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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

James Walker
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Wylie 240
Frank Reiter
Academic Advisor
Wylie 105C

1. How is your honors degree program administered? Is there a specific person who acts as coordinator?

The Director of Undergraduate Studies also serves as director of the honors program, in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor and faculty serving as honors-thesis mentors.

2. What are the requirements for admission into your honors program? How are students recruited for your program?

There are no formal admission requirements or recruiting procedures for the honors program in economics; however, enrollment in E499 Honors Thesis Research has the following prerequisites: E201, E202, E321, E322, E370, and an I.U. economics GPA of 3.300 or higher. Also, students must have declared a major (or interdepartmental major) in economics, and the E499 faculty mentor may require other prerequisites prior to approval of the thesis topic. Interdepartmental majors (ECON/POLS or ECON/MATH) should consult with their academic advisor to determine the appropriate department for an interdepartmental thesis.

3. How does a student graduate with honors from your department?

Graduation with honors in economics requires: 1) an I.U. economics GPA of 3.500 or higher, 2) a College of Arts and Sciences cumulative GPA of 3.300 or higher, 3) completion of at least six credits in economics courses numbered E390 through E490, and 4) completion of three credits of E499 Honors Thesis Research with a grade of B or higher.

4. What courses do students take as juniors and before in order to prepare for working on senior project?

Students are encouraged to complete the undergraduate core courses in economic theory (E201, E202, E321, E322), mathematics (M118 and either M119 or M211), and statistics (E370 or M365) during their first four semesters. Elective courses numbered above E322 usually serve to motivate ideas for the honors thesis and identify a faculty mentor for the thesis. Students interested in preparing for graduate school in economics should take M211, rather than M119, and consult with the Undergraduate Advisor during their first year at I.U. to find out about additional recommended mathematics courses.

5. Are there departmental resources available to support internships or research projects related to the senior project?

No, however, a faculty mentor may choose to allocate funds from a personal research account to help fund unusually innovative undergraduate research that is closely related to the mentor's interests.

6. What is the nature of the honors thesis?

The thesis should be original research on a topic chosen by the student in close consultation with a faculty mentor, and approved by the director of undergraduate studies. the thesis is generally a 25-50 page paper focusing on some well-defined research area in economics. Students contemplating an honors thesis should obtain a "Request to Enroll in E499 Honors Thesis Research" form from the undergraduate advisor. The thesis topic should be approved prior to the semester in which E499 enrollment occurs.

7. How might the work required for earning a honors degree be particularly beneficial in future endeavors?

The completion of an original research project requires a degree of imagination and responsibility viewed very positively by prospective employers or graduate schools. The thesis itself is perfect as a writing sample in a job or graduate school application, and the thesis content is an excellent source of material for an interview.

8. What are the advantages for students who pursue the honors degree compared to a regular degree in your area?

The honors degree signals potential employers and graduate schools that the student is highly motivated, has a distinguished record of academic achievement, and is capable of completing an independent research project. The Department of Economics strives to offer smaller, more challenging "S" honors sections of E201 (e.g. S201), E202, E321, E322, and E370 whenever possible.

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