The Master of Science in Resource Economics and Policy program emphasizes how economic theory and tools can be applied to environmental, natural resource, energy, agricultural, and economic development problems. Students enrolled in the program combine core training in microeconomic theory and quantitative methods with specialized environmental, natural resource, agricultural, and energy economics and policy training. Graduate students acquire the skills and knowledge to apply economic theory and tools to address interesting policy and management problems. The School of Economics creates numerous opportunities for graduate students to expand their horizons by involving them in ongoing research projects, partnering them with public and private sector institutions, and placing them in innovative internship experiences.
Graduates from the Resource Economics and Policy program acquire strong analytical, quantitative, and communication skills, which prepare them for Ph.D. programs in economics, environmental policy, resource management, and related fields and employment with government agencies, consulting firms, businesses, and non-profit organizations. The program includes thesis and non-thesis options and prepares students for positions requiring advanced analytical skills, knowledge of economic systems and methods, and practical experience conducting economic analyses of policy issues.
Admission to the School of Economics is competitive. An undergraduate degree in economics or a related field is desirable, but not essential for admission. The School of Economics is much more concerned with the applicant’s capacity for graduate study, quantitative reasoning and the quality of previous work. Below is a list of required and recommended courses. Applicants seeking admission generally achieve a B or better in these courses. Applicants seeking funding (see below for more information) generally achieve an A- or better in most of the required courses listed below AND have a 3.5 GPA or higher. Applicants with lower grades/GPA may be admitted/funded, especially if they have unique experiences that demonstrate strong knowledge, skills, determination, and ability to be successful in a rigorous graduate program and make a unique contribution to the School of Economics.
Required Courses (UMaine equivalent*):
- Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (ECO 350)
- Statistics (STS 215 or 232)
- Calculus I (MAT 126)
Strongly Recommended but Not Required (UMaine equivalent*):
- Calculus II (MAT 127)
- Calculus III (MAT 228)
- Linear Algebra (MAT 262)
- Mathematical Economics (ECO 480)
- Econometrics (ECO 485)
- Computer Programming experience (e.g., R, Matlab, Python)
*Descriptions for UMaine equivalent courses can be found in the UMaine Undergraduate Catalog: http://catalog.umaine.edu/
In addition to the required and recommended courses listed above, we expect: 1) a strong, well-written personal essay that clearly communicates why the applicant is a good fit for our program and why our program is a good fit for the applicant in the context of a set of clear academic and professional goals; the essay should also demonstrate the potential for the applicant to succeed when faced with challenges; 2) strong letters of recommendation from faculty that taught courses included in our admission requirements and/or other mentors of related work (e.g., thesis/research advisor, job supervisor, etc.), which demonstrate the applicant’s ability to be successful in a rigorous graduate program; 3) a well-written and clear resume/CV that demonstrates a strong work ethic and interest in gaining applicable skills/knowledge outside of the classroom. GRE scores may help faculty evaluate applications where there is uncertainty about potential success in the program. They are recommended but not required. GRE scores of admitted students in the past have been around 160 for each of the Verbal and Quantitative sections and 4 for the Analytical section.
Official English proficiency examination scores are required unless you received a degree from an English-speaking institution. For more information, visit the Graduate School website or the Admission section of this catalog. For admission, the School of Economics requires TOEFL scores to be above 92, 237 or 580 (on the internet, computer or paper-based exams, respectively), or IELTS scores to be 6.9 or higher. To obtain funding, scores should be higher: TOEFL above 98, 247 or 597 respectively, and the IELTS equal to 7.6 or higher.
Other general admission criteria are described in the Admission section of this catalog.
Successful completion of 30 credit hours of course work is required for the Master of Science in Resource Economics and Policy Degree. Students on a thesis track also must pass an oral examination and have their written thesis approved by their Advisory Committee. The thesis offers students an opportunity to complete an independent research project under the guidance of an economics faculty member. The non-thesis option is designed for students who wish to obtain greater breadth in their coursework and job experience through internships, independent studies, and/or additional electives.
The core required ECO courses for this M.S. degree provide students with the tools and problem-solving skills applicable to the economic analysis of a wide variety of public policy issues. Elective courses allow students flexibility in designing programs to meet their needs.
Graduate students in this program are required to complete the following sequence of courses (credits in parentheses):
- ECO 514 Microeconomic Theory (3)
- ECO 530 Econometrics (3)
- ECO 531 Advanced Econometrics and Applications (3)
- ECO 571 Advanced Environmental and Resource Economics I (3)
- ECO 572 Advanced Environmental and Resource Economics II (3)
- ECO elective credits (3-6*)
- Additional elective credits (6-9*)
- ECO 699 Graduate Thesis (6*)
*The THESIS track requires 6 credits of ECO 699 (the non-thesis track does not), which reduces the number of ECO elective credits to 3 and additional elective credits to 6 (compared to the non-thesis track, which requires 6 and 9, respectively).
Elective coursework, independent studies, and thesis work are developed in consultation with the student’s advisor(s). The areas of interest, background, and future needs of the student will be considered in planning the program of study
*Descriptions for all UMaine Graduate level courses can be found in the UMaine Graduate Catalog: http://gradcatalog.umaine.edu/
The School of Economics awards graduate assistantships to qualified students on a competitive basis. Graduate assistantships may be awarded for assistance with research, teaching, or administration. Efforts are made to match the student’s interests and background with the needs of the School. Scholarship funding is also available. The faculty nominates top-ranking applicants for these awards. Funding support includes a stipend, tuition costs, and subsidized health insurance coverage. Additional funds are provided to students on a competitive basis to cover research expenses. Graduate assistantships require 20 hours of work per week. For details on funding opportunities visit the School of Economics Graduate Program website: https://umaine.edu/soe/graduate/
Dual Degree in Global Policy and Economics
The School of Policy and International Affairs and the School of Economics offer an interdisciplinary dual degree program in Global Policy and Economics (via the Economics M.A., M.S., or Resource Economics and Policy M.S.).
The dual-degree program is intended for students interested in the application of economics and policy in an international setting. The course of study is normally three years. It leads to two master’s degrees: one in Global Policy (with a concentration in either International Trade and Commerce or International Environmental Policy) and one in one of our Economics or Resource Economics and Policy degrees.
Students are required to complete the requirements for a master’s degree in one of the economic sciences (Economics; Resource Economics and Policy) and the requirements for either the Trade and Commerce or International Environmental Policy concentrations within the Global Policy degree.
Six hours of each degree can be counted as electives for the other (i.e., a total of 12 credits can be double counted); as a result, a total of only 51 hours is required to complete both degrees (rather than the 63 usually required for two completely independent masters degrees).
Thesis / Internship options for the dual degree:
1. For thesis students in the Economics program: a thesis is written for the economics degree; an internship is completed for the Global Policy degree.
2. For non-thesis students in the Economics program: six credit hours in coursework replace the thesis requirement for the economics degree; an internship is completed for the Global Policy degree.
3. A separate thesis may be written for the economics degree and for the Global Policy degree.
Students in the dual-degree program will have two graduate coordinators, one from SPIA and one from SOE. Graduate advising committees, whether thesis or non-thesis, must comply with the rules outlined for each graduate degree. Two separate programs of study, one for each degree, must be developed and approved by the respective unit’s committee (SPIA and SOE) and the respective graduate program coordinators by the end of the second semester of the student’s tenure in the program. The student may choose to have 2 separate committees with separate SPIA and SOE chairs or one integrated SPIA/SOE committee with two co-chairs (one from SPIA and one from SOE).
The programs of study will be designed to meet the requirements of BOTH degrees in which they are enrolled. However, the dual degree program gives the student and his or her committee additional flexibility to devise a program that supports their specific needs.
The School of Economics Graduate Faculty includes faculty with economics, engineering, law, psychology, public policy, and human ecology expertise.
Mario Teisl, Ph.D. (University of Maryland), Professor and Director. Information economics, food safety, environmental and social marketing, and environmental economics.
Christine Beitl, Ph.D. (University of Georgia) Cooperating Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Ph.D. Ecological and Environmental Anthropology. Intersections of socio-political, ecological, and economic systems.
Kathleen Bell, Ph.D. (University of Maryland), Professor. Environmental economics, public economics, and spatial economics.
James Breece, Ph.D. (Boston College), Associate Professor. Macroeconomics, international trade, economic forecasting.
Andrew Crawley, Ph.D. (University of Glamorgan) Associate Professor in Regional Economic Development. Economic impact, economic modeling.
Adam Daigneault, Ph.D. (The Ohio State University) Cooperating Assistant Professor of Forest, Conservation, and Recreation Policy. Freshwater management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, invasive species control, valuing ecosystem services
Angela Daley, Ph.D. (Dalhousie University) Associate Professor of Health Economics and Policy. Health and labor economics, poverty and inequality, social policy, children and families, rural and remote communities including aboriginal people
Keith S. Evans, Ph.D. (Iowa State University) Associate Professor. Search; learning; Information sharing; fishery management; nonmarket valuation; applied econometrics
Todd Gabe, Ph.D. (Ohio State University), Professor. Regional and community economic development and public finance.
Sharon Klein, Ph.D. (Carnegie Mellon University), Associate Professor. Technical, economic, environmental, and social/policy impacts of renewable energy and energy efficiency, community-based sustainable energy adoption.
Jessica Leahy, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota) Cooperating Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. Environmental attitudes and behaviors towards forests, forestry, and other natural resource management topics.
Jonathan Malacarne, Ph.D. (University of California-Davis) Assistant Professor. Development Economics, Agricultural Economics.
Caroline Noblet, Ph.D. (University of Maine), Associate Professor. Environmental economics and psychology.
Jonathan Rubin, Ph.D. (University of California-Davis), Professor. Environmental regulation and design, economics of alternative transportation fuels and vehicles, economics of greenhouse gas reductions.
Philip Trostel, Ph.D. (Texas A & M University), Professor. Human capital and savings, public economics, and labor economics.
Tim Waring, Ph.D. (University of California-Davis), Associate Professor. Sustainability, cultural evolution, and human culture and cooperation.
Tommy Wiesen, Ph.D. (University of Georgia), Assistant Professor. Macroeconomics, Time Series Analysis, Econometric Methods, Financial Economics.