Honors in Economics
Students in either BA or BS degree programs may earn honors in economics in two ways: the curriculum honors program and the J. C. Liu Honors Thesis program. Completion of the curriculum honors program alone leads to a degree with honors in economics. Completion of the J. C. Liu Honors Thesis program may earn honors, high honors or highest honors in economics. Completing both programs earns high or highest honors in economics.
Curricular Honors Program
To receive curricular honors, students will need to take two advanced elective courses in economics. Students must earn a GPA of 3.7 or better in their major coursework. Students will be paired with a faculty advisor, who will recommend appropriate courses to fulfill Curricular Honors. If you plan to participate in this program, discuss it with the Economics Department Director of Undergraduate Studies as early as possible, preferably in your junior year.
J. C. Liu Honors Thesis Program
The J. C. Liu Honors Thesis Program is named in honor of the late Jung-Chao Liu, professor of economics. This is a two-semester program that includes ECON 498 Honors Research Design (four credits) and ECON 499 Honors Thesis (four credits); and submission of a thesis judged worthy of honors in conjunction with ECON 499. Both ECON 498 and 499 are independent research courses that do not have regular class meeting times. They may be counted as one elective toward the economics major, but will not count toward the requirement of courses numbered 400-489.
Admission to the honors thesis program and to ECON 498-499 is limited to majors with a 3.3 GPA in economics and a 3.0 GPA overall. Students planning to graduate in December of their fourth year should be aware that they must begin the program with ECON 498 in the fall of their third year, and complete ECON 499 in the spring of their third year
Honors students who write a thesis are able to work closely one-on-one with a faculty member they choose on a topic of interest to them. Some past Honors papers have led to publication in professional journals. Study with a chosen faculty member gives that faculty member a basis for later writing a substantive letter of recommendation. To earn the designation of honors, high honors or highest honors in economics, you must complete your honors thesis and turn it in on time.
If you think you might want to write a senior honors thesis, discuss it with the Economics Department Director of Undergraduate Studies prior to or at the beginning of the first semester of your senior year.
If you want to write a thesis but you are planning to graduate in December or finish your degree in less than four years, discuss your situation with the Economics Department Director of Undergraduate Studies.