Typical Program of Study

This MS degree program is a 30-credit program for those who opt for the thesis option and a 33-credit program for those who opt for the non-thesis or Plan B option.

A typical program of study includes:

Research Methods in Applied Econ (16:395:503)   3 credits (fall)
Microeconomic Theory w/Applications (16:395:505)   3 credits (fall) (Note 1)
Econometrics (01:220:322) or (11:373:425)   3 credits (fall) (Note 2)
Applied Econometrics (16:395:506)   3 credits (spring)
Electives   12 or 18 credits
TOTAL CREDITS OF COURSEWORK 24 or 30 credits


TOTAL CREDITS OF COURSEWORK 24 (30) CREDITS
TOTAL CREDITS OF RESEARCH 6 (3) CREDITS

Electives may come from any relevant graduate program, such as the MBA program, Public Policy, Statistics, Economics, and the Princeton Exchange Program.


OPTIONS

The Graduate Program in Food and Business Economics offers two alternative plans of study leading to the Master’s degree. Plan A requires 24 credits of course work plus completion of a research thesis. All students receiving graduate research assistantships are expected to follow this plan. Plan B is a non-thesis option in which students are required to complete 30 credits of course work plus a three-credit research paper.

A thesis is a more comprehensive research undertaking than a research paper and requires considerably more time and effort. Some of the key differences between a thesis and a research paper are:

  1. A greater depth of theory and analysis is required in a thesis.
  2. Most theses involve more data and its analysis than required for a research paper.
  3. A thesis is usually longer than a research paper.
  4. A thesis must satisfy the specific form requirements of the Graduate School while a paper must only comply with form requirements of the Graduate Program in Food and Business Economics.

Requirements for Plan A

Coursework:

Research Methods in Applied Econ (16:395:503)   3 credits (fall)
Microeconomic Theory w/Applications (16:395:505)   3 credits (fall) (Note 1)
Econometrics (01:220:322) or (11:373:425)   3 credits (fall) (Note 2)
Applied Econometrics (16:395:506)   3 credits (spring)
Electives   12 credits (Note 3)
TOTAL CREDITS OF COURSEWORK 24credits (Note 4)

 

Research:

All Plan A students are required to do scholarly research and demonstrate this ability by submitting an acceptable thesis, for which 6 graduate credits are given (thus, total credit completed for degree would be 24+6=30). In the second year of their program, students following Plan A are required to register for Research in Food & Business Economics (16:395:701 in Fall for 3 credits, and 16:395:702 in Spring for 3 credits).

The substantive content of the thesis is the responsibility of the student. The graduate student’s entire advisory committee, which is chaired by the student’s major professor, gives recommendation and advice in the development of the thesis problem and the research objectives and methodology; approves the student’s formal research proposal; advises on data collection and analysis; and reviews the thesis in various drafts, making suggestions for improvements. The advisory committee has responsibility to accept or reject the completed thesis.

The style of the thesis must conform to the requirements of the Graduate School, as set forth in the pamphlet entitled Manuscript Form. This pamphlet is available at the Graduate School Office. A list of procedures for submission of the thesis is given under “Checklist for Master’s Candidates” at the end of this handbook.


 

Requirements for Plan B

Coursework:

Research Methods in Applied Econ (16:395:503)   3 credits (fall)
Microeconomic Theory w/Applications (16:395:505)   3 credits (fall) (Note 1)
Econometrics (01:220:322) or (11:373:425)   3 credits (fall) (Note 2)
Applied Econometrics (16:395:506)   3 credits (spring)
Electives   18 credits (Note 3)
TOTAL CREDITS OF COURSEWORK 30 credits (Note 4)

 

Research:

All Plan B students are required to demonstrate their ability to apply economic theory and methods to a research problem through the completion of an acceptable research paper, for which 3 graduate credits are given (thus, total credit completed for degree would be 30+3=33).  In the second year of their program, students following Plan B are required to register for Independent Study in Food & Business Economics (16:395:620) in either Fall or Spring semester).  Students following Plan B are not permitted to register for Research in Food & Business Economics (16:395:701/702).

The substantive content of the paper is the responsibility of the student. The graduate student’s entire advisory committee, which is chaired by the student’s major professor, gives recommendation and advice in the development of the research problem and the research objectives and methodology; approves the student’s formal research proposal; advises on data collection and analysis; and reviews the paper in various drafts, making suggestions for improvements. The advisory committee has responsibility to accept or reject the completed paper.


Note 1. Or equivalent courses.

Note 2. Required of all students who have not previously had any econometrics course. Other students may replace this with an additional 3-credit elective course.

Note 3. Electives are approved by the student’s major professor (i.e., the chair of the student’s advisory committee) and the Graduate Program Director. At least 3 of the 12 elective credits must be courses in the Food and Business Economics program (courses with a prefix of 16:395). A maximum of 3 credits of approved 300 or 400 level (undergraduate) courses may be used as electives.

Note 4. This total includes coursework only. In addition, a student must register for 6 credits of thesis research (see next paragraph).
               

  1. Rutgers
  2. New Brunswick
Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (DAFRE)