What is Distinction in Economics?

The Economics Department offers a program of Distinction in Economics. Students invited in their junior year to join the program will be offered the opportunity to engage in original, high-quality Economics research within a supportive and challenging academic environment. The Distinction course sequence culminates in the completion of an Economics Thesis Project and, for those who also maintain a minimum 3.4 cumulative grade point average, graduate with Distinction in Economics. This program is the only gateway for students preparing a thesis project in Economics.

Distinction students earn 6 credits toward the Economics Major by completing special courses during their senior year. The first course, ECN 495: Economics Thesis I, orients students to professional Economics research and guides them as they define their thesis projects. The second course, ECN 496: Economics Thesis II is truly student-centered research, as thesis writers present their ongoing research, constructively engage the work of other students, and work in close cooperation with a faculty mentor to complete their research.

What are the benefits of graduating with Distinction? 

An Undergraduate Thesis has long been a signal of academic excellence and achievement in a major field of study. The creation and execution of a project of one’s own design is often the most rewarding experience of an undergraduate career. The project immerses the student in sustained intellectual activity, encourages depth of inquiry, and develops research, writing, and presentation skills. Thesis seminars require close consultation with a faculty member and cooperation with other students earning Distinction in Economics. Through these interactions, a student participates in an intellectual community focused on the creation of Economic research.

The thesis project provides excellent preparation for graduate school and the job market. The skills learned through the project prepare students for further work in Economics, Business Management, Public Health, and Public Administration. The thesis itself becomes a credential that indicates to admissions officers and potential employers the set of skills that the student has successfully acquired.

How is this program related to Renée Crown University Honors?

Students do not have to be enrolled in Renée Crown University Honors to participate in the Program of Distinction. Economics majors seeking to complete a Renée Crown University Honors Thesis Project may do so through the Program of Distinction in Economics, with the approval of both the Honors advisor and the Economics Distinction advisor.

Additionally, students are not required to enroll in the Junior Honors Seminar offered by the Renée Crown University Honors Program.

To prepare a Thesis Project in Economics, a Renée Crown Honors student must successfully complete one semester of ECN 495, and one semester of ECN 499.

How do I find more information?

Interested students should begin their inquiry by discussing the Program of Distinction with their Major Advisor. Economics advisors understand the program and can help a student decide if this option fits their academic and career goals.  Economics advisors also know the Distinction selection criteria, and can help students plan a course of study to prepare for thesis research in the senior year. In particular, students should complete ECN 521 and ECN 522 in their junior year. Students with specific questions about the program should contact the Distinction Program Director, Professor Perry Singleton.

Contact Us

For more information email Professor Perry Singleton at psinglet@maxwell.syr.edu