AEM Requirements Overview: Courses, Concentrations, and Challenges

What You’ll Take and When: A Closer Look at Dyson’s Applied Economics and Management

Everything we do at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management reinforces the school’s vision: Our Business is a Better World. And, as you build your academic plan, your own vision will come to life.

Rooted in an applied economics and management (AEM) core, the AEM major prepares students with a hands-on business education. Beyond fulfilling specific Dyson requirements, you can expand your learning by selecting from more than 4,000 Cornell courses across the university’s 100+ departments.

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Applied Economics and Management: Dyson Degree Requirements

To earn the Bachelor of Science degree in applied economics and management (AEM) from Dyson, you must complete at least 120 credit hours from the following four categories:

  • AEM Course Requirements
  • AEM Concentration Requirements
  • College Distribution Requirements
  • Grand Challenges Requirements

Plus, you’ll flesh out your schedule with free electives.

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AEM Requirements: The Dyson Core

Dyson’s rigorous academic experience begins with our core curriculum, which includes coursework in management and economics, quantitative methods, and applied economics. Thanks to a broad course selection, you can even align your core requirements with your professional interests.

Some of your core classes also serve as AEM prerequisites for upper-level applied economics and management courses.

See Course Requirements

AEM Requirements: Dyson Concentrations

Find your focus and build subject matter expertise. By your junior year, you’ll choose at least one area from among Dyson concentrations, including:

  • Accounting
  • Agribusiness Management
  • Applied Economics and Management
  • Business Analytics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Environmental, Energy, and Resource Economics
  • Finance
  • Food Industry Management
  • International Trade and Development
  • Marketing
  • Strategy

Each concentration area has its own set of required and elective courses.


College Distribution Requirements: Our CALS Connection

Dyson’s AEM program is part of two colleges: The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business and the Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). This connection to CALS expands your scientific knowledge and human understanding in ways that other business schools can’t.

Your Dyson coursework includes a minimum amount of credits in these three areas:

  • Physical Sciences – 18 credits
  • Social Sciences and Humanities – 12 credits
  • Written and Oral Expression – 9 credits

Here’s a closer look at the CALS distribution requirements and course options within these areas; note that some requirements may also be covered by the Dyson Core and some of the Social Science and Written requirements are fulfilled by courses related to or with a business slant.

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Guaranteed to Make a Difference: Dyson Grand Challenges Requirements

Using applied economics and management tools for good is part of Dyson’s DNA. Guided by faculty mentors, you’ll connect your coursework to complex, real-world issues through our Grand Challenges programming.

Dyson Grand Challenges capstone projects align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. You and your team will work toward solutions to SDGs like:

  • No Poverty
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Life Below Water
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
Get Grand Challenges Details

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AEM Courses and Beyond: Your Free Electives

As an applied economics and management major, you’ll get to branch out beyond the Ag Quad by taking electives from across the Cornell course catalog. Use these extra credits to pursue topics you’re passionate about, explore new-to-you disciplines, and meet students and faculty members from other colleges, schools, and departments across the university.

Your AEM Courses and When: A Year-by-Year Overview

As you work toward your applied economics and management degree at Dyson, every course and experience will prepare you for the next. You’ll begin with introductory classes that help fulfill your core requirements—and meet AEM prerequisites for more advanced coursework. In your second year and beyond, you’ll add in a concentration, minor, and elective classes and, finally, round things out with your Dyson Grand Challenges capstone project.

While your individual academic plan will vary, here’s a closer look at how core, concentrations, and other AEM requirements typically spread across your four years at Dyson:

Visual representation of the Dyson student 4-year class breakdown.

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Helping You Reach Your Goals: Academic Advising at Dyson

You have goals, and we’ll help you get there. Academic advisors at Dyson can assist your short- and long-term course planning, whether it’s helping you determine which semester is best for a study abroad experience, how to incorporate a minor, or finding elective AEM courses that match your professional goals. The Dyson Office of Student Services and Advising is also your connection to additional academic, career, physical and mental health, and other support resources across the Cornell campus.

Learn More About Student Services

Next Steps: Applying to Dyson

If you have questions about admissions requirements or the application process for our AEM degree, we invite you to learn more about applying to the Charles H. Dyson School for Applied Economics and Management.


Start Your AEM Journey. Start Your Application

Already picking out your dream AEM courses? Ready to tackle big issues through our immersive Grand Challenges capstone? If you see yourself at Dyson, consider starting your application today.