Honors Program

Attend an information session hosted by the Economics Undergraduate Advising Office to learn more about the Honors Program. Undergraduate Major Advisers will explain the honors criteria and application process, and Peer Advisers currently participating in the honors program will be available to share their experiences.

Thursday, April 9th


597 Evans Hall



In addition to completing the major requirements for graduation, the minimum requirements to qualify for honors in the Economics department are:

  • Have a 3.5 GPA in all upper division economics major coursework
  • Have a 3.3 GPA overall
  • Write an approved senior honors thesis

Students who qualify for department honors can check the College of Letters Science website to see if they also meet the criteria for a level of Distinction at Graduation (honors, high honors, highest honors):  http://ls-advise.berkeley.edu/honor/honor.html. This is determined by the GPA in the upper division Economics core and elective courses, using the same distinction level as the College.



H195A is for senior Economic Majors who meet the GPA requirements of 3.3 overall and 3.5 in the upper-division Economics courses, who have not taken Econ 191 or an undergraduate research seminar, and who plan to write an honors thesis. Econometrics is a must.  Students must have completed econometrics or be concurrently enrolled in econometrics!

The goal of H195A is to help students choose a thesis topic, get data, write a prospectus, get an advisor, and start working on the thesis. Independent research is very different from taking a lecture class. In lecture classes, students can be passive. To do research, students must take the initiative.  Most students love research, some students hate research, but almost none are indifferent.  Writing a thesis is a lot of fun, and a lot of work!

Space is limited, and seats are given on a first-come, first-serve basis for students who meet the requirements.  The fall 2014 Econ H195a application is now closed due to high demand.  Students interested in being placed on the waitlist can email Christina Yasi at cyasi@berkeley.edu.  

Econ H195A is available on a pass/no pass basis only.



Econ H195B is the writing of the thesis. There is no class. Students meet with their individual thesis advisor periodically throughout the term and receive independent study units. Before enrolling in Econ H195B, students must

  • meet the GPA requirements stated above
  • have completed macroeconomics, microeconomics, and econometrics
  • have completed at least one additional upper-division course for the major
  • have completed a course in which a research paper is required:  Econ H195A, Econ 191, an upper-division undergraduate research seminar (Econ 122, 124, 132, 153, 154, 164, 173), or, with approval, an upper-division Economics elective that requires a research paper.  If you would like to have a course other than those enumerated above reviewed for approval, please see an undergraduate advisor.  Work in Economics through the Haas Scholars Program can also be used to meet the research requirement for Economics.

Please bring completed application to 539 Evans Hall. Students will be emailed a CCN after the GPA has been verified.

Econ H195B application

The deadline to submit the honors application for spring 2015 is December 19, 2014.

Econ H195B must be taken for a letter grade and 3 units.  Econ H195B will always be included when calculating the major GPA for level of honors.

Students are encouraged to choose an Economics faculty member to supervise their thesis. Supervision by a faculty member outside the Economics Department is subject to approval by the Undergraduate Chair.

There are copies of prior semesters theses available online at the undergraduate thesis website.  Some submissions have been omitted because they contain proprietary data, or because we do not have permission from the author to post the work. This is not a reflection on the quality of their work. All work is © 2009-2012 by the individual authors. All rights reserved.


Thesis Deadline

Honors students are required to turn in a copy of their thesis to their thesis advisor. Theses are typically due on the last day of instruction, but faculty sponsors can require an earlier deadline. Students must also email a .pdf of their thesis to the undergraduate advising office. This thesis will not be posted on the web without permission.

For more information about deadlines, please see our honors timeline.


Honors Notations

All honors students who have written a thesis by the time of the commencement ceremony are listed in the Commencement program, with the title of their thesis shown. The honors designation also appears on all transcripts and the UC diploma. Please note: if a student is walking prior to writing the honors theses, they will not be listed with the honors candidates in the Commencement program.