Master of Science (MS)

MS Degree Requirements

  • 2 registration units (2 full-time semesters of course study, a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester)
  • All MS students must register for AEM 7030 and are required to attend the Applied Economics & Policy Seminars that are held once a month and attendance is taken at each seminar. The schedule for these seminars can be found here. On occasion, if a student misses one of the required seminars, they must make this up by meeting with the guest speaker or attending another widely advertised seminar at Cornell. Students must indicate to the DGS and GFA how you plan to make up the missed seminar.
  • Master's thesis
  • Final oral examination

Each M.S. student must declare one major concentration from the graduate field of Applied Economics and Management (AEM) and one minor subject/concentration. The minor subject/concentration may be from a graduate field of study outside AEM.

Please note: The requirements listed above are general requirements of the graduate field of Applied Economics and Management. This is not a comprehensive list of the requirements for this graduate field. Students should check with their Special Committee chair for additional course requirements, and students should also check with the Director of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Field Assistant for additional requirements of the Graduate School. The complete list of Graduate School requirements is available in the Graduate Code of Legislation that can be found on the Graduate School website.

Required Courses

AEM 6080: Production Economics
AEM 6120: Applied Econometrics
AEM 6400: Analysis of Agricultural Markets
AEM 6700: Economics of Consumer Demand
AEM 7030: Required seminar

Suggested Courses

Quantitative Methods

Students with no previous statistics should take BTRY 6010: Statistical Methods I. Linear regression is taught in AEM 7100: Econometrics I. Linear programming and other advanced topics in mathematical programming are covered in AEM 4120: Computational Methods for Management and Economics.


Elective courses are selected that meet the student's career objectives. Those commonly taken by M.S. students include:
AEM 6050: Agricultural and Development Finance
AEM 6070: Advanced Financial Analytics with Applications in Agriculture and Development
AEM 6125: Impact Evaluation in Developing Countries
AEM 6300: Policy Analysis: Welfare Theory, Agriculture, and Trade
AEM 6320: Open Economy Analysis:  Theory and Applications
AEM 6390: Research Methods in International Development
AEM 6450: Sustainability Marketing
AEM 6510: Environmental and Resource Economics
AEM 6580: The Economics and Psychology of Sustainable Business
AEM 6600: Agroecosystems, Economic Development, and the Environment
AEM 6630: Asset Pricing and Management
AEM 7670: Topics in International Finance

M.S. Students on a Ph.D. Track

If students are on a Ph.D. track, suggested courses are:
MATH 2210: Linear Algebra
MATH 2220: Multivariable Calculus
MATH 3110: Introduction to Analysis
MATH 3230: Introduction to Differential Equations
BTRY 6010: Statistical Methods I

To be considered for Ph.D. admission, students should have two 3000- or 4000-level math classes, one of which is required to be in real analysis, and they should have a grade of B or better in all of these classes.

Example of an M.S. Program of Study

Year 1

Fall Semester

AEM 6080: Production Economics
AEM 6120: Applied Econometrics
AEM 6400: Analysis of Agricultural Markets
AEM 6700: Economics of Consumer Demand
AEM 7030: Required seminar
Math class (see above)
Electives (see above)
Select Chair of Special Committee

Spring Semester

AEM 6050: Agricultural and Development Finance
AEM 6300: Policy Analysis:  Welfare Theory, Agriculture, and Trade
AEM 7030: Graduate Seminar (required)
AEM 7100: Econometrics I
Electives (see above)
Math class (see above)


Begin thesis research

Year 2

Fall Semester

AEM 7030: Graduate Seminar (required)
AEM 8900: Master's-Level Thesis Research
GRAD 9001 or GRAD 9002

Spring Semester

AEM 7030: Graduate Seminar (required)
AEM 8900: Master's-Level Thesis Research
GRAD 9001 or GRAD 9002
Final thesis examination

Student Spotlight

Ziang Cheng

Ziang (June) Cheng

Home country


Anticipated degree and concentration

MS, Food and Agricultural Economics, with a focus on agricultural finance

Why I chose the Dyson School

For its unlimited educational resources and active study atmosphere