Guidelines for Distinction in Economics
There are two ways to qualify for distinction in economics: (1) completion of three “A” papers related to economics or management studies or (2) completion of an outstanding academic project. The department awards distinction only to declared senior economics majors.
Students with an overall GPA of 3.4 and a GPA of 3.4 in their economics major courses are eligible to be awarded distinction in economics. Any grade of “S” in economics major courses will be counted as a “C-” (1.7) in computing the major GPA.
If granted, distinction will be noted on the student’s transcript and in the commencement program. To be listed in the program, all requirements for distinction must be met before program proofs are due. Please check with the Economics Department office for exact dates.
Three “A” Papers
- The primary way students receive distinction is by earning grades of “A” on three papers written for their courses in economics or management studies.
- All three papers must be related to economics or management studies and each must be at least 1,500 words in length. At least two of the papers must be from level III courses in the department and at least one of these must be from a level III economic analysis course.
- All three papers must have received a grade of A (A- is not acceptable).
- Occasionally, a paper written for a course not in economics or management studies may be submitted as one of the three papers for distinction. A panel of three faculty members from the Economics Department will review papers not written for a course within the department.
- The student must provide a clean electronic copy of each of the three completed papers clearly indicating the course and instructor. The department will verify the grade with the instructor.
- Generally, papers shall have a single author. Co-authored papers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Outstanding Academic Project
- The other way to receive distinction is to complete an outstanding academic project related to economics or management studies. In consultation with a faculty advisor, the student will recruit two other department faculty members to form a committee of readers of the final project not less than three weeks from the end of classes during the academic term. The vote of the committee to confer distinction must be unanimous. A student who is denied distinction may appeal the ruling to the full faculty of the Department.
- The project may take a number of different forms and may be either empirical or qualitative. All projects must demonstrate familiarity with important scholarship relating to the topic, apply appropriate theories and models from economics or management studies, show evidence of sound analysis, and draw appropriate conclusions. The project may extend work done for another class or may explore a new topic.
- For the project, the student will register for ECON 389 or MGMT 398, Independent Research, during either semester of the senior year and complete the distinction project by the end of the term. The faculty advisor will supervise the Independent Research. One course credit is awarded for a passing project regardless of whether the project is awarded distinction or not. If the committee votes unanimously to award distinction, the supervisor shall assign a grade of “A” for the Independent Research. A grade of “A” may be assigned even if the committee does not vote unanimously to award distinction.
- Two students may work together on a distinction project. However, the project must be significantly larger in scope than a single-person project. Each student must provide a written summary of his or her contribution to the project and the ways that his or her contribution helped to make the project distinct. Each person must meet all the qualifications for distinction.
Guidelines for distinction may be downloaded by clicking this link: Guidelines for Distinction in Economics 2016-05-02