Honors Requirements

The economics major offers multiple paths to departmental honors. Students can choose between group projects in a dedicated honors course series (EC 418/419) or complete an individual EC 401 research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor of their choice. Honors projects outside of the EC 418/419 series can be initiated or completed in any quarter. Many of our departmental honors recipients have gone on to competitive graduate programs.

Qualified students may apply to graduate with honors in economics. Two (2) requirements must be met:  

  1. Completion of upper-division economics courses with at least a 3.50 GPA.
  2. Completion of a research paper, written under the guidance of an economics faculty member, for four (4) credits in research (EC 401). Both electronic and hard copy versions of the completed paper must be approved and signed by the faculty adviser and must be presented to the undergraduate department’s main office (PLC 175) no later than 4:00pm on Friday of the week before final examinations during the term the student plans to graduate.  

Students who intend to satisfy these requirements should notify the economics undergraduate coordinator early in the term in which they intend to graduate.  

The only department-approved exception for the EC 401 research paper is if the student has successfully completed the EC 418-419 sequence in community economics.  

About Economics 401 

Students interested in the 401 research path to honors should consider their research topic and contact the appropriate faculty mentor well in advance of the desired term. This is often the preferred path to departmental honors for students whose interests lie outside the realm of community analysis in the EC 418-419 series. If a student is unsure which member of the faculty would be best suited to advise, they are welcome to reach out to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Dan O'Neil for guidance.

About Economics 418-419 (will not be offered during the 2024- 2025 academic year)

Economic Analysis of Community Issues is a research class where students do hands-on applied economic analysis either for local community groups or on a topic of community interest. The objective of the course is to have students complete a research paper that provides them with some practical experience applying skills in economics and statistics and give the local community or state a finished research project that provides them useful answers to questions that matter for their decision-making.  

The completed projects are intended to satisfy the research component of the department’s requirements for graduating with honors. The class is small and involves intensive interaction with UO economics professors. This course is designed as a capstone for students who want to graduate with honors, and enrollment, is therefore, by permission only.  

The course begins winter quarter, when invited community speakers give talks about their potential projects, and the instructors discuss research methods and relevant aspects of benefit-cost analysis and econometrics. Students start their projects at the end of winter, and can expect to devote considerable time during spring quarter to data collection, analysis, and writing. The finished project includes delivery of a finished paper, and a presentation to interested community members.