Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics
The Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics offers three majors: (1) Agribusiness, (2) Agricultural Economics, and (3) Economics, and two minors: (1) Agribusiness and (2) Economics. Each of these programs is based on the same fundamental economic concepts and theory, but each program offers students an opportunity to focus their studies on their individual interests.
Economic theory provides a systematic and logical framework for analyzing how a society solves the problem of scarcity in deciding what goods and services to produce, how to organize production, and for whom goods and services are to be produced. Knowledge of economics is necessary to understand and deal with topics such as economic growth, monetary systems, international trade, inflation, risk analysis and management, unemployment, government finance, and various forms of market regulation.
As global population grows and the world's economies become more interdependent, economic principles become increasingly important when analyzing economic relationships, solving problems, and pursuing opportunities among nations and economies throughout the world.
In each major, students study communication, mathematics, science and computer skills. Introductory and intermediate courses in economics address (a) microeconomic theory, which is the study of relative prices, the consequences of different market forms, and consumer behavior, and (b) macroeconomic theory, which includes the study of the general level of prices, employment, and output.
Students whose studies are based on economic concepts are in high demand. Employers recognize the need to understand global trends in order to contribute to private and public economic decisions. Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics and Economics majors are employed in virtually every area of the economy. In banks and financial institutions, they forecast market activity, exchange rates, and interest rate movements. In industrial firms, they forecast sales, evaluate changes in cost conditions, analyze changes in international economic conditions, and provide data needed for critical decisions. Governments are among the largest employers of economists because agencies rely on the skills of these professionals to evaluate and review proposed projects and policies.
Virtually no other academic major offers the diversity in employment opportunities and flexibility among careers, as does the study of economic concepts and their application in problem solving and decision making. A background in economics provides students with a set of versatile skills that will not become obsolete with the introduction of new technology. Each program, as described in the following sections, includes opportunities for students to study additional disciplines.
The Agribusiness major allows students to focus their understanding of economics on the agribusiness sector. Students interested in careers in agribusiness have several options. Beginning in their sophomore year, students take courses in management, marketing and finance, all concentrating on the unique aspects of food and bio-systems economics. Specialization in upper division courses permits students to further concentrate based on their particular interest:
In the Agribusiness program, students are exposed to a range of methods useful in agribusiness decision-making. Agribusiness graduates will master problem-solving skills to face challenges likely to be encountered in their professional careers.
Agribusiness students are required to participate in an internship during their studies. Employers continue to place high importance on work-related experience when they evaluate potential employees. Employers are assured that all NDSU Agribusiness graduates have gained this valuable work experience through the required internship.
Collaboration with the College of Business leads to the concurrent satisfaction of one of the minors offered by the College of Business. Students may select business courses for the minor that complement their agribusiness interests.
Agricultural Economics Major
Agricultural Economics applies economic principles to the use of private and public resources to provide a safe and affordable food supply, to produce renewable energies, to maintain a sustainable agricultural and natural resources base, and to manage natural and environmental resources for current and future generations.
Students majoring in Agricultural Economics may focus on management, marketing or finance in agriculture, food, and other bio-based systems. This major requires a broad background in the agricultural sciences, with courses from other departments in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources providing students the scientific basis for applying economic concepts in decision making. Students, with guidance from their academic adviser, have the opportunity to select courses that best fit their career objectives and personal interests. The Agricultural Economics major is ideally suited for students with career interest in production agriculture, farm and natural resource policy analysis, industries providing service to agriculture, rural economic development, and risk management.
Core requirements in the Agricultural Economics major include introductory courses in agricultural management, marketing and finance. Students may choose to take all of the advanced courses in the department, yet flexibility allows building a program based on a student's individual career goals.
The Agribusiness minor is a two-track minor (Agribusiness and Corporate Agribusiness) that exposes students to applications of fundamental business concepts in an agricultural or food systems setting. A minimum of eight credits must be completed at NDSU.
The Agribusiness track is a 17 credit minor that primarily draws on courses in Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics and emphasizes Agribusiness applications throughout its curriculum. The Agribusiness track is open to all NDSU majors.
The Corporate Agribusiness track is a 21 credit minor that emphasizes principles and courses applicable to corporate business. The Corporate Agribusiness track is restricted to students whose major is in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources.
Besides being invaluable for understanding contemporary political, economic and social issues, students majoring in Economics are well-prepared for careers in business, law, education, public administration, and research. Economics courses cover a wide range of applications and theory in managerial economics, labor markets, economic development, market structure, natural resources and environmental economics, and globalization and trade. Areas of specialization may emphasize such fields as money and banking, international economics, industrial organization, environmental and resource economics, and public finance.
The department offers two tracks within the Economics majors:
Undergraduate students majoring in Economics may choose either the Bachelor of Arts degree which requires an additional three credits from 300-400 level humanities, social sciences or study abroad as well as second year language proficiency, or the Bachelor of Science degree which requires students to complete a minor of study from another discipline.
The minor in Economics complements many other majors by helping the student develop an analytical approach to understanding human events from the perspective of this discipline. A minimum of eight credits must be completed at NDSU.