In the process of fulfilling the major requirements, honors candidates must pass Economics 401, earn a grade of A- or better in Economics 402, and maintain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in the major and 3.2 or higher overall.
If you are a prospective honors candidate, apply in writing by submitting this application form (PDF) to the department chair no later than April 1 of your Junior year.
Note that Economics 401 does not count towards the major because it is graded on a Pass/Fail basis; however, Economics 402 may be counted as an elective towards the major as well as counting as the "S" course required for the major. Normally an honors candidate will take ECO 401 and ECO 402 in the senior year.
"S" courses have a significant writing component and include Economics 402 and with approval of the department chair, Economics 295 or 395 may satisfy the requirement.
Preparing Your Honors Thesis: Suggested Timeline
Once your application is accepted, you should meet with the faculty members of your honors thesis committee before the summer break. Your honors thesis committee consists of a primary adviser, a secondary adviser and the chair of the Economics Department serving ex-officio.
You should meet to discuss your proposed topic of research with your primary and secondary advisers. Your topic will ideally be the same as that in your honors application or a variant of it. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the feasibility of your proposed research.
After meeting with your honors thesis advisers, you should enroll in Economics 401 for the fall semester. It is your responsibility to work out a schedule with your thesis committee so that you can meet with your committee on a regular basis throughout the semester.
||Course goals for Eco 401:
- Write a thesis proposal. Your thesis proposal should be approximately 20 to 30 pages, and it should include an introduction, a review of the economics literature that is relevant to your thesis question, and a discussion of how you will answer your thesis question if you are allowed to enroll in Eco 402 in the spring semester. You will receive guidance from your committee on how to clearly articulate your plan for answering your thesis question. Typically the proposal for an empirical thesis will include a discussion of how you will choose and develop an economic model for your project, what data you will use (and where you will find it), and how you plan to estimate your model.
- A successful oral defense of your proposal in December. You will be asked to defend your proposal in front of the Economics Department at the end of the fall semester.
- Read the relevant literature for your thesis question, and write a first draft of your literature review by the end of the month.
- Write a first draft of the introduction.
- Revise your literature review.
- Revise your introduction.
- Begin work on selecting an economic model for your thesis.
- Begin work on selecting and locating the data for your thesis. Keep in mind that in order for you to pass your oral defense it will be necessary for you to assure your committee and the other members of the faculty that your data are available.
- Discuss your estimation strategy with your thesis committee.
- The first draft of your complete honors thesis proposal is due the second week of November.
- The second draft of your honors thesis proposal is due before Thanksgiving break.
- The final draft of your complete honors thesis is due one week before Reading Day.
- You will have a practice session for your presentation/oral defense around Reading Day.
- Your oral defense of your thesis proposal will be during the exam period.
Course goals for Eco 402:
- Write a "checkpoint" document by spring break. With guidance from your committee members, by spring break you will create a document that contains a write up of your model/theory section, your data section, and a brief discussion of your estimation strategy.
- Write your honors thesis. 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.
- A successful oral defense of your thesis in May. Your will be asked to defend your thesis in front of the economics department at the end of the spring semester.
- Write a rough draft of your data section for the thesis, and create tables with descriptive statistics from your data.
- By the end of February (spring break) you must assemble your "checkpoint" document. This document will include a revision of your theory/modeling section, a revision of your data section, and a brief discussion of your estimation strategy.
- Once you have agreed on an estimation strategy with your committee, you will begin to estimate your model in order to obtain preliminary regression results. Discuss your results with your thesis advisers, and discuss econometric tests needed for your project.
- Obtain revised regression results and discuss the results from your econometric tests.
- Write a rough draft of your "discussion" section–the section of your thesis where you discuss the results of your empirical work.
- By the end of March you should complete a second draft of discussion section and a rough draft of your conclusion.
- Revise the introduction and literature review that you completed for your thesis proposal in the fall.
- Revise your model/theory section, results, discussion, and conclusion.
- By the end of the second week of April you should have a complete draft of your honors thesis ready for your committee to read.
- By the end of April you should have a second draft of your complete honors thesis ready for your committee to read.
- Schedule your practice defense.
- Schedule your thesis defense.
- During the first week of May you should put the finishing touches on your thesis, and then–one week before Reading Day–you should distribute your thesis to all the members of the Economics Department.
- Graduate with honors!