Honors Projects and Senior Thesis in Economics

Year-long Honors Projects are strongly encouraged for students who will achieve a 3.5 GPA in the major at the time of graduation. Students who do not meet the GPA requirement have the option of a Senior Thesis.

Students wishing to pursue Honors Projects register for EC491 Independent Studies in the fall of their senior year. In order to do so, they must find a departmental advisor who approves of the proposed project. It is strongly recommended to contact potential advisors towards the end of the spring semester of junior year.

Early during the reading period in the fall semester, candidates who have obtained the support of their advisors will present their Honors Project proposals to the department faculty. These proposals normally include testable hypotheses and preliminary results, but may vary depending on the nature of the project. Upon approval by faculty vote, candidates must identify a second reader in the Department of Economics and may then enroll in EC484 in the following semester.

During the spring semester, Honors candidates are required to present their projects as part of the Colby Liberal Arts Symposium (CLAS). Department faculty will review the project at this time and will vote upon the conferral of Honors status.

Pending a successful vote of the department, a grade of A- or higher, and the achievement of a 3.5 GPA in the major, students will graduate with Honors in Economics. The Honors Project itself becomes part of the permanent collection of Miller Library.

Another option, the Senior Thesis, is available to students who want to do a year-long research project, but do not meet the GPA requirement for honors. These students should enroll in Economics 491 followed by Economics 482.


EC 345 Research in Economics

EC345 involves the completion of a substantial, original, analytical research paper. The paper should be written in the junior or senior year, after completing EC223 and EC224. The paper should build upon concurrent or prior coursework taken at Colby and must be sponsored by a faculty member. It can be used to fulfill one of the 200-level elective requirements for any of the economics majors (but NOT the managerial economics minor).

The EC 345 process begins with a conversation with a member of the faculty about potential topics and to secure preliminary approval to work with them during the coming semester. To register for EC 345, visit the Registrar’s homepage, select Independent Study and choose EC345. Provide a brief description of the intended topic, identify your faculty sponsor and submit your registration.

Writing Research Papers in Economics