Honors Program

Honors Thesis Research Guidelines and Syllabus

It is designed to encourage a more intensive study of economics than is required for the normal major, with course and research work of exceptional quality.

  • Honors students participate in an Honors Research Symposium during spring quarter.
  • Those nominated for prizes making oral presentations.
  • Students graduate with a BA in Economics with Honors which is noted on their diplomas and transcripts.


  • Complete all requirements for the major, plus 5 units, 85 total units for BAH. 
  • Complete Economics 102B and at least two Econ upper division courses most relevant to the proposed topic of the honors thesis by the end of the junior year. (These can be included in the basic 80 units.)
  • In winter quarter of senior year, enroll in one unit of the Director of the Honors Program’s Econ 199D section.
  • Achieve a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.5 for the 80 units required for the Economics major. Units of 199D or 139D do not count in the computation of the GPA requirement for honors.  The GPA will be calculated at the end of the quarter in which the student graduates. If the GPA is below 3.5, the student will have to drop honors in order to graduate.
  • Candidates must write and present an honors thesis in their senior year for one to nine units of credit in their thesis adviser's section of Econ 199D.  Additionally, winter registration for one unit of Honors Thesis Research, under the Director of the Honors Program section number (199D-20) is mandatory for all honors students.  The thesis must be of very high quality and written under the direction of a member of the department or its affiliated faculty.  The successful completion of an honors thesis and at least five units of credit in Econ 199D may replace the requirement for Economics 101, as long as the number of units for the BAH is at least 85.

What to Submit

By the third Wednesday of autumn quarter of the senior year, prospective candidates for the honors program must submit to the Undergraduate Student Services Officer, at econ-undergrad [at] stanford.edu:

  1. an application signed by the thesis advisor and Honors Program Director and
  2. a one-page description of the proposed thesis topic plus a one page proposed timeline
  3. declare Econ BAH in Axess.


Some funds are available on a competitive basis for financing research expenses for Honors theses and must be applied for in advance of the academic year in which the research is undertaken.

How to Apply

Juniors interested in the honors program are urged to talk to the department's Honors Program Director, marcelo [at] stanford.edu (subject: Interested%20in%20Econ%20Honors%20Program) (Marcelo Clerici-Arias), at the beginning of the autumn quarter.