Applied Natural Resource Economics (MS)

Don’t Just Work With Natural Resources—Manage Them

Put your interest in natural and environmental resources to work for you with Michigan Tech’s Master of Science in Applied Natural Resource Economics. Our program is a unique blend of business, economics, forestry, and geology, plus engineering, social sciences, and technical communications. The curriculum emphasizes real-world topics like industry cost structures, environmental issues, public policy analysis, economic theory, and commodity markets.

Head for Business, Heart for Research

Start with core courses, then add the electives of your choosing—our program is diverse and customizable to your individual interests. You’ll have the opportunity to work on a wide array of innovative research projects. Active research areas—many of which emphasize interdisciplinary collaboration—include studies of:

  • Mine safety in China
  • Petroleum fiscal regimes under oil price uncertainty
  • The impact of urban sprawl on natural resources in Michigan
  • World copper demand and trade
  • Fish harvesting in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados

Our Faculty: Work With the Best

Our applied natural resource faculty are researchers, scholars, and leaders in their fields. They are incredibly active in research and professional organizations at the regional, national, and international level. Recently, members of our faculty have:

  • Served on the Committee of Earth Resources for the National Research Council
  • Presented short courses in China, Mongolia, and South Africa
  • Served on the Michigan Land Resource Project for the Michigan Economic and Environmental Roundtable
  • Been named a Fulbright Scholar in Ethiopia

Prerequisites and Course Schedule


There are no required prerequisites for the MS in applied natural resource economics. You should have a background in statistics, analytics, and mathematics. The courses below, or their equivalents, would help you to excel in this program.

  • Calculus (MA1160 or equivalent)
  • Principles of Economics (EC2001 or equivalent)
  • Economic Decision Analysis (EC3400 or FIN4100 or equivalent)
  • Statistics (MA2720 or equivalent)

Course Schedule

The 30-credit program is comprised of three components.

Core courses in statistics, finance, and economics—15 credits

  • Approved course in statistical methods, usually EC4200 Econometrics
  • EC5000 Microeconomic Theory or EC5300 Managerial Economics
  • EC5400 Advanced Engineering Economics or FIN4100 Advanced Financial Management
  • Two courses from:

Approved electives in specific field of interest—9 credits

Master’s thesis—6 credits

Paying for Your Masters

Graduate school is an investment in your career and your future, and you want to know that your investment is a solid one. Michigan Tech was named by Bloomberg Businessweek as a university that “packs an ROI punch.” Quite simply, our graduates get jobs, advance their careers, and find success. Learn more about the cost to attend Michigan Tech.

If you need assistance in financing your degree, there are a variety of aid opportunities that you can explore.

  • Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) are awarded competitively through the College of Business.
  • You may be eligible for a new set of federal loans, up to $20,500 per academic year, as an independent student. For more information, contact the Financial Aid office at or call 906-487-2622.
  • National Service Graduate Fellowships (equal to approximately one-third of graduate tuition) are available to students who have provided service to the US through the military, AmeriCorps, or the Peace Corps.
  • You may qualify for a tax credit and/or business deduction for work-related education. We recommend that you seek advice from a tax professional or see IRS Publication 970 (if you are currently working, see pages 77-84—Business Deduction for Work Related Education, "maintain or improve job skills").
  • Consider contributing to a 529 college savings plan. In Michigan’s College Savings Plan, contributions are tax deductible up to specified limits. Withdrawals are federal and state income-tax-free when used for qualified expenses. If you are currently employed, your company may consider contributing to the 529 on your behalf.
  • Explore additional Graduate School financial aid options, including veteran's benefits and alternative loans.

International Students

Non-resident tuition for graduate students is the same as resident tuition—a considerable savings compared to other universities. See our Graduate School resources and admissions details.

Program Objectives

  1. Graduates are expected to develop specialized knowledge in the economics of natural resources and the environment.
  2. Graduates are expected to develop an ability to evaluate resource projects.
  3. Graduates are expected to be capable of independent analysis using appropriate research tools and will be able to effectively communicate the results of this analysis in oral and written forms.

Learn about Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Water Resources Systems at Michigan Tech.