Dyson School Concentrations: Find Your Focus

11 Concentrations. Infinite Possibilities.

Dive deeper into the issues and topics you’re most passionate about. As part of the interdisciplinary curriculum at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, you’ll choose at least one concentration (but not more than two).

Fueled by faculty expertise in an array of industries, Dyson School concentrations allow you to develop specialized knowledge and practical skills in a range of real-world-relevant areas.

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Dyson School Requirements for AEM Concentrations

Choose at least one, but not more than two. 

Each of our AEM concentrations has its own requirements; this includes a set of core courses everyone in the concentration must take, plus the flexibility to choose your remaining credits from a list of other approved classes.

In this section, we answer some of the most common questions about the Dyson School’s applied economics and management concentrations.

11 Concentrations at Your Fingertips

As a student at the Dyson School, you can choose up to two concentrations from the list below:

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

In the following section, we’ll expand on each of our 11 AEM concentrations.

Note: Concentration requirements and courses are subject to change. Please always refer to the Dyson Office of Student Services and Advising for the most current information. All courses are 3 credits each unless specified otherwise.

Accounting Concentration

Today, the boundaries between accounting, finance, and management are blurred—and technology has dramatically shifted the skills demanded of accounting professionals. In the Dyson School’s accounting concentration, you’ll learn about innovative financial statement analysis, applied tax strategies, cutting-edge tools, and other approaches to accounting.

Sampling of classes:

  • AEM 3360 – Corporate Financial Reporting I 
  • AEM 4225 – Systems and Analytics in Accounting
  • AEM 4530 – Auditing & Assurance
  • AEM 4531 – Federal Income Taxation

Agribusiness Management Concentration

As a land grant institution, agribusiness is an important part of Cornell’s culture. In this concentration, you’ll explore the role business plays in society’s effort to feed the world and engage in policy discussions that impact food production, consumption, and trade around the globe. Dyson School students with an agribusiness concentration also have the opportunity for hands-on learning experiences, such as our Farm Credit Fellows program.

Sampling of classes:

  • AEM 2310 – Business and Economics of Food
  • AEM 3020 – Farm Business Mgmt.
  • AEM 3260 – Cooperative Business Management
  • AEM 4150 – Price Analysis

Applied Economics Concentration

Applied economics and management is the cornerstone of the Dyson School. This applied economics concentration strengthens your foundation in macroeconomics, microeconomics, and econometrics. With strong critical thinking skills and data analysis proficiency, you’ll be ready to apply economic theory to real-world problems in industries and markets of all kinds.

Sampling of classes:

  • ECON 3040 – Intermediate Macroeconomic Theory 
  • AEM 4140 – Behavioral Economics
  • AEM 4300 – International Trade Policy
  • AEM 4515 – Business and Economics of Energy

Business Analytics Concentration

The ability to extract useful and actionable insights from big data is one of the most desirable business skills today. Analyst positions of all kinds—from management analyst to data analyst—are on the rise across sectors and industries. With a wide range of courses, you’ll have the chance to enhance your schedule with areas of analytics that interest you the most. Perhaps you’ll pursue additional programming classes or maybe you’ll dive deeper into marketing strategy or risk management.

Sampling of classes:

  • AEM 2820 – Intro to Database Management Systems 
  • AEM 2840 – Python for Business Analytics 
  • AEM 4015 – Customer Strategy & Analytics 
  • AEM 4600 – Predictive Analytics

Entrepreneurship Concentration

The most flexible of all Dyson School concentrations, this path is all about turning ideas into action—and solving societal and economic problems through business endeavors. Whether you’re interested in tech start-ups, social enterprises, or small businesses, the entrepreneurship concentration will prepare you to launch a venture of your own or contribute to one as an early employee.

Sampling of classes:

  • AEM 2220 – Dilemmas in Entrepreneurship
  • AEM 3249 – Entrepreneurial Marketing & Strategy
  • AEM 3251 – The Business Laboratory & New Venture Mgmt.
  • HADM 4800 – Law for Entrepreneurs

Environmental, Energy, and Resource Economics (EERE) Concentration

What role does sustainability play in business and economic development? That question is central to the Dyson School’s EERE concentration. You’ll explore the relationship between the economy and the environment and learn how to design policies that consider clean technology and optimal use of natural resources.

Sampling of classes:

  • AEM 2500 – Environmental & Resources Economics
  • AEM 2850 – R Programming for Business Analytics & Data Visualization
  • AEM 4510 – Environmental Economics
  • AEM 4515 – Business and Economics of Energy

Finance Concentration

Finance careers are in demand. Year after year, positions like finance manager and financial analyst rank high on U.S. News & World Report Best Jobs in America lists. This Dyson School concentration prepares you for high-level finance careers in investment banking, asset management, equity research, management consulting, and more.

Sampling of classes:

  • AEM 4570 – Corporate Finance
  • AEM 4670 – Investments
  • AEM 4230 – Behavioral Finance
  • AEM 4590 – Financial Markets & Institutions

Food Industry Management Concentration

Cornell’s agricultural history and Dyson School’s expertise in consumer packaged goods come together in our Food Industry Management concentration. Whether you’re interested in food production, restaurant management, product marketing, or retailing, you’ll get a taste of leading-edge theory and industry best practices. Classes and activities related to this concentration also offer opportunities to meet experts through guest lectures and conferences.

Sampling of classes:

  • AEM 2480 – Food and Consumer Packaged Goods Industry Dynamics
  • AEM 3440 – Consumer Behavior
  • AEM 4400 – Retail Strategy
  • AEM 3270 – Supply Chain Strategy

International Trade and Development Concentration

The Dyson School’s International Trade and Development concentration is built on Cornell’s long tradition of leadership in international agriculture. Our faculty and students continue to address pressing questions facing developing countries such as “How do we increase food production without harming the environment?” or “How can we grow the income of small-scale farmers?”

Sampling of classes:

  • AEM 2300 – International Trade and Finance 
  • AEM 4300 – International Trade Policy
  • AEM 4350 – The Political Economy of the WTO
  • AEM 4420 – Emerging Markets

Marketing Concentration

Audience is everything. In the Dyson School’s marketing concentration, you’ll explore what makes someone choose one product or service over another through courses in customer strategy, pricing analysis, and market research. The broad array of classes available in this concentration reflects the breadth of career paths in the marketing field, from the theoretical—such as neuroscience and consumer behavior—to the tactical, like sales operations and supply chain strategy.

Sampling of classes:

  • AEM 3440 – Consumer Behavior
  • AEM 4410 – Marketing Research
  • AEM 4160 – Strategic Pricing
  • AEM 4550 – Economics of Advertising

Strategy Concentration

Why are some companies more successful than others? The Dyson School’s Strategy concentration explores that—and many more—questions about how businesses can establish and sustain a competitive edge in an ever-changing market. With a wide range of course options, this concentration allows you to be, well, quite strategic about building a schedule that fits your goals.

Sampling of classes:

  • AEM 3220 – Digital Business Strategy
  • AEM 4190 – Strategic Thinking
  • AEM 4615 – Digital Platform Strategy
  • AEM 3249 – Entrepreneurial Marketing & Strategy

Dyson School Alumni: Making a Difference Is Their Business

Innovators. Entrepreneurs. Movers and shakers. Dyson alumni make a difference in companies and communities around the world. As a Dyson School graduate, you’ll also become part of the broader Cornell University community. Affectionately known as the Big Red network, this distinguished group spans the globe and is more than 250,000 strong.

Kate Naldony ’06

CEO at Bandier
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
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Biography for Kate Naldony ’06

“The Dyson program prepared me for the real-world business challenges ahead. In addition to the rich classroom experience, the campus life, programming, and extracurriculars allowed me to build soft skills for tough situations.” – Kate Naldony ’06, CEO at Bandier

Stephanie Evans ’10

Founder of Pamoja, Sr. Product Manager at Tapestry
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
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Biography for Stephanie Evans ’10

“The analytic rigor of the Dyson program allowed me to differentiate myself when I launched my career in fashion retail post-graduation, quickly identifying product trends and opportunities. Today, as an entrepreneur, I find myself utilizing a lot of the things I picked up and learned from the core business courses, from Accounting to Marketing.” – Stephanie Evans ’10, Founder of Pamoja, Sr. Product Manager at Tapestry

Kristina Anderson ’03

Director of Commerce Partnerships, Google
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
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Biography for Kristina Anderson ’03

“The opportunity to apply core economics principles differentiates the Dyson experience. Learning and applying finance, business statistics, and economics principles to class projects and case studies was directly translatable to my first job as a management consultant.” – Kristina Anderson ’03, Director of Commerce Partnerships, Google

Marc Silberman ’12

Partner at Comcast Ventures
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
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Biography for Marc Silberman ’12

“Dyson provided me with a broad and practical foundation for my career, which began in investment banking and has since taken me into the (crazy) world of startups and venture capital. At Dyson, I learned not only the essentials like reading and understanding financial statements but also how to thrive in team-oriented environments. As I've progressed through my career, my connections to Dyson classmates have become even more important as I've sought to build new networks, break into new industries, and explore new ideas.” – Marc Silberman ’12, Partner at Comcast Ventures

How to Apply to the Dyson School

With 11 relevant and exciting AEM concentrations to choose from, the Dyson School can prepare you for the business career of your dreams. Learn more about our admissions requirements and application deadlines on our How to Apply page.

How to Apply 

Start Your Application

Prepare for today’s competitive marketplace with the depth of an intense core curriculum—and the breadth of relevant, high-demand AEM concentrations at the Dyson School.