A good understanding of economics is increasingly necessary for success in today's society. Across fields as diverse as law, finance, medicine, business, politics, and environmental science, the tools of economic analysis are frequently employed to help solve complex problems. The Honors Program in economics provides solid preparation for students planning to attend graduate school in economics as well as for those planning advanced study in other fields. For those students planning to enter the workforce directly after graduation, the program will develop the research, analytical and writing skills that employers desire. The program offers highly motivated students the opportunity for an individualized and challenging curriculum. Upon successful completion of the program students are awarded their Boston College degrees with the designation "Honors in Economics."
Students in the Honors Program are invited to attend a variety of seminars, lectures, dinners, and social gatherings as part of the program. An opportunity to interact with faculty in non-academic settings is encouraged through this social aspect of the program.
Entrance to the program ideally occurs in either the second semester of freshman year or first semester of sophomore year when the student with good Principles and Calculus grades will be urged to consider the Honors Theory sequence (ECON 2203-ECON 2204) in place of the standard sequence (ECON 2201-ECON 2202). If students prefer to take Honors Macro Theory first, after completing Principles of Economics, that is allowable.
However, those students who have already completed ECON 2201 and/or ECON 2202 with excellent grades may be accepted into the Honors Program at the discretion of the Department.
Honors students must complete two semesters of Calculus (MATH 1102-1103 [preferred], MATH 1100-1101 or advanced placement) whether or not they take Honors Theory. Students who do not satisfy the Calculus requirement as a prerequisite for Honors Theory must complete the requirement by the end of the junior year.
The AB Calculus version of Advanced Placement will be accepted as one semester of calculus and the BC Calculus version will be accepted as two semesters of calculus. Students with other forms of Advanced Placement (e.g., International Baccalaureate) should consult the Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Students considering the Honors Program should take Statistics as soon as possible and should take Econometric Methods (ECON 2228) immediately following.
Honors candidates must complete a six-credit Honors Thesis (ECON 4497-ECON 4498) in the senior year. However, only ECON 4497 counts as credit toward the economics major. It counts as one upper-level elective. Candidates who are also members of the Arts and Sciences Honors Program can substitute ECON 4497-ECON 4498 for HONR 4961.
In addition to ECON 4497, Honors candidates in the Class of 2022 or before must take four electives, at least two of which must be chosen from ECON 3000–ECON 3398 (except 3336 and ECON 3345). In addition to ECON 4497, Honors candidates in the Class of 2023 or beyond must take five electives, at least three of which must be chosen from ECON 3000–ECON 3398 (except ECON 3336 and ECON 3345).
Department permission is required for registration in ECON 4497, Honors Thesis Seminar. Candidates must submit a thesis proposal approved by a faculty member who agrees to serve as thesis advisor in the spring of the junior year. In addition they must have completed the Calculus and Econometrics requirements and have a GPA of at least 3.5 in economics courses at the end of the junior year. Students who did not take Honors Theory (ECON 2203-2204) must have a GPA of at least 3.5 in their Theory courses. For more information on the Senior Honors Thesis, please see that section of the Undergraduate Program FAQ.
The distinction of Honors in Economics may only be conferred upon those students completing an Honors Thesis. A letter grade less than B+ on the Honors Thesis would be considered a deficiency to the conferral of Honors in Economics. A higher letter grade supports the conferral, but does not in itself assure that the distinction shall be conferred. GPA and the rigor of the courses taken will be considered. The conferral is the sole responsibility of the Honors Committee.
The Economics department awards two scholarship prizes at graduation and chooses the recipients from among students receiving Honors in Economics. The Bourneuf Award is given to the student judged by the Honors Committee to be the most outstanding Economics major. The Giffuni Prize is awarded for outstanding work on the Senior Honors Thesis.
Students interested in Honors in Economics should contact the Director of the Honors Program.