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Thematic VISP Track: Agricultural & Applied Economics

The Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AAE) was the first specialized economics department in the world. Growing from its original focus on issues of land, forests, and farm management, the department is continually evolving to address the world’s most challenging issues involving the environment, natural resources, and international development. The department’s reputation is reflected in its consistent ranking as one of the top applied economics departments nationwide. Faculty interests are structured around our major fields of specialty: quantitative methods, international development, food and agriculture, Agribusiness management, and resource, energy and environmental economics.

Program Overview

The Agricultural and Applied Economics Department invites international students to take courses with top faculty in applied economics. Choose from a variety of quality courses to meet your interests and develop your skills.

Students can choose to enter the general cohort or one of our concentration areas: Quantitative and Applied Economics (QAE), International Development (ID), or Food Industry Management (FIM). Each concentration area has field-specific course offerings with a targeted plan of next steps.

After their first year as a non-degree visiting student, VISP students participating in the QAE concentration area have the option to apply to continue their studies in the AAE Master of Science Professional Option (MSPO) graduate degree program.

Those intending to apply to a future graduate degree program at UW-Madison may be able to take some master’s course requirements as a VISP student. However, admission to the graduate program is a separate admissions process and is not to be considered a guaranteed element of the VISP thematic track program offering. Questions regarding admission to the graduate program should be addressed to AAE MSPO Associate Director.

Students in the VISP/ID concentration area are trained with the career goal of pursuing a graduate degree in International Development. The year of VISP study helps students in applying for admission to Master’s or Ph.D. programs in international development and other related fields such as public policy or international studies.

Students in the VISP/FIM concentration area are trained to seek career development in the food industries. The students can choose to enter the job market directly, or to pursue a graduate degree in food industry management. The year of VISP study will prepare students with foundation of microeconomics and management, tax, finance, economics and business of food, and other relevant skills for a future career in the food industry.

Student Support

From the time you apply to the end of your stay, the VISP staff will be there to assist you. As a VISP participant you have full access to all academic and student support services, such as libraries, computer labs, clubs, and sports facilities; the opportunity to participate in VISP sponsored social and cultural events; and upon completion you will receive an official UW–Madison transcript.

Program Eligibility

Participants must meet the VISP eligibility criteria for admission into this program. This Thematic Track admits students at the Undergraduate, Graduate, or Dissertator level.

Available Terms

Students can participate in the fall and/or spring semester as well as in the summer term. Those wishing to participate in the QAE or ID concentrations should plan to attend for an academic year only. Those interested in the general cohort can study in any term.

Academics & Course Offerings

AAE faculty and staff will advise students on their course selection and program plan.

Concentration Areas

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General Cohort

This option is great for students who wish to customize their learning within AAE as well as for those wishing to participate just for one semester only.

Quantitative and Applied Economics (QAE)

QAE concentration students should plan to study for both fall and spring semesters.

Courses include:

  • AAE 635 Applied Microeconomic Theory (Fall)
  • AAE 636 Applied Econometric Analysis I (Fall)
  • AAE 720 Seminar in Quantitative and Applied Economics (Fall)
  • AAE 637 Applied Econometric Analysis II(Spring)
  • AAE 706 Risk Analysis (Spring)
  • AAE 721 Writing and Speaking for Applied Economists (Spring)

International Development (ID)

ID concentration students should plan to study for both fall and spring semesters.

Courses include:

  • (Required) AAE 635 Applied Microeconomic Theory (Fall)(Required) AAE 636 Applied Econometric Analysis (Fall)
  • (Required) AAE 721 Writing and Speaking for Applied Economists (Fall)
  • (Required if undergraduate) AAE 373 Globalization, Development and Poverty or AAE 374 The Growth and Development of Nations in the Global Economy (Fall)
  • (Required) AAE 637 Applied Econometric Analysis II (Spring)
  • (Required) AAE 706 Risk Analysis (Spring)
  • (Required w/o development background) AAE 474: Economic Problems of Developing Areas (Spring)
  • (Required w/ development background) AAE 642: Foundations of Development Economics (Spring)

Food Industry Management (FIM)

FIM concentration students could choose to study for either or both fall and spring semesters.

Recommended Courses include:

  • AAE 215 Introduction to Agricultural and Applied Economics (Fall and Spring)
  • AAE 267 Career Development for AAE & ABM Majors (Fall)
  • AAE 299 Independent Study (Fall and Spring)
  • AAE 320 Agricultural System Management (Fall)
  • AAE 323: Cooperatives and Alternative Forms Of Enterprise Ownership (Spring)
  • AAE 335 Introduction to Data Analysis Using Spreadsheet (Fall)
  • AAE 340 Issues in Food Systems (Fall and Spring)
  • AAE 375 Economics and Business of Food (Fall)
  • AAE 399 Coordinative Internship/Cooperative Education (Fall and Spring)
  • AAE 419 Agricultural Finance (Spring)
  • AAE 422 Food Systems and Supply Chains (Fall)

Cost of Attendance

Estimated cost of attendance information is available on the VISP website.

Application Instructions

Submit your VISP application and in your essay please include: “I am applying for the Agricultural & Applied Economics VISP track.”

Questions? Please contact the VISP coordinators.

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