|Undergraduate Program||Department of Economics ◊ University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
advisers over the course of the year; the most successful theses are usually the result of frequent student-adviser meetings. In their spring semester, students whose research proposals are accepted and wish to continue will take ECON 692H. During this course, students will complete their thesis, receiving honors or highest honors status after an oral defense in front of a faculty board. Thesis will then be bound and placed in Wilson Library. Anyone can browse a list of past Honor theses at the Honors Thesis Archive.
The decision to undertake an honors thesis in economics should not be made lightly. Theses require a large investment of time, both to develop the specific topic as well as obtaining relevant data. In addition, an honors thesis in economics requires a high level of familiarity with statistical analysis, any student embarking on an honors thesis should, at the very least have taken ECON 400 Elementary Statistics during their junior year or before, and plan on taking ECON 570 Econometrics the first semester of their senior year at the latest. Familiarity with and access to a statistical analysis program such as STATA is also highly recommended. Students wishing to complete an honors thesis but without this experience should consider working on a thesis for a related department such as Political Science or Public Policy.
The Department of Economics honors program offers outstanding economics students the opportunity to work closely with an individual faculty member on a specialized research topic of the studentís choice during the senior year. Generally, students with a 3.5 grade point average in economics courses and 3.5 in all University course work are invited to participate in this two-course program (ECON 691H and 692H).
In the first semester (ECON 691H), students become familiar with the recent literature on topics of major interest. Each candidate formulates an honors thesis proposal and initiates work on the project. In ECON 692H, the thesis work is conducted under the supervision of a faculty advisor who is a specialist in the general topic area of the research.
Near the end of second semester (ECON 692H), the student submits to an oral examination on the thesis. Upon successful completion of the program, the student receives the bachelor of arts degree with honors or with highest honors. Students in the honors program are also required to complete at least an eight-course major rather than the minimum seven courses, including ECON 691H and 692H.
Honors Thesis in Economics
Honors theses are an exciting and challenging opportunity for senior economics students to conduct original research and contribute new knowledge to the field. Over the course of their senior year, with the help of a faculty adviser, students will develop a research topic, collect and analyze data, and come to a conclusion about an issue(s) pertaining to economics. Completing a successful honors thesis is the only way to graduate with honors or highest honors in economics at UNC.
Interested students should begin thinking about a topic to research their junior year. In the fall semester of their senior year, all students attempting an honors thesis are required to take ECON 691H. This class will familiarize students with the structure of research papers in economics as well as guide the students as they begin to develop a topic and collect data, culminating in the submission of a research proposal at the end of the semester. During the semester, students will find a faculty member with experience or interest in the topic of study to advise them. Students will work closely with their