Graduate Studies

The graduate program of the Division of Applied Social Sciences (DASS) at the University of Missouri (MU) is recognized for its innovative approach to graduate training. As a graduate student, you will have the opportunity of working with leading scholars engaged in a diverse range of challenging research projects.

We offer MS and PhD programs in Agricultural and Applied Economics with three focus areas, MS and PhD programs in Rural Sociology, and MS and PhD programs in Agricultural Education and Leadership.

Director of Graduate Studies: Harvey James, PhD

Agricultural and Applied Economics Focus Areas

Agribusiness and Organizational Economics

The Agribusiness and Organizational Economics area provides a coherent area of study for preparing students for academic careers in applied economics, management, and related cognate fields; and for careers in government and industry. The program is based upon a set of courses offered in the division that support MS and PhD training in microeconomic theory, institutional and neo-institutional economics, and organizational economics. These core courses are augmented by courses in qualitative and quantitative methods and a cognate area that supports your student research. The cognate area is chosen in consultation with the major advisor and committee input.

Environmental and Development Economics 

In the Environmental and Development Economics area, you will develop skills and knowledge to address some of society’s most pressing problems. There are many linkages among development and environmental and natural resource policy issues, both in developed and developing economies. This is especially true where agriculture plays a significant role in the livelihoods of people and rural communities, because soil and water resources are critical determinants of both agricultural productivity and human well-being, but also because of the importance of agriculture and resources for the quality of life of all humans. The importance of these linkages is evidenced by the emphasis on sustainable development in policy circles. Because institutions affect environmental outcomes, risk, and economic development, comparing institutions across differing contexts can provide useful insights for policy. Behavioral economics is an emerging research area that can be applied productively to environmental and development issues. You will apply theory from economics and other social sciences, use rigorous analytical tools for translational research to analyze real-world problems and policies that can address them.

Public Policy Analysis 

The Public Policy Analysis area seeks knowledge about how agricultural and food policy and innovation influence markets and, ultimately, human well-being. The program relies on a rigorous approach to agricultural economics that underpins applied analysis, including experimental and behavioral economic models, strategic interaction models, structural economic models, investment or firm models, systems simulation, mathematical programing and econometrics. It relies on coursework and research with widely recognized centers for agricultural economics, such as the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI), Agricultural Markets and Policy (AMAP), the Economics and Management of Agrobiotechnology Center (EMAC) and the Food Equation Institute (FEI).

Rural Sociology Focus Area

Sociology of Sustainability and Development

The Sociology of Sustainability and Development program prepares students for academic careers in applied sociology, environmental and food studies and community and rural development as well as for careers in government and the private sector related to critical issues of sustainability, community development and program evaluation. The masters curriculum prepares persons for community and economic development positions. Doctoral students will also develop a cognate by enrolling in a graduate certificate or minor program. Studies in this area are based on a core of courses in research methods, theory and development that will allow them to identify and balance tradeoffs between ecology, economy and community in places around the globe. In addition to these core classes students are able to take additional courses in environmental sociology, food studies and community development.

Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificates and Minors

We offer graduate certificate programs that are open to all Mizzou graduate students.