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New Brunswick Undergraduate Catalog 2022-2024 Programs of Study and Courses for Liberal Arts and Sciences Students Programs, Faculty, and Courses Economics 220 Honors Research in Economics  

Honors Research in Economics


Majors who apply for departmental honors research usually have cumulative grade-point averages that generously exceed the minimum required 3.0 overall and 3.4 in economics.

Honors research consists of two tracks that differ in the way students identify and develop a topic. Either track can be launched as soon as the applicant has completed the prerequisites--typically in the senior year, but sometimes earlier.

Independent Launch

The student using the independent launch chooses a thesis topic in consultation with his or her faculty supervisor and with the approval of the department. Topics vary widely. The student must submit an application, which describes the topic, provides a preliminary review of some of the relevant literature, and identifies the data to be used in the econometric analysis. Both the faculty supervisor and the undergraduate director must approve the application. The independent launch is the most common approach to doing honors research.

The first (fall) semester of the Honors Research Seminar (01:220:493) is used to refine the topic by extending the literature review, by developing a theoretical and an empirical model for the investigation, and by launching preliminary econometric work on the data. Students enrolled in 493 must have completed or be enrolled in Advanced Econometrics (01:220:401).

In the second (spring) semester, 01:220:494, the student completes the investigation and submits the final draft of the thesis.

Course-Based Launch

The course-based launch uses a research-oriented elective course to develop and refine the topic in contrast to the independent launch, which uses 01:220:493. Research-oriented courses assign scholarly papers and econometric analysis of data. For an updated list of research-oriented courses, contact the department.

Having enrolled in one of these courses, the student identifies a topic, writes a literature review both from papers assigned in the course and from additional readings, and carries out some preliminary analysis of data (perhaps extending work done in the course). This work constitutes an application to 01:220:494, in which the student would complete the thesis. The student would need to enroll in Advanced Time Series and Financial Econometrics (01:220:400) or Advanced Cross-sectional and Panel Econometrics (01:220:401) along with the other honors research students.

Note that the research-oriented elective course launches the honors research and substitutes for the first semester of work, 01:220:493, in the independent launch.

Honors and Awards

The completed thesis can be submitted to the Awards and Honors Committee of the Economics Faculty, which will evaluate the thesis and, if appropriate, assign it one of three designations: honors, high honors, or highest honors. The committee also awards the Simon Prize for the best honors thesis, which may be shared by more than one thesis.

 
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