About the program
Progress through the materials at your own pace while maintaining the structure and support offered through a Virginia Tech, in-class program. The cohort structure, as well as our engaged faculty and advisors give you the community and support you need to excel throughout the program and well beyond.
The professional landscape is changing. Issues that business and government face require individuals with knowledge of the food and agriculture, energy, and commodity sectors as well as a strong economics foundation, business analytics, marketing know-how, and the ability to manage risk and logistics.
Part of our mission is to promote and advance these sectors through education. So with over 100 years of experience educating leaders in these areas and the increasingly virtual world (with or without the pandemic) we live in, we knew it was time to engage these professionals. The result? An online program in agricultural and applied economics that is innovative in its approach and unique.
Our applied economics + data science curriculum introduces you to data management and visualization in econometrics and forecasting, applying learned technical skills in R and Python programming to challenges and opportunities in the market along the way. Our approach integrates economic frameworks with technical skills, giving you the tools you need to detect and address workplace issues as well as how to confront market opportunities. The program culminates in a capstone project in which you will apply the knowledge gained throughout the program to an industry or government question. The program structure and emphasis on applied, active learning is designed and proven to prepare you for problem solving and leadership roles after you graduate and throughout your career.
- 30 credits: divided into 6-6-3-credit terms over 24 months
- Asynchronous course delivery: Canvas platform
- Assessment: Competency-based approach
In each of the fall and spring semesters, you take two, three-credit courses and in each summer term you take one, three-credit course for a total of 30 credits. You should expect to spend 6-8 hours on each course per week throughout the program. We utilize Canvas as the platform to deliver course content, which can be accessed as your schedule allows. Office hours and select help sessions will be offered at scheduled times in which you must join the live session. Instead of relying solely on exams, we employ a competency-based approach, which gives you the freedom to master the material when and however works best for you. The cohort nature of the program gives you perspective into other market sectors and provides opportunities for collaboration. While some collaboration is expected, you can select to have more or less collaborative projects and assignments based on your personal and professional needs.
Courses in our ag and applied economics online master's are designed to teach you the skills high-level industry and government positions demand. We combine teaching you the technical tools of working with data - programming in R and data vizualization included - with the critical thinking and analytical skills required to frame business and policy questions using economic analysis. Our hands-on approach integrates these tools and frameworks with authentic industry and government problems to not only expose you to what the big questions and issues facing the food and ag, resource, and environment sectors today are, but to give you the capability to transform data into meaningful and impactful action throughout your career. To see a full list of the courses offered through our program, visit the course information page.
*Please note that our program relys heavily on mathmatical, economic, and statistical underpinnings, which requires some familiarity with calculus and introductory economics and statistics. However, no formal requirement for this exists and you will have the opportunity to do some pre-program coursework to get you up-to-speed if you feel weak in these areas. No GMAT or GRE is required to apply to our program.
Our program culminates in a capstone project course in which you will select an industry or government question or issue to address using the skills you will have gained throughout the program. These projects are designed to be collaborative - you will work with one or several student peers and have access to guidance from both program instructors and industry or government contacts. At the end of the course, you will present your project to and receive a critique from an audience of professionals and academics.