In the process of fulfilling the major requirements, honors candidates must pass Economics 494 (an independent study course) and earn a grade of A- or better in Economics 495 (section H). 

An Honors candidate must have a GPA of 3.50 or higher in the economics major and a GPA of 3.20 or higher overall at the time of graduation in order to be granted honors. This policy does not allow rounding upward to meet the minimum requirements.

Note that Economics 494 (an independent study course) does not count towards the major because it is graded on a Pass/Fail basis.

Normally an honors candidate will take 494 and 495 (section H) in their senior year. If you are a prospective honors candidate, you will receive an email in spring of your junior year inviting you to apply in writing by submitting an application to the department chair no later than May 1 of your junior year.

High honors will be granted if three-fourths of the department approves a recommendation from the advising committee that high honors should be granted. In such cases the advising committee would provide details explaining why a student's work rises to the level of High Honors.

The honors thesis committee consists of a primary adviser, a secondary adviser and the chair of the Economics Department serving ex-officio.

Before submitting your application, you should meet to discuss your proposed research question with your primary and secondary advisers. The purpose of this meeting is to refine your ideas and discuss the feasibility of your proposed research. 

Honors Thesis: Suggested Timeline

Fall Semester

Course goals for Eco 494:

Write a thesis proposal and successfully pass an oral defense of your proposal in December. Components of the thesis proposal:

  • Introduction and motivation of topic 
  • Extensive Literature review
  • Development of a theoretical economic model and testable hypotheses
  • Methodology and identification strategy
  • Identify a relevant dataset to be used

Oral defense: you will defend your proposal in front of the Economics Department at the end of the fall semester.

Spring Semester

Course goals for Eco 495 (section H)

Write full honors thesis and pass oral defense of your thesis in May.

Using the feedback from your committee and from your oral defense to guide your efforts, you will finish the research and empirical work for your thesis. The remainder of your time will be spent writing your thesis. Along the way you will:

  • Organize and clean the dataset
  • Estimate appropriate econometric models and interpret the results
  • Credibly address econometric challenges, e.g. endogeneity, measurement error 

Oral defense: you will defend your final thesis in front of the Economics Department at the end of the spring semester.