Agricultural and Resource Economics

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
2200 Symons Hall
Phone: 301-405-1293

Agricultural and Resource Economics is a world-class department focused on agricultural economics and policy, environmental and natural resource economics, and international economic development. The faculty are renowned for their scholarship and research, policy experience, and professional service. Our top-ranked Ph.D. program has a diverse and high-quality student body from the U.S. and countries around the world. Our undergraduate major, Agricultural and Resource Economics includes concentrations in:

  • Agribusiness
  • Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Environmental and Resource Economics

We also support a concentration in Environmental Economics in the Environmental Science and Policy (ENSP) program. Students can pursue a minor in Global Poverty that allows students to learn about poverty issues from leading scholars in small classes. Policy and public education programs address issues of importance to stakeholders at local, state, national and international levels.

Chair: K. Leonard

Professors: A. Alberini, E. Battistin, R. Chambers, K. Leonard, E. Lichtenberg, J. Linn, L. Lynch, J. MacDonald (Research Professor), L. Olson, R. Williams

Associate Professors: J. Cai, R. Epanchin-Niell, J. Holzer, D. Newburn, N. Uler

Assistant Professors: J. Archsmith, L. Preonas, M.R. Sharan, C. Smith

Other Faculty: P. Goeringer (Senior Faculty Specialist), B. Ray (Lecturer), T. Ruangmas (Assistant Clinical Professor), M. Soppelsa (Lecturer), E. Thilmany (Faculty Specialist)

Instructors: S. Jaffee, D. Johnson (Farm Management Specialist)

Affiliate Professor: M. Cropper

Affiliate Principal Agent: S. Dill

Professors Emeriti: N. Bockstael, J. Cain, J. Hanson, I. Hardie, R. Just, H. Leathers, D. Lipton, K. McConnel, M. Nervole, I. Strand

Because the program is flexible, advising is mandatory every semester. Please visit this link for more information:

Undergraduate Research Experiences

Because it is part of a land grant university, the department also has responsibility for research and technology transfer. During undergraduate study, students are encouraged to conduct independent research in faculty laboratories on campus or at the nearby U.S. Department of Agriculture Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and other area locations.

AREC faculty members provide a unique and rewarding research experience for undergraduates through the UMD First-Year Innovation & Research Experience (FIRE) program. The research agenda is continually updated and is designed to engage multiple focus areas in the department’s advanced computational collaborative learning center. Current examples include the economics of air quality and environmental justice, and the spatial management of invasive agricultural pests and diseases. Students develop quantitative research skills including: framing research questions for quantitative policy analysis, preparing large data sets for analysis, data analytics and visualization techniques, and preparing research results for presentation, publication and outreach. This opportunity is available to first-year students of all majors. For more information please visit:


Internship Program

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

Internship Program Description

Students can pursue a wide variety of internship opportunities in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Internships may be on- or off-campus, paid or unpaid. Students are responsible for finding their own internships and identifying a faculty to serve as supervisor for AREC386. All internships must be approved by the Assistant Director before the student registers for internship credit. AREC386 is not repeatable and the internship must be completed in the same semester a student registers for the course.

Please visit this link for additional information:

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

AREC offers recruitment scholarships to selected new AREC majors and merit scholarships to current AREC undergrads with the highest GPAs. These awards are in addition to any funding received from the campus or from the college. Merit scholarships are awarded 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: