The Economics department encourages qualified students to undertake Honors Study. Honors Study offers those students who meet the standards set by Connecticut College and by the Economics department the opportunity to combine independent work with a regular course of study.

Juniors who have maintained a 3.5 GPA in their major courses during the sophomore and junior years may at the end of the junior year request permission of the Economics department to be admitted to Honors Study.

Department Requirements for Honors Study

  • Complete at least 3 courses beyond the required courses in the major by the end of junior year.
  • Maintain a 3.5 GPA in Economics courses
  • Complete one or more courses related to proposed field of research

Procedures for Proposal for Honors Study

I. Preliminary proposal (Due February 15 of Junior Year)

Qualified students who want to do an honors thesis should submit a one-paragraph preliminary proposal to the Economics Department before February 15 in their junior year. The department will then review the preliminary proposals to decide which students may proceed to the second stage of writing a full proposal in consultation with an advisor who has been designated by the department. Students may indicate whom they would prefer to have as their advisor, but the department will make the final decision, based on demand and available resources.

II. Full proposal (Due April 15 of the Junior Year)

The student should write a proposal for a senior project that is a plan of study designed to replace two semester courses in the Economics major.

The proposal should include the following:

  • Purpose of the study
  • Relevance of the study
  • Brief review of the literature: What are the main questions/hypotheses in the existing literature?
  • What are the main questions that your study will investigate?
  • Economic framework and methodology: What are your hypotheses and how will you test them? What theoretical framework (e.g., neoclassical, Keynesian) will you employ? If relevant, based on your theoretical framework, what economic model will you use? What methodology will you employ, e.g., econometrics, descriptive statistics, analytical reasoning. Not all theses will necessarily conform to these questions. It is best to consult closely with your preliminary adviser while writing the proposal.
  • Preliminary timetable of the study over the Fall and the Spring semesters.
  • Annotated bibliography of no less than six and no more than ten references (references must be to books or articles in professional journals. Only exceptionally and with the principal adviser's approval may other references be used).

The proposal should be typewritten, double-spaced, paginated and presented in a clear and organized manner.

Your adviser will support your project at the Economics Department meeting and will relay any comments and recommendations from the members of the Economics Department on whether you can go forward with the project and, if so, on ways to improve and strengthen the project.

III. The Project

The student will enroll in the course ECO 497-498. Students enrolled in course ECO 497-498 will be given the temporary mark "In Progress" at the end of the first semester. This mark will be changed to a letter grade when the honors study has been completed.The adviser shall assign the final grade after consultation with the readers.

Note: The department has some funds available to cover expenses related to the honors thesis project. Appropriate uses of money would be to cover costs of purchasing data, books that are not available through the library or inter-library loan, to cover costs of administering surveys and in some cases to cover cost of transportation. Students should consult with their adviser about the appropriateness of the proposed expenditures and should then submit a proposal to the department, optimally by November 15 of the thesis year. The proposal will be judged on a competitive basis.

Department Honors upon Graduation

Connecticut College awards the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors Study in the Major Field to students who complete their Honors Study with a grade of A or A-. The College awards the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors Study and Distinction in the Major Field to students who complete their Honors Study with a grade of A or A-, and who have a GPA of 3.5 in their regular major courses, including those of the freshman year or its equivalent.

Questions regarding these Guidelines should be directed to Professor Candace Howes, department chair.