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Undergraduate Catalog 2013-2014

Agricultural and Resource Economics (AREC)

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
2200 Symons Hall, 301-405-1291
Chair: L. Olson
Professors: R. Chambers, R. Just, E. Lichtenberg, R. Lopez, L. Lynch, K. McConnell, W. Musser, M. Nerlove
Associate Professors: A. Alberini, J. Hanson, H. Leathers, K. Leonard, D. Lipton, R. Williams
Assistant Professors: V. Hoffmann, S. Houde (Asst Prof), P. Jakiela (Asst Prof), K. Kalyanaraman (Asst Prof), D. Newburn (Asst Prof), C. Towe
Instructors: D. Johnson (Farm Management Specialist)
Affiliate Professors: P. Cramton, M. Cropper
Adjunct Professors: J. Chavas, J. Hoddinott, J. List, J. Quiggin
Adjunct Associate Professors: K. McNew
Professors Emeriti: F. Bender, N. Bockstael, E. Brown, J. Cain, J. Curtis, P. Foster, I. Hardie, D. Hueth, J. Moore, G. Stevens, I. Strand, D. Tuthill

The Major

Agricultural and Resource Economics majors complete a set of prerequisite courses, a core of classes offered by the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department, and one or more fields comprised of selected courses from outside the department. The core includes courses in economic reasoning, agribusiness management, environmental and resource policy, agricultural policy, economic development, and analytical methods. The program permits students flexibility in choosing fields to fit their career interests. Majors must complete one and are strongly encouraged to complete two fields. The curriculum balances breadth and depth, and lets students develop academic skills in two or more areas. The program provides a good foundation for careers in economics, resource or environmental policy, agribusiness, and international agriculture. Students are also able to minor in Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Double Majors
The department features a double major with Spanish for students interested in careers in multinational agribusiness firms or international agencies. It features a double major with Government and Politics for students interested in law school. Both can be completed within 120 credits. Other double majors are possible in consultation with an advisor.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the degree program, students should have acquired the following knowledge and skills:

  • An understanding of economic terms and concepts.
  • An ability to draw inferences from data.
  • A knowledge of relevant  laws, institutions, and policies.


Requirements for the Major

  Prerequisite Courses  
ECON200 Principles of Microeconomics 4
ECON201 Principles of Macroeconomics 4
ECON306 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory 3
ECON321 Economic Statistics, OR 3
BMGT230 Business Statistics  
MATH220 Elementary Calculus I, OR 3
 MATH140 Calculus I  
STAT100 Elementary Statistics and Probability, OR 3
MATH111  Introduction to Probability  
  Major Core Courses  
  Seven of these courses must be successfully completed.  
AREC404 Applied Price Analysis 3
AREC405 Economics of Production 3
AREC425 Economics of the Food Sector 3
AREC427 Economics of Commodity Marketing Systems 3
AREC433 Food and Agricultural Policy 3
AREC435 Commodity Futures and Options 3
AREC445 Agricultural Development in the Third World 3
AREC453 Economics of Natural Resource Use 3
AREC455 Economics of Land Use 3
AREC484 Introduction to Econometrics in Agriculture 3
AREC306 Farm Management 3
AREC382 Computer-Based Analysis in Agricultural and Resource Economics 3
AREC400s any other 3 credit 400 level AREC course may be substituted with permission of advisor
  All majors must complete one of the following fields. Two are strongly encouraged.
  Business Management  
BMGT220 Principles of Accounting I 3
BMGT221 Principles of Accounting II 3
BMGT340 Business Finance 3
BMGT350 Marketing Principles 3
BMGT364 Management and Organization 3
BMGT380 Business Law I 3
BMGT300s Other 300 level BMGT courses may be substituted, with permission of advisor. (The AREC department cannot authorize students to take BMGT courses that are restricted to business majors.)  
  Total Credits 18
  Agricultural Science  
  Six (or more) courses in agricultural science, including:  
PLSC204 Fundamentals of Agricultural Mechanics 3
PLSC100 Introduction to Horticulture, OR 4
  PLSC101 Introduction to Crop Science  
ENST105 Soil and Environmental Quality 3
ANSC101 Principles of Animal Science 3
AGRI SCI Other courses in agricultural science, chosen in consultation with an advisor. Substitutions to the above listed courses may be made with the permission of advisor. 4
  Total Credits 18
  Food Production  
  Six courses from the following list:  
PHYS117 Introduction to Physics, OR 4
PHYS121 Fundamentals of Physics  
BSCI105 Principles of Biology 4
BSCI223 General Microbiology 4
NFSC100 Elements of Nutrition 3
NFSC112 Food Science and Technology 3
NFSC430 Food Microbiology 3
NFSC431 Food Quality Control 4
  Other courses related to food science can be substituted with permission of advisor.  
  Total Credits 18
  Environmental and Resource Policy  
  Six courses from the following list:  
ECON481 Environmental Economics 3
ANTH450 Theory and Practice of Environmental Anthropology 3
HIST405 Environmental History 3
GEOG372 Remote Sensing 3
GEOG373 Geographic Information Systems 3
GVPT273 Introduction to Environmental Politics 3
GVPT306 Global Ecopolitics 3
  Other courses related to environmental policies or sciences can be substituted with permission of advisor.  
  Total Credits 18
  International Agriculture  
  Six courses from the following list:  
ECON305 Intermediate Macroeconomics 3
ECON315 Economic Development of Underdeveloped Areas 3
ECON340 International Economics 3
GEOG422 Population Geography 3
GVPT200 International Political Relations 3
GVPT350 International Relations in the Third World 3
ENST440 Crops, Soils and Civilization 3
PLSC303 International Crop Production 3
  Other courses related to international economics, business, politics, or agriculture can be substituted with permission of advisor.  
  Total Credits 18
  Political Process  
GVPT Any six courses in government and politics, chosen with permission of the advisor. 18
  Total Credits 18
  Advanced Degree Preparation  
  Six (or more) courses from the following list:  
ECON407 Advanced Macroeconomics 3
ECON414 Game Theory 3
ECON415 Strategic Behavior and Incentives 3
ECON422 Econometrics I 3
ECON423 Econometrics II 3
ECON425 Mathematical Economics 3
MATH141 Calculus II 4
MATH240 Introduction to Linear Algebra 4
MATH241 Calculus III 4
  Other courses in mathematics, statistics, or econometrics may be substituted with permission of advisor.  
  Total Credits 18
  Student Designed Field  
  This field requires a written proposal listing at least six courses totaling at least 18 credits. The proposal must be submitted to the Undergraduate Committee of the AREC department. Committee approval must be obtained 30 or more credit hours before graduation. A student designed field may be used to study a foreign language as part of the AREC curriculum. 18
  Total Credits 18


Other Requirements for the Major

All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or better  to count towards prerequisite courses, major core courses, or field requirements.  "C- or better" means any grade for which the University awards 1.7 or more quality points in calculating GPA. Beginning with students matriculating Fall 2012, to be awarded a baccalaureate degree, students must have a minimum C (2.00) cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy major degree requirements.

Requirements for the Minor

Four minors exist in AREC, Agribusiness Economics, Resource and Agricultural Policy in Economic Development, Environmental Economics and Policy, and Global Poverty.  Requirements are listed below:

  Agribusiness Economics 
AREC250 Elements of Agricultural and Resource Economics  (3 credits)
AREC404 Applied Price Analysis  (3 credits)
AREC405 Economics of Production  (3 credits)
AREC425 Economics of Food Sector  (3 credits)
AREC435 Commodity Futures and Options  (3 credits)
  Another AREC course can be substituted for one of the courses listed with permission of the Undergraduate Advisor.
  15 Total Credits
  Resource and Agricultural Policy in Economic Development
AREC250 Elements of Agricultural and Resource Economics  (3 credits)
AREC365 World Hunger, Population and Food Supplies  (3 credits)
AREC433 Food and Agricultural Policy  (3 credits)
AREC445 Agricultural Development, Population Growth, and Environment  (3 credits)
AREC453 Natural Resources and Public Policy  (3 credits)
  Another AREC course can be substituted for one of the course listed with permission of the Undergraduate Advisor.
  15 Total Credits
  Environmental Economics and Policy
AREC240 Introduction to Economics and the Environment  (3 credits)
AREC332 Introduction to Natural Resource Policy  (3 credits)
AREC382 Computer-based Analysis in Agricultural and Resource Economics  (3 credits)
AREC445 Agricultural Development, Population Growth, and Environment  (3 credits)
AREC455 Economics of Land Use  (3 credits)
  Another AREC course can be substituted for one of the course listed with permission of Undergraduate Advisor.
  15 Total Credits
  Global Poverty

Students must complete at least 15 credits in the Minor including at least one of the following Signature courses in the Global Poverty Minor:

AREC 345       Global Poverty and Economic Development  (3 credits)
AREC 365       World Hunger, Population, and Food Supplies  (3 credits)

and at least one signature course from another track in the Global Studies Minor Program:

BSST 330       Terrorist Motivations and Behaviors  (3 credits)
ENES 472       International Business Cultures in Engineering and Technology  (3 credits)
GEOG 130      Developing Countries  (3 credits)
GEOG 330      As the World Turns: Society and Sustainability in a Time of Great Change  (3 credits)
GVPT 306       Global Ecopolitics  (3 credits)

The remaining credits must be completed from the following:

AREC 445       Agricultural Development, Population Growth and the Environment  (3 credits)
ECON 315       Economic Development of Underdeveloped Areas  (3 credits)
ECON 375       Economics of Poverty and Discrimination  (3 credits)
ECON 416       Theory of Economic Development  (3 credits)
ECON 418       Economic Development of Selected Areas(3 credits)
ENST 100        International Crop Production-Issues and Challenges in the 21st Century   (3 credits)
FMSC 381       Poverty, Affluence, and Families  (3 credits)
GEOG 130       Developing Countries  (3 credits)
HONR 228N   Evaluating Global Development Assistance  (3 credits)
HONR 228R   Parenting and Poverty: The Effects of Growing Up Poor on Children's Development  (3 credits)

3 credits of study abroad or 3 credits of an internship or experiential learning related to poverty and approved by advisor.

A second Global Poverty signature course and additional signature courses from another Global Studies Minor may serve as electives provided they are not being used to satisfy the requirements of a different minor.  Students may also propose other courses to meet the elective requirement.  No course may be used to satisfy the requirements of more than one minor.  

At least 9 credits must be at the 300-400 level.

All courses presented for the minor must be passed with a grade of C- or better. Beginning with students matriculating in Fall 2012, to be awarded a baccalaureate degree, students must have a minimum C (2.00) cumulative grade point average across all courses used to satisfy minor requirements.


Because the program is flexible, advising is mandatory every semester. Appointments may be made by visiting the link below.



Internship Program

This internship experience is open to current AREC undergraduate students and students in the Global Poverty minor.

Internship Program Description

Students will identify an internship and start the process of getting approval from the Assistant Director. If students need help with identifying an internship, the Assistant Director can provide assistance. Once approval is given and all paperwork is signed, the student will register for the internship course, AREC 386. A students must complete the internship in the same semester  he/she register for the course.

Please visit this link for additional information.


Scholarships and Financial Assistance

AREC offers scholarships to AREC undergrads. These awards are based on merit and are in addition to any funding received from the campus or from the college.  Currently, scholarship awards are available to the full-time AREC majors with the highest GPAs.  They are determined on a semester basis and depend on the availability of funds.  Scholarship awardees are required to conduct themselves in accordance with the rules and regulations of the University.

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers all types of federal, state and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other university offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu .

Awards and Recognition

Scholarships honoring Arthur and Pauline Seidenspinner and Ray Murray are available. Contact a faculty advisor for more information, 301-405-1291.

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