Program of Study

Teaching will be divided into five main units or study periods. The units are organized over five study periods (2 academic years) and contain a minimum total of 120 European credits (ECTS) or 36 U.S. semester credit hours (SCH).

  • basic module over one study period with theoretical formation in basic agricultural economic and development theories and methodologies

  • First specialized module in the second study period

  • Second specialized module in the third study period, linked to the master thesis topic

  • case study module during the summer semester

  • The master thesis on one of the major disciplines of rural development economics, agricultural economics, or policies, written during the final period of study

The basic module is offered by the core partner institutes in the EU and US. It is to be completed at one of the degree awarding institutes (in the US home institute for US students and at one of the degree awarding institutes in the EU for EU students). It can be followed in different languages (mainly English, French, German and Dutch). The courses represent five major disciplines and a general training into the basic competence domains and components of it are commonly agreed and recognized in order to have common basic standards. The module represents 25 to 40 ECTS or 9 to 13 SCH.

The specialized modules are offered by all partner institutes in the EU and US according to their specialty disciplines (see table below). They can be followed in different languages (English, French, German and Dutch). The courses represent an advanced study in specific competence domains. The modules represent 15 to 40 ECTS or 5 to 13 SCH each.

The case study is a summer semester field experience where students and scholars from different institutions and backgrounds share visions and approaches. The aim is that students undertake a practical experience in a commonly organized case study. Possible locations for the case study are: Pisa University (Italy) or Slovak University of Agriculture (Slovakia). The case study represents 10 ECTS or 3 SCH.

The Master thesis is written on one of the disciplines of rural development economics, agricultural economics, or policy. It represents 30 ECTS or 6 SCH. Preference is given to common EU-US projects in terms of research, data collection, supervision and examination to obtain the largest added value possible within the EU-US environment, thus stimulating comparative research of the EU and US approach in agricultural economics and rural development. It is defended in one of the degree awarding institutes, according to the specializations offered at either side. External scholars and outstanding professionals working in the field of rural development and agricultural economics can assist in supervising the students or in providing specific assistance.

How to Apply

Areas of Specialty at Partner Universities

University of Arkansas Agricultural economics and agribusiness in management, finance, price analysis and risk management, agricultural policy, environmental resource economics, entrepreneurship, and public policy 
Ghent University, Belgium

Agricultural economics and policy; Food economics for developing countries 

Agrocampus Ouest, Rennes, France

Specialized methodology for rural development; 

Production systems and sustainable development; 

Sustainability and multifunctionality of agriculture; 

Organic farming; Participative management of rural areas 

Humboldt University Berlin, Germany

Rural governance of natural resources; 

Institutional analysis of rural change; International agrarian and political issues; Ecological problems and environmental policies; Institutional change and agricultural development

Slovak University of Agriculture, Nitra, Slovakia Public administration and regional development
Pisa University, Italy

Food; Communication and sustainable rural development; Change processes in rural areas

Cordoba University