What is distinction in economics?
economics distinction program is designed to support undergraduate students who
want to conduct original, high-quality research in economics. The distinction program is comprised of two
courses: ECN 495 (Economic Thesis I) and ECN 496 (Economic Thesis II), which
are scheduled in the fall and spring semesters, respectively. In the first course, students utilize
economic theory and statistical principles to formulate a compelling research
agenda, which includes a defined empirical strategy and data sources. In the second course, students execute their
research plans, present their work-in-progress, and write their theses. In both courses, students work closely with
the program director, a professor of economics, and constructively with other
distinction students. Distinction
students are also required to take the two-semester sequence in econometrics:
ECN 521 (Economics Statistics), and ECN 522 (Econometric Methods). At the end of the program, students present
their work during the Maxwell Celebration of Undergraduate Scholarship, which
includes a seminar in the economics department and a poster session in the
Maxwell School. Students who
successfully complete the program and maintain a cumulative grade point average
of 3.4 will graduate with distinction, a designation highlighted on Syracuse
What are the benefits of graduating with distinction?
undergraduate thesis has long been a signal of academic excellence and
achievement in a major field of study.
It is also one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of an
undergraduate career. By working on a
thesis, students engage in sustained intellectual activity, develop a depth of
inquiry, and acquire research, writing, and presentation skills. The program also requires regular consultation
with economics professors and collaboration with other students. Through these interactions, students
participate in the intellectual community focused on the creation of economic
A thesis project also provides
excellent preparation for graduate school and a competitive edge in the job
market. The analytical and quantitative
skills acquired through the program are utilized in the public, private, and
non-profit sectors and across multiple fields, including finance, labor,
education, health, environment, and development. In recent years, distinction students have gone
to work at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Office of the Comptroller of
the Currency, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Ernst & Young, KPMG, Citi,
American Institutes for Research, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Some distinction students have pursued
graduate degrees in economics, including doctoral degrees at the University of
California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
How is this program related to Renée Crown University Honors?
economics distinction program and the Renée Crown University Honors Program are
administratively independent. This means
that students who do not participate in the honors program may still qualify
for the distinction program. Conversely,
students who participate in the honors program do not automatically qualify for
the distinction program.
an honors student also participates in the distinction program, they may submit
their distinction thesis as their capstone project. Honors students who choose this path enroll
in ECN495 (Economic Thesis I) and ECN496 (Economic Thesis II) instead of the
Junior Honors Seminar or the Senior Honors Seminar offered by the Renée Crown
University Honors Program.
The thesis produced in the economics distinction
program can not be submitted to similar distinction programs of other academic
How do I find more information?
who are interested in the economics distinction program should consult their
major academic adviser or mentor. Advisers
and mentors understand the program and can help students decide if this option
fits their academic and career goals. Advisers
and mentors also know the selection criteria and can help students plan a
course of study to prepare for thesis research in the senior year. Students with specific questions about the
distinction program should contact the Distinction Program Director, Professor Perry
Singleton, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perry Singleton is the director of the economics distinction program. Professor Singleton has taught at Syracuse
University since 2007 and has directed the economics distinction program since
2012. His research interests are in
labor, public, and health economics, and his research has been published in the
Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Human
Resources, and Industrial and Labor Relations Review. He
advises both undergraduate students on their distinction theses as well as
doctoral students on their dissertations.To contact Professor Singleton, please email email@example.com.