Honors Program



Honors Criteria

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

  • Have a 3.5 GPA in all upper division economics major coursework
  • Have a 3.3 GPA overall
  • Complete ECON H195B (Write an approved senior honors thesis)

Students who qualify for department honors can also check the College of Letters Science website to see if they meet the criteria for a level of Distinction in General Scholarship at Graduation (Distinction, High Distinction, Highest Distinction). This is determined by the GPA in the upper division Economics core and elective courses, using the same distinction level as the College.


Honors Research Requirement 

There is a prerequisite research requirement for students who wish to write an honors thesis. The research requirement must be completed before enrolling in Econ H195B. ECON H195A is one way to satisfy the research requirement, but not the only way. The department will also accept Econ 191, an upper-division undergraduate research seminar (Econ 122, 124, 132, 153, 154, 164, 173, and 183), or, with approval, an upper-division Economics elective that requires a research paper. If you would like to have an additional course reviewed for approval, please see an undergraduate advisor.

ECON H195A (Option for Research Requirement)

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!

ECON H195A is a fall semester only, two-unit course that can only be taken with the P/NP grading option. It cannot be used as an elective for the economics degree. 

H195A is for Economic Majors who:

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

Fall 2019 ECON H195A application available now. Please download and submit in-person to Evans 539 by FRIDAY, MAY 10, 4pm. No email submissions. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until space is no longer available.


ECON H195B - Senior Honors Thesis Course

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:

  • have a 3.5 GPA in all upper division economics major coursework, and have a 3.3 GPA overall
  • 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.

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 © 2009-2015 by the individual authors. All rights reserved.

TO APPLY: Please bring your completed application signed by your faculty advisor to 539 Evans Hall. Students will be notified of enrollment in ECON H195B after honors eligibility requirements are verified. Applications that do not meet the honors criteria may be denied. The deadline to apply for Econ H195B for Spring 2020 is Friday, December 6th, at 4pm. 

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.