Economics Department Honors Research Program

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The Honors Research Program provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to get first-hand experience doing scholarly research. Students spend their final year of study engaged in independent research projects under the supervision of members of the faculty. In previous years, students have engaged in a wide range of topics from the impact of regulations on banks' balance sheets to the links between crime and alcohol to the relationship between personality traits and the repayment of microfinance loans in Africa.

Students enrolled in the Program submit written theses and present their work to the Economics Department Honors and Awards Committee in April.

Students who would like to earn Economics Departmental Honors designations must complete the Honors Research Program.

The Economics Department Honors Research Program satisfies the "Capstone" requirement for the SAS Honors Program.


To apply for the Honors Research Program, students must:

  • Be a declared Economics Major.
  • Completed 01:220:320 Intermediate Microeconomics and 01:220:321 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • Have earned a B+ or higher in 01:220:322 Econometrics
  • Have an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Have an Economics GPA of 3.7 or higher

Honors Research Coursework

Students who are admitted into Honors Research must enroll in the following courses:

  • One Advanced Econometrics class, either
           01:220:422 Advanced Econometrics for Microeconomic Data, or
           01:220:423 Advanced Time Series and Financial Econometrics
  • 01:220:493 Honors Research I (Fall semester)
  • 01:220:494 Honors Research II (Spring semester)

All of these courses are special permission only. Special permission numbers will be given to students who apply to and are accepted into the program.

Alternative approach: Course-based launch

Some students may choose to pursue a course-based launch to their Honors Research project. The course-based launch substitutes a research-oriented elective course for 01:220:493 Honors Research I. Research-oriented courses assign scholarly papers and econometric analysis of data. Students develop research projects through their work in the elective course and then expand these projects during the spring semester to write their honors theses.

Students pursuing the course-based launch must take one Advanced Econometrics course and 01:220:494 Honors Research II.

Application Procedure

You must formally apply to the Economics Department's Honor Research Program. The key component of this application is a letter or e-mail from a tenure-track faculty member of the Economics Department stating that he or she will serve as your advisor. This confirmation email should be sent directly by the advisor to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before the application deadline. You may contact any faculty to request recommendations for advisors in your field of interest. Meet with potential advisors before applying to discuss research topics.

In order to be accepted you must have completed the prerequisites before you apply, have a tenure-track faculty member who agrees to be your advisor, and a research proposal that is feasible to complete in your senior year. Admission will be at the discretion of the department based on those criteria.

To identify tenure-track faculty members see here:  anyone listed as "Assistant Professor of Economics" "Associate Professor of Economics" "Professor of Economics" or "Distinguished Professor of Economics"

To apply, please complete the following form and e-mail it to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
< document Honors Research Application (13 KB) >

Application materials should be submitted by July 1. Special Permission numbers for 01:220:493 will be given out in August to those students who are accepted into the Honors Research Program.