Honors Thesis in Economics

ECON 4993: Directed Study is the capstone experience for honors students pursuing BS, BA-Q, or BA degrees in Economics. The thesis project is typically a year-long project undertaken independently, in consultation with a faculty mentor, during your final year of study. The project typically consists of an original research project and report. The nature and scope of the project are determined in consultation with the honors thesis advisor. The honors thesis consists of scholarly work culminating in a written research report and an oral presentation. Occasionally, an honors student completes a comprehensive critical literature review instead.

Getting Started

  • Identify an area of interest through coursework, literature reviews, and discussion with instructors, faculty, and/or Economics advisors
  • Schedule a meeting with the honors thesis advisor Professor David Rahman
  • Plan to spend two semesters working on your economics thesis, which is the typical time frame for honors students. The first semester will be planning and researching and in the second semester, you will enroll in the course.
  • Students are required to have completed at least four upper-division economics courses (including a writing intensive course in economics), two courses in the Statistics sequence, and an Econometrics course (ECON 4211 or ECON 4261) prior to starting your honor thesis.

Enrollment in ECON 4993

Honors Thesis Criteria

cum laude: Complete a senior paper that shows theoretical and/or empirical understanding of the subject. In short, cum laude papers should include original thoughts, arguments with a high degree of rigor.

magna cum laude: These papers should demonstrate that the student can conduct original research in an independent manner. Magna papers show a greater degree of independent thought, and include some original data analysis and/or theoretical innovation.

summa cum laude: Empirical papers should include the collection of data (qualitative or quantitative) and analyze that data with appropriate methods. Theoretical papers should provide an original model or a significant extension of an existing model. Some papers may have both an empirical and a theoretical component. The idea is that these papers are as close as possible to a publishable paper. Summa papers must be submitted to the student's committee and summa candidates are subject to an oral examination.

To be added to the Economics Honors Thesis Canvas module. Please complete this form. The module provides a variety of resources and tips to help you be successful in completing your Honors Thesis in Economics.

Please visit the University Honors Program website for the most accurate information on honors requirements for Economics.