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VA Tech, Roanoke College Partner on Accelerated Pathway to Agricultural / Applied Economics Degree

A newly formed partnership with Roanoke College delivers a pathway for students to take advantage of an accelerated 4+1 undergraduate/graduate program in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.

The partnership allows students at Roanoke College who are working toward a Bachelor of Science to complete a master’s degree in just one additional year at Virginia Tech. The agricultural and applied economics master’s degree provides students with data analytics skills in economic modeling, data analysis, econometrics, forecasting, and micro- and macroeconomics.

The program integrates industry and government issues with applied coursework in commodity markets, pricing, and contemporary issues and responses in food systems. As a result, students will gain the knowledge and skills needed to not only prepare themselves for the workforce, but also excel in the job market, including various fields within the agriculture sector and other data analytics roles and industries. Career paths may include

  • Agriculture economist: Analyze economic data related to farming, food production and agriculture policies for government agencies, research institutions, or private companies
  • Policy analyst: Evaluate agriculture policies and their impact on farmers, consumers, and the environment for government agencies, think tanks, or advocacy organizations
  • Market analyst: Study supply and demand dynamics, pricing trends, and market competition in agriculture commodities for agriculture businesses, commodity trading firms, or market research companies

This announcement is timely, as a U.S. Department of Agriculture report predicts a strong demand for new college graduates with expertise in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and the environment in the United States through 2025 and beyond. It is anticipated that heightened demand will persist far into the future because of population growth, changing diets and food preferences, climate change, and technological advancements.

The master’s degree program is 100 percent online and open to all Roanoke College students with a 3.3 GPA, regardless of major, who have completed certain required courses. As part of the accelerated 4+1 agreement, students will not have to pay application fees or submit GRE scores to Virginia Tech.

“This program gives our talented Roanoke College students a chance to leverage their excellent undergraduate education, speeding their journey into a challenging, fulfilling, and high-demand field,” said Kathy Wolfe, Roanoke College’s vice president for academic affairs.

“We are proud to extend the 4+1 program to Roanoke College and provide their students with a gateway to further enhance applied economic analytic skills,” said Matthew T. Holt, department head and professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. “This program will allow students to enter the workforce one year earlier, and we look forward to welcoming them to the program.”

In 2023, Roanoke College entered into a similar agreement with Virginia Tech to accelerate student pathways in the Master of Engineering program in either computer science and applications or computer engineering.

Roanoke College students interested in learning more about the accelerated 4+1 undergraduate/graduate program in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics opportunities should contact the following:

By Melissa Vidmar

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