Agricultural Economics (MSc)
The Food and Resource Economics (FRE) Group offers a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Agricultural Economics which provides students with rigorous training in economics and quantitative methods. The program emphasizes applied resource and environmental economics and food market analysis, and can be completed in 24 months if students have the appropriate background. The FRE group also offers a Master of Food and Resource Economics (MFRE) degree for students wanting a professional degree with less emphasis on research. Students interested in a multi-disciplinary research degree may wish to consider pursuing a MSc or PhD in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems.
Entering students must have completed a bachelor’s degree in an area such as economics or agricultural economics that gives them a solid background in economics. Typically, this includes at least one course in each of the following: Intermediate Microeconomics, Macroeconomics (Intermediate or Introductory), Statistics, Econometrics and Calculus. Students should also have taken some courses in Agricultural, Environmental or Resource economics. Coursework in linear algebra and computational methods is also recommended but not required.
UBC’s Food and Resource Economics group offers a Master of Science (MSc) in Agricultural Economics. The MSc is customarily a two year program including coursework and a MSc Thesis. Students interested in undertaking the MSc should begin by contacting one of the faculty members before submitting a formal application to the MSc or PhD program.
What should I include in my initial email to a FRE faculty member?
We understand that applicants may not yet know exactly what research methodology they want to employ, and that research questions tend to change as students explore a subject in depth. The Proposal is not designed to lock a student into a narrow research agenda. Rather, the Proposal is designed to elucidate information about a student’s research interests and goals and identify matches between FRE faculty and prospective applicants.
What happens if I find a faculty member with whom I’m a good match?
Once you’ve found a faculty member interested in advising you:
If you are interested in applying to multiple FRE faculty members, you should begin by contacting the Graduate Advisor (Carol.McAusland@ubc.ca). Be sure to include the list of prospective advisors; the Graduate Advisor will then forward your 2-page Research Proposal and unofficial transcript to the relevant faculty members.
Why does the FRE group ask applicants to contact potential advisors before applying to the program formally?
The FRE graduate program is small. We usually admit 2-4 MSc and PhD students a year. Most students are funded by project-based grants from outside agencies. Because it is so important that students are matched with projects suitable for their skill sets and interests, we rarely admit students “cold”, i.e. without first exploring topics of mutual interest. During this matching process, funding sources are identified and funding proposals are submitted. Preparing a funding proposal requires a significant time investment by both the faculty member and the prospective student; both parties should be sure of the match before making such an investment.
What courses do FRE MSc students usually take?
Is there a non-thesis option?
Students wishing to pursue a course-only Master’s Degree should investigate UBC’s Master in Food and Resource Economics (MFRE), a 1-year professional program.
Can I do a PhD with a FRE faculty member?
Many FRE faculty advise PhD students via the Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems program, and as PhD students in other departments on campus, including the Department of Economics and the Sauder School of Business.
Barichello, Richard: Economics of trade policy, agricultural development, marketing boards, quota markets, dairy industry Southeast Asia.
Gulati, Sumeet: Environmental economics, international trade and political economy
McAusland, Carol: Graduate Advisor - Environmental Economics, International Trade, Factor Migration, Political Economy, and Climate Policy
Vercammen, James: Agricultural R&D, contracting and supply chains, direct payments, environmental markets, agricultural risk and insurance
Adjunct Professors & Associates include:
The strength and unique nature of our program stems from cross-campus collaborations.
Graduates from agricultural economics often go on to policy, trade and economic analysis positions within government, banking and industry. Some graduates decide to continue in the area of research and academia with various universities and colleges.
Examples of recent graduate positions: