Welcome to the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. We are home to several vibrant undergraduate programs and three graduate programs. Our graduates have an outstanding employment record and many play key leadership roles in business, government and academia. The distinguished faculty who lead our programs have received many teaching and research awards and are internationally recognized. With students from more than15 countries around the world we have a strong international presence.

Our research and teaching activities sit at the nexus of applied economics, business and policy analysis for the agriculture, food and resource sectors. Recent and ongoing research encompasses areas such as innovation (biotechnology, plant breeders’ rights, bioproducts), rural communities, resources & the environment (climate change, water resources, forestry), agri-food marketing and supply chains, food safety, international trade, entrepreneurship, and much more.

We have a long standing reputation as one of the best departments in Canada with a student-friendly learning environment, characterized by small class sizes and excellent interaction with dedicated faculty who are recognized research leaders in their fields. We provide opportunities for students to study, work, and undertake research and travel within Canada and internationally depending on the course and level of study. We host several social events throughout the year and encourage students and their families to attend and are proud to be one of the friendliest departments on campus.

We hope that our aim - to deliver the best education, to carry out the best research, and to make significant contributions to society - locally, nationally, and internationally will inspire you to join one of our undergraduate or graduate programs.

Research

  • Economics of agricultural support programs
  • Economics of food safety and quality; food labeling regulatory environment
  • International trade policy
  • Transportation economics
Richard Gray
Jill Hobbs
James Nolan
Tristan Skolrud
Peter Slade
Stuart Smyth
Nicholas Tyack
  • Application of novel statistical methods to agricultural problems
  • Estimation of efficiency and productivity
Richard Gray
Sabine Liebenehm
Patrick Lloyd-Smith
James Nolan
Tristan Skolrud
Peter Slade
Nicholas Tyack
  • Indigenous Land Management 
  • Traditional Knowledge Systems
  • Aboriginal Agriculture and Land Management
  • Economic growth in rural areas
Ken Belcher
Sabine Liebenehm
David Natcher
  • Finance and risk management
    • Farm and agribusiness management
    • Agri-food marketing and supply chains
    • Consumer and market analysis
    • Agent-based modeling

Richard Gray
Jill Hobbs
Eric Micheels
James Nolan
Rob Roy

  • Innovation economics
  • Regulatory environment for biotechnological innovations
  • Consumer acceptance of new technologies
Richard Gray
Jill Hobbs
Stuart Smyth
Nicholas Tyack
  • Ecological economics
  • Forestry economics
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Biofuels policy
  • Water resources
Ken Belcher
Hayley Hesseln
Patrick Lloyd-Smith
David Natcher
Tristan Skolrud
Nicholas Tyack

Graduate Studies

The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics offers three highly rated graduate degrees:

  • M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics
  • Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics
  • Ph.D. in Applied Economics (joint with the Department of Economics, the Johnson Shoyama School of Public Policy, and the Department of Finance and Management).

Graduate students are the heart of our department. All of our graduate students receive advanced training in agricultural and resource economics and conduct research with our world-class faculty. Areas of specialization include agricultural policy, environmental sustainability, production economics, regulation, supply chains, innovation, and international trade. 

Recent graduate student research topics include:

  • Using big data to assess agricultural productivity in Saskatchewan
  • Measuring food security in Northern communities in Canada
  • Valuing the economic benefits of environmental quality improvements
  • Estimating the impact of different labels on consumer purchases of plant-based products

A graduate degree from our program positions you for a host of career opportunities, including in agricultural producer organizations, agribusiness, government, and academia. If you are passionate about applying economics to answer questions about food, agriculture, and natural resources, we invite you to apply to our program!

The M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics is a two-year program. In the first eight months, students generally take six classes in microeconomics, econometrics, and agricultural/resource markets. Over the next 12-16 months, students complete a thesis under the supervision of world-class faculty. Thesis topics answer essential questions in agriculture, resource, and food markets. A list of our current graduate students and their research topics can be found here. 

Our M.Sc. program has trained many prominent leaders in the agricultural industry, including senior officials in provincial ministries of agriculture, the Federal government, leaders of producer boards, heads of government agencies, and professors at top North American universities.    

All our students are fully funded, with a minimum funding commitment of $20,000 annually for two years. The students we accept have excellent grades, a solid undergraduate background in microeconomics and econometrics, and outstanding letters of reference. If you have these qualifications, we strongly encourage you to apply. 

You do not need to identify a supervisor before applying to the program. The match between a student and a supervisor is made after we receive your application. We only accept applications for fall admission—the application deadline is Jaunary 15. We require a GRE (graduate record examination) score for applicants whose previous degree is from an institution outside Canada and the United States. 

Please visit the program page for more information on the application process.

If you have further questions about our program, please contact are_gradprogram@usask.ca.

The Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics is a four- to five-year program. In their first two years, students complete advanced classes in microeconomics, econometrics, and agricultural/resource markets. After completing the coursework and comprehensive exams, students begin their dissertation research under the supervision of world-class faculty. A list of our current graduate students and their research topics can be found here. 

Graduates from our Ph.D. programs have achieved success in academia, government, and agricultural research institutes. 

All our students are fully funded, with a minimum funding commitment of $25,000 annually for four years. The students we accept have excellent grades, an MSc in agricultural economics (or a related field), and outstanding letters of reference. If you have these qualifications, we strongly encourage you to apply.

You do not need to identify a supervisor before applying to the program. The match between a student and a supervisor is made after we receive your application. We only accept applications for fall admission—the deadline for applications is January 15. We require a GRE (graduate record examination) score for applicants whose previous degree is from an institution outside Canada and the United States. 

Please visit the program page for more information on the the application process.

If you have further questions about our program, please contact are_gradprogram@usask.ca.

The Ph.D. in Applied Economics (APEC) is administered jointly by the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, the Department of Economics, the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, and the Department of Finance and Management. A Ph.D. in Applied Economics will give you the skills to conduct research in academia, industry, governments, think tanks, and other research organizations.

The Ph.D. program combines advanced courses in applied economics with a major research dissertation. The core of the program focuses on microeconomic theory and quantitative methods, with one advanced course in macroeconomics. The student and their advisory committee determine the remainder of the student’s field courses.

All APEC students are fully funded, with a minimum funding commitment of $20,000 annually for four years. The students we accept have excellent grades, an M.Sc. in agricultural economics, economics, finance, public policy (or a related field), and outstanding letters of reference. If you have these qualifications, we strongly encourage you to apply.

You do not need to identify a supervisor before applying to the program. The match between a student and a supervisor is made after we receive your application. We only accept applications for fall admission—the deadline for applications is Jaunary 15. We require a GRE (graduate record examination) score for applicants outside Canada and the United States. 

Please visit the program page for more information on the application process.

If you have further questions about our program, please contact are_gradprogram@usask.ca.

Do you accept applications for January admission?

No. We only accept applications for September admission. The application deadline is January 15.

Are all students funded? Do I need to apply for funding?

All of our graduate students are fully funded. Our minimum funding levels are:

  • M.Sc. in agricultural economics: $20,000 per year for two years.
  • Ph.D. students in agricultural economics: $25,000 per year for four years.
  • Ph.D. students in applied economics: $20,000 per year for four years

Many of our students exceed these minimum funding commitments through scholarships, teaching assistantships, and research assistantships.

How much is tuition?

Graduate tuition rates are available at students.usask.ca

Do I need to submit a GRE? Is there a minimum GRE score?

All applicants whose previous degree is from outside Canada or the United States must submit a GRE. The GRE provides reliable and consistent information on applicants from a wide range of backgrounds. This requirement can be waived in exceptional circumstances. However, applicants are strongly disadvantaged when they do not submit a GRE score.

There is no minimum GRE score. Your score will be considered alongside all the other elements of your application when we make admission decisions.

Do I need to submit proof of English language proficiency?

You do not need to demonstrate proof of English language proficiency if you have a minimum of three consecutive years of full-time study or have completed a graduate degree at a recognized post-secondary institution, where the exclusive language of instruction and examination of the program and/or institution is English—view eligible institutions.

A number of tests can serve as proof of English language proficiency—view eligible tests.

Should I identify a supervisor prior to applying?

No, you do not need to identify a supervisor prior to applying. The match between a student and a supervisor is made after we receive your application

When are admission decisions made?

Admission decisions are made in February and March.

Van Vliet Chair in Agricultural Economics

source https://uofrpress.ca/Born of Dutch immigrant parents on a farm near Quinton, Saskatchewan, Hadley Van Vliet received a Bachelor of Science degree (with great distinction) and in 1936, a Master of Science degree at the University of Saskatchewan. He then went to the University of Wisconsin for the next two years to work towards his doctorate.

Hadley Van Vliet started his teaching career in 1938 as an instructor in agricultural economics at the University of Saskatchewan and became an assistant professor two years later. He was appointed Burford Hooke professor and head of the department in 1944. Students held Dr. Van Vliet in high regard, and his influence on them was a profound one. Three of his students became Rhodes Scholars, and many of them received awards of similar distinction in Canada and abroad. His students went on to notable careers as professors, teachers, cabinet ministers, government administrators, farm leaders, and even a Premier of the Province of Saskatchewan! All, without exception, acknowledge a debt of gratitude to "Van" for his ability to shed understanding and enlightenment on the complexities of farm economics.

Throughout his career, Van Vliet was actively engaged in research (most of which was with government agencies), and in 1968, he was named a Fellow of the Agricultural Institute of Canada. Teaching and research kept him busy but he found time to also serve as a president of the Saskatchewan Agricultural Graduates Association and president of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.

Hadley Van Vliet died suddenly in December, 1968, two days after he had given the principal paper at a meeting of the Saskatchewan branch, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society. In 1986, the Van Vliet Chair in Agricultural Economics was established in his honour and to date eleven esteemed scholars have been appointed.

  • Andrew Schmitz   1986 to 1988
  • Jim Libried   1988 – 1990    
  • John Murphy   1990 - 1992      
  • Julian Alston   1993 - 1994  
  • James Vercammen   1995 – 1996   
  • Peter Phillips   1997 – 1999
  • Bill Kerr   1999 – 2009
  • Metin Cakir   2011- 2013
  • Derek Brewin   2016- 2016
  • Kostas Karantininis  2017- 2018
  • Nicholas Tyack   2021 - Present time

Events

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Contact Us

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
College of Agriculture and Bioresources

University of Saskatchewan 

Room 3D34, Agriculture Building
51 Campus Drive  
Saskatoon, SK  
S7N 5A8 Canada
Tel: 1 (306) 966-6512
Fax:1 (306) 966-8413

Department Head: Hayley Hesseln