College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Agricultural & Resource Economics


All AREC majors are required to take seven upper level AREC courses.  These courses (listed below) are the heart of the AREC major.  Some students have the misconception that AREC is primarily for students with farm backgrounds, but in fact very few AREC students are in this category.  AREC courses should be of interest to any student who wants to learn about how economics can be applied to real world issues faced by small business and policymakers.

Major Core Courses    

Seven of these courses must be successfully completed.
AREC 404—Applied Price Analysis
AREC 405—Economics of Production
AREC 422 (formerly 489F)–Econometric Applications in Agriculture
AREC 425—Economics of Food Sector
AREC 427—Economics of Commodity Marketing Systems
AREC 430 (formerly 489K)-Introduction to Agriculture and Resource Law
AREC 433—Food and Agricultural Policy
AREC 435—Commodity Futures and Options
AREC 445—Agricultural Development , Population Growth and the Environment
AREC 446 (formerly 489G)-Sustainable Economic Development
AREC 453—Natural Resources and Public Policy
AREC 454 – Economics of Climate Change
AREC 455—Economics of Land Use
AREC 456 (formerly 489J)-Energy and Environmental Economics
AREC 306*--Farm Management and Sustainable Food Production
AREC 382*--Computer-Based Analysis in Agricultural and Resource Economics

**Please note that AREC306 and 382 are the only 300 level courses that count towards the major.

**We offer some courses in fall or spring term. We do not offer courses over the summer or winter.

Any other 3 credit 400 level AREC course may be substituted with advisor’s permission.

To give a better idea of what these courses cover, the following describes a project or homework assignment in some of these upper level AREC classes. As you can see, the unifying theme is the application of economics principles to real world problems in ways that are useful to managers, entrepreneurs, and policy analysts.

AREC 306: Students will form teams of 4 to develop a plan for a small business.
AREC 382: Study how homeowners' energy efficiency decisions by observing how they trade off the price of an appliance with its usage of electricity; study the trip patterns of recreational anglers and compute their consumer surplus as a body of water is restocked and the fish catch rates improve.
AREC 404: Evaluate the evolution of wages and labor use in agriculture since 1948.
AREC 425: Examine five approaches to calculating the benefits of policies that affect health and safety.
AREC 427: Test the following hypothesis: average prices are the same in grocery stores and farmers markets.
AREC 435: A trading project involves (virtual) hedging and speculating in agricultural futures and options.
AREC 445: Distinguish between two different kinds of corruption: decentralized and centralized. What kind of corruption is more likely to lead to bad policies on the part of governments?
AREC 453: What does our theoretical model of exhaustible resource extraction predict about the effects of tapping these reserves on oil and gas extraction and the prices of oil and gas in the near term? The longer term?
AREC 455: Choose a county in Maryland and describe patterns of land use and policies that influence land use.

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