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Honors Programs in Economics

Purdue University Campus

The Department of Economics offers two honors degree programs and supports the university honors college by providing elective honors courses and supervising the honors thesis. The department honors degree programs are distinct from the honors college; students may pursue either or both types of honors. If you are looking for a more research-intensive experience in your undergraduate studies, we have several honors programs available to highly motivated and academically successful students:

  • Economics Minor with University Honors

    • A Minor in Economics will help Honors College students complete the honors program requirements. The Econ Minor teaches students to use economic theory and analyze economic data and is a great way for majors in science, engineering, humanities, and the social sciences to signal that they have business, analytical, and data skills that are in demand by employers and graduate programs. Students choosing to take econometrics as part of the minor in economics are eligible to take the senior honors thesis course which will fulfil the thesis and scholarly project requirement of the Honors College.
    • While there are many paths through the Econ Minor, the most common for Honors College students are:
      • ECON 25100H, ECON 25200, ECON 51100, ECON 56200, ECON 49900
      • ECON 25100H, ECON 25200, ECON 34000, ECON 36000, ECON 49900
  • Economics BS with University Honors

    • The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Economics offered through the Krannert School of Management is very compatible with the university Honors College program. Econ Majors take core courses in microeconomic and macroeconomic theory and econometrics and then are able to choose from a wide selection of upper-division elective courses in areas including antitrust and regulation, public finance and taxation, health economics, labor economics, international trade, money and banking, game theory, industrial organization, and behavioral economics. Economics BS majors are in very high demand at graduation and completing the Honors College program sends a strong positive signal to employers and graduate programs.
    • While not required for the economics degree, we strongly suggest that students take ECON 49900 (Senior Honors Thesis) as this will enable students to satisfy the thesis/scholarly project Honors College requirement
  • Economics BS-Honors with or without University Honors

    • The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Economics Honors degree offered through the Krannert School of Management is intended for student who have excelled in the classroom and desire a rigorous degree program. This Economics Department honors degree is separate from the Honors College program and Honors College participation is not a requirement for the Economics BS Honors degree. The Economics Honors program prepares students for graduate school or a highly quantitative career in economic consulting or data analysis. The Economics BS Honors degree requires students to take higher level calculus, multivariate calculus, linear algebra, two semesters of a foreign language, and the Senior Honors Thesis course. Graduates from this option typically go to prestigious economics, finance, and accounting PhD programs or to economic consulting firms like Accenture, Compass Lexecon, McKinsey, and Bain. The Economics BS-Honors degree program is also an excellent choice for Honor College students. The economics degree program has a large number of open elective courses which Honors College students may use to take the required honors courses.
    • In addition to the standard economics course curriculum, students are required to complete multivariate calculus (MA 261), linear algebra (MA 351 or 511), statistics (STAT 350 or 511), and the senior honors thesis course (ECON 499).
  • Economics BA with University Honors

    • The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Economics is offered through the College of Liberal Arts is a great fit for Honors College students who are interested in a mathematically rigorous study of human decision making as well as the flexibility to explore other disciplines in the liberal arts. The Economics BA major provides Honors College students with a logical structure and careful reasoning skills that are in high demand by private sector, not-for-profits, and government employers. Many of our Economics graduates ultimately seek a postgraduate degree in economics, business, finance, or law.
    • While not required for the economics degree, we strongly suggest that students take ECON 49900 (Senior Honors Thesis) as this will enable students to satisfy the thesis/scholarly project Honors College requirement

Successful completion of any of the above programs will be noted on your permanent transcripts. Completion of any of them entitles you to say that you graduated with honors.

The one common element across all these programs is the Senior Honors Thesis course (ECON 49900) which offers students an intensive research experience and is the capstone of our honors experience. Under the direction and supervision of a faculty member, students will complete a research project, write a research article, and present the methods and findings in a seminar or workshop setting. Students not participating in any of the honors programs may request permission to enroll in ECON 49900 once they have completed Econometrics (ECON 36000 or 56200). 

Another common element across all these program is the 3.5 grade point average requirement. Given the high grading standards in the economics department, a 3.5 GPA is difficult for economics students to achieve. We strongly suggest that students limit the number of economics, statistics, and mathematics courses to no more than 3 in any semester. Taking too many economics, statistics, and mathematics  courses at the same time will put the student at a disadvantage.

Other recognition of excellent academic achievement

Each year, the Economics Department invites eligible students to join the Purdue chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international honor society for economics.