business analysis; production decision criteria; and labor management. 3 hrs (class). PR. AECO 111 and ECON 102 or COI. (2)

AECO 220. Economics of Agricultural Marketing (3). Economic theory applied to marketing; analysis of marketing functions, cost and prices of agricultural inputs and products; industry structure, marketing policies. 3 hrs (class). PR. AECO 120 or COI. (1)

AECO 222. Agricultural Prices (3). Price determination in product and factor markets; supply and demand; price variation and instability; dynamic analysis; price policy. 3 hrs (class). PR. ECON 102 or COI. (2)

AECO 230. Advanced Agricultural Finance (3). Conceptual bases of agricultural finance; risks and uncertainties in farm-related financial intermediaries; issues in financing agricultural development. 3 hrs (class). PR. COI. (2)

AECO 240. Natural Resource Economics (3). Application of economic theory to developmental and intertemporal issues in the optimal management of agricultural land and other resource-evaluation of economic institutions affecting use of such resources. 3 hrs (class). PR. ECON 101 or COI. (1)

AECO 241. Economic Analysis and Planning of Agricultural Projects (3). Economic analysis of agricultural projects from national and individual viewpoints; identification of projects; preparation and evaluation of project plans. 3 hrs (class). PR. ECON 101 and ECON 102 or COI. (2)

AECO 248. Economic Analysis and Design of Natural Resource and Environmental Policies (3). Economic principles, methods and tools in the analyses and design of natural resource and environmental policies. 3 hrs (class). PR. AECO 240 or COI. (1,2)

AECO 250. Agriculture and Economic Development (3). Factors that accelerate or inhibit the growth of
agriculture; survey of existing growth theories and establishment of their relevance to Philippine experience. 3 hrs
(class). PR. ECON 101 and ECON 102 or COI. (2) 

AECO 251. Agricultural Programs for Economic Development (3). Past and present action programs of government agencies and farmer’s organizations; coordination of programs of viable private operating units and public agencies. 3 hrs (class). PR. ECON 101 and ECON 102 or COI. (1)

AECO 253. Applied Regional Economics (3). Application of economic theories and analytical tools to regional planning, development, and program implementation. 3 hrs (class). PR. ECON 101 and STAT 1 or COI. (2)

AECO 260. Research in Agricultural Economics (3). Methods and techniques of economic research, emphasis on current agricultural economic problems. 3 hrs (class). PR. ECON 101 and ECON 102 or COI. (1)

AECO 261. Food and Nutrition Economics (3). World food problems and the economic consequences of malnutrition; review of food and nutrition policies and programs. 3 hrs (class). (1)

AECO 290. Special Problems (1-3). May be taken twice provided that total number of units to be credited to the student’s program will not exceed 4 units. PR. COI. (1,2)

AECO 291. Special Topics (1-3). May be taken twice provided that total number of units to be credited to the
student’s program will not exceed 4 units. PR. COI. (1,2) 

AECO 299. Graduate Seminar in Agricultural Economics (1). May be repeated once for a maximum of 2 units.  PR. COI. (1,2)

AECO 300. Master’s Thesis (6). (1,2,S)

AECO 320. Organization and Performance of Agricultural Markets (3). Agricultural markets: structure, conduct and performance; policy and welfare analysis; research and development. 3 hrs (class). PR. AECO 220 and ECON 202 or COI. (2)

AECO 400. Doctoral Dissertation (12). (1,2,S)