Honors Research

Economics Department Honors Research Program

Hilary Sigman, Coordinator

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.
  • Have earned a B+ or higher in 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
           220:400: Advanced Time Series & Financial Econometrics or
           220:401 Advanced Cross-Sectional and Panel Econometrics
  • 220:493 Honors Research I (Fall semester)
  • 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 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 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. 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.

To apply, please complete the following form and e-mail it to: honors@econ.rutgers.edu
< Application for 2019-2020 Academic Year >

Application materials should be submitted by July 1. Special Permission numbers for 220:401 and 220:493 will be given out in August to those students who are accepted into the Honors Research Program.