As the number of students with farm backgrounds continues to decline, agricultural and applied economics programs must be able to attract students with different backgrounds to serve industry and students' needs. A concern is that degree names with the terms �agricultural� or �agribusiness� may distance many students with non-farm backgrounds. All undeclared undergraduate students at Washington State University (WSU) were surveyed in order to evaluate their potential interest in a proposed environmental and resource economics degree and their perceptions and preferences for degree names. In this survey, WSU undergraduates were asked a variety of questions related to their subject interests, background, and demographic information. They were confronted with different potential degree names for the same proposed curriculum in environmental/natural resource economics. As was hypothesized, results suggest that degree names that do not mention the term �agricultural,� such as �Environmental and Resource Economics and Management� have broader appeal compared with degrees that include the term �agricultural.� Somewhat surprisingly, names with or without agriculture have about the same appeal to students with agricultural science interests. We conclude that Departments of Agricultural Economics can expand their base of potential students by offering degrees with names that do not include the word �agricultural� in addition to their traditional degrees, and, probably, without jeopardizing these degrees.
degree name, agricultural economics