The Department of Economics Honors Program offers exceptional economics majors a unique opportunity to research a topic in economics and write a thesis based on their findings under the supervision of a faculty member.  Those who fulfill all of the requirements will be awarded with the distinction of “Special Honors in Economics” upon graduation.  Below you will find resources to help you from start to finish!

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Admission to the Departmental Honors Program

To enter the Economics Honors Program you must meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of ECO 304K and ECO 304L with a minimum grade of B in each
  • Completion of the required calculus sequence with a minimum grade of B in each
  • Completion of at least two economics courses taken in-residence
  • A minimum UT GPA of 3.0 and a minimum Economics GPA of 3.5

Fill out an honors application (Attached here) and submit it to the Economics Advising Office. You will receive confirmation via email.

Completing Departmental Honors

To graduate with Special Honors in Economics you must:

  • Complete all degree requirements for the economics major
  • Complete the thesis courses, ECO 378H and ECO 379H, with a minimum grade of B in each
  • Have a minimum UT GPA of 3.0 and a minimum Economics GPA of 3.5 (in ECO courses counting toward the major)


Honors Timeline & Manual

Timeline: Click here to see a general timeline for what to do when, starting in freshman year. Not a freshman?…that’s ok. Most of the things on this list can be done anytime. This is just a general guide—each students’ path may be different.

Manual:  Click here to view the Economics Honors Thesis Manual.  This includes information about when to start, where to start, how to choose a topic, finding a supervisor, registering for the honors thesis courses, writing the thesis, and other advice.

Getting Started

To start the thesis you must:

  • Be in the honors program (have an approved honors application on file)
  • Have a minimum UT GPA of 3.0 and a minimum Economics GPA of 3.5 (in ECO courses counting toward the major)
  • Submit to the advising office no later than the first week of the semester in which you are starting the thesis: 1) an ECO 378H registration form signed by thesis supervisor, and 2) a thesis topic proposal attached to signed registration form.

Pick up an ECO 378H registration form from the honors coordinator, attach your thesis proposal, and take it to your faculty supervisor for their signature. Return the signed form and thesis proposal to the honors coordinator, who will obtain final approval from the faculty honors advisor and register you in ECO 378H.

Thesis Proposal Guidelines & Examples

Your thesis proposal should include the following:

  • the economic question you wish to investigate
  • the motivation and goals for your research (e.g., to analyze certain policy questions)
  • your preliminary ideas for the methodology to be employed (e.g., application of a relevant theoretical model or an empirical analysis using a designated data set).

Don’t worry if you are not 100% clear on the topic when you begin— writing a proposal can be a starting point for discussion with the honors advisor and/or prospective supervisors, who can offer guidance in developing your thesis topic. It is more common than not that the question evolves once you get started—but it must be clear that at least provisionally, you have a good question and a feasible methodology for answering it.

Click here to view examples of Thesis Proposals from honors program alumni.


Economics Honors Thesis Database

Click here to view final theses as well as thesis proposals by economics honors alumni.  You will have to log in with your EID and password.



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