M.S. Program | LSU Department of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness

M.S. Program


Studies Leading to a M.S. Degree

The Department of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness offers the M.S. degree in three areas of study – Agribusiness Management, Natural Resource and Environmental Policy, and Agricultural Economics (Tables 1 - 3 in the Graduate Student Handbook).  All areas of study offer a thesis (research) and non-thesis option. All M.S. students must successfully complete the designated course work and a final oral examination. No more than 12 semester hours may be transferred from another college or university. In order to be considered for transfer credit, courses must have been a part of an otherwise acceptable graduate program. No credit will be transferred for a course completed with a grade of "C" or below or "unsatisfactory" or the equivalent. Transfer of credit requires the approval of both the Department Head and the Dean of the Graduate School.  All AGEC 7000-level courses are listed in Appendix D of the Graduate Student Handbook.


M.S. Thesis (Research) Option

Course work requirements for the three areas of study are specified in terms of core courses and other courses required to meet the requirements. Core courses must be taken by all students. The thesis option in any area of study requires a minimum of 33 semester hours of course work including a thesis, which is equivalent to six semester hours. Students pursuing the Agribusiness Management area of study must complete 18 hours of required courses, 9 hours of approved electives and 6 hours of thesis research. As a part of their required courses, students in the Agribusiness area of study must complete an Agribusiness Internship. The Agribusiness Internship is to be identified by the student and graduate adviser and should complement the research objectives of the thesis as well as the career objectives of the student.

Students pursuing the Natural Resource and Environmental Policy area of study must complete 18 hours of required courses, 9 hours of approved electives and 6 hours of thesis research. Students pursuing the Agricultural Economics area of study must complete 18 hours of required courses, 9 hours of approved electives and 6 hours of thesis research.

At least half of the minimum Graduate School course requirement must be in course work numbered 7000 and above. In addition, students following the thesis option are required to submit an acceptable thesis and perform satisfactorily on the final oral examination.


Non-Thesis Option

The non-thesis option for the M.S. degree provides students with an opportunity for extensive training in a rigorous academic environment, providing a suitable background for employment in the private or public sector. 

All areas of study in the M.S. non-thesis option require 36 semester hours of course work, at least 18 of which must be in courses numbered 7000 and above.  Research assistantships are not awarded to students in the non-thesis option.


M.S. Examinations

M.S. students are required to successfully complete a final oral examination administered by the student's graduate committee during the last semester of enrollment. The final oral exam for students on the thesis option focuses on the thesis project. Students in the non-thesis option must also satisfactorily complete a final oral which is broader in scope.


Students Planning to Pursue a Ph.D. upon Completion of the M.S. Degree

Masters students who upon completing the degree are expecting to move into a Ph.D. program in Agricultural Economics are urged to follow a more advanced program for preparation.  Students should consider taking ECON 7610 Mathematics for Economists and are urged to take differential calculus and linear algebra courses.