The Food and Resource Economics (FRE) Group offers both a research master's degree, the Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Agricultural Economics, and a professional master's degree, the Master of Food and Resource Economics (M.F.R.E.). The M.Sc. is designed for careers where research is a main component, while the M.F.R.E. is designed for careers in industry or government.
In both degrees, coursework provides students with rigorous training in applied economics and quantitative methods. In the M.Sc., students develop specialized research skills by working with faculty throughout UBC on important real-world issues. In the M.F.R.E., students combine applied economics with policy analysis and agribusiness management, enabling them to analyze issues in the food and resource sectors.
FRE faculty members have direct experience working in the food and resource sectors, both domestically and internationally in Europe and Asia, particularly with developing countries.
The M.Sc. program can normally be completed in 18 to 20 months. After completing at least 18 credits of coursework, a thesis is written under the guidance of a UBC-wide committee that is chaired by a FRE faculty member. On occasion a course-based option is pursued. With the thesis option, students with an adequate undergraduate background in economic theory, mathematical economics, and quantitative methods must complete AGEC 501, ECON 500, 526, 527, and two field courses, which may be at the senior undergraduate level. Students without an adequate background must take additional preparatory courses.
The thesis normally involves identifying a research topic mutually agreed upon by the student and supervising faculty, undertaking an extensive review of the literature, developing the appropriate theoretical framework, and then performing some form of empirical analysis.
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