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About the Senior Honors Thesis Program:

The Department of Economics Senior Honors Thesis program offers outstanding economics students the opportunity to work closely with an individual faculty member on a specialized research topic of the student’s choice during the senior year. Completing a successful honors thesis is the only way to graduate with honors or highest honors in economics at UNC.

Students writing an honors thesis are required to take ECON 691H in Fall and ECON 692H in Spring.

During the fall semester, students will find a thesis advisor, develop an economics-related research topic, collect data, and prepare a thesis proposal consisting of the review of literature and theoretical and/or empirical models.

In their spring semester, students whose research proposals are accepted will take ECON 692H. During this course, students will complete their thesis, receiving honors or highest honors status after an oral defense in front of a faculty board. Anyone can browse a list of past Honors theses at the Honors Thesis Archive.

How to apply to the Senior Honors Thesis Program:

The admission to the Senior Honors Thesis program in Economics is selective. We invite about 15 students per year. Students with a 3.5 grade point average in economics courses and 3.5 in all University course work are eligible to apply for this two-course program (ECON 691H and 692H). However, the selected students generally have a higher grade point average than 3.5.

We also consider previous economics courses students have taken. It is required to earn high grades in ECON 400 (or a substitute in statistics), ECON410, ECON420, ECON470, and in at least one 400- or 500-level field course in economics. If one of these courses is missing, students can still qualify for the Honors program by taking this course in the Fall of their senior year. Familiarity with and access to a statistical analysis program such as STATA and/or R is highly recommended.

During the application process, we will ask about your previous research experience. The lack of such experience does not disqualify students from writing a senior honors thesis. We encourage students from different backgrounds and experiences to apply.

If you would like to be considered for the Honors Program in your senior year, please fill out the application form.


The deadline for submission is April 30 (11:59 pm). For questions, contact Klara Peter.