Honors in BEO

“The University shall, at graduation, grant Honors to students whose work in a field of concentration has demonstrated superior quality and culminated in an Honors Thesis of Distinction.”

In all tracks of BEO students may graduate with honors if (1) they have excellent grades in concentration courses (2) they find a faculty member or members willing to supervise their work on a honors thesis, and (3) that faculty member (or those faculty members) find(s) the completed thesis to be of honors quality. The thesis advisor will normally be from the department corresponding to the student’s track, but can with the permission of a BEO concentration advisor, be someone from another BEO-related department. Generally, the thesis requires two semesters of work during the senior year and this work is in addition to the concentration requirements. An honors thesis must represent a substantial effort in research and exposition.

An honors thesis can be descriptive, historical, mathematical, or statistical. It can be oriented toward fact, theory, policy or a combination of these areas. While departments do not specify page lengths or other requirements, the candidate should establish his or her goals in an understanding with the thesis supervisor.

Copies of honors theses written in past years are kept by departments, and interested students are advised to look at them to see what has been done before. To look at past BEO theses, contact Michele Carreiro. You can also check out past honors theses from the Department of Economics.

Students interested in becoming a candidate for honors in BEO should follow the specific requirements for honors of the department involved: economics for the business economics track, sociology for the organizational studies track, and engineering for the technology management track, as specified below.

Note that students interested in pursuing honors are responsibile for coming up with a topic as well as finding a thesis advisor and reader. 

Honors Thesis in Business Economics

Students contemplating a research project are strongly advised to take ECON 1390, Research Methods in Economics, in Junior year.

In terms of requirements, students must do the following by the end of the junior year or very early in the senior year:

  1. have at least a 3.7 grade point average in concentration courses;
  2. find a faculty member willing to supervise the thesis project;
  3. inform the BEO advisor of his or her intention to write a senior thesis and of the name of the thesis supervisor; and
  4. enroll in the seniors honors tutorial class in the Fall (ECON 1960), followed by an independent study in the Spring (ECON 1970).

Honors Thesis in Organizational Studies

Students must do the following by the end of the junior year or very early in the senior year:

  1. have at least a 3.5 grade point average across all letter-graded courses that the student chooses to count toward the concentration, as reflected in the student's current Course Plan.  S/NC courses will not be included in this average; however, students who wish to graduate with honors may count no more than three S/NC courses toward concentration requirements overall, and no more than one S/NC course toward the OrgStudies track;
  2. find a thesis supervisor and a second reader.  The supervisor and the reader are chosen by the student and approved by the Track Advisor;
  3. select a thesis topic.  This is usually done in consultation with the thesis supervisor, but must be approved by the BEO/OrgStudies Track Advisor;
  4. submit a written thesis proposal (not more than four pages) for approval by a committee of BEO faculty;
  5. enroll in the Sociology Department’s seniors honors tutorial class (SOC 1950) in the Fall and Spring semesters.  If Soc1950 is not being offered, the student may enroll in Independent Studies (SOC 1980-1990) with the thesis supervisor in one or both semesters. 
  6. For more detailed instructions, click here.

Honors thesis in Technology Management

Students must do the following by the end of the junior year or very early in the senior year:

  1. have at least a 3.4 grade point average in concentration courses;
  2. find a faculty supervisor who endorses the student proposal for a thesis;
  3. apply to the honors program by filling out the relevant form available in the Engineering Student Affairs Office prior to October 2nd of the student’s senior year;
  4. maintain good academic performance, complete the honors thesis of distinction, and defend the thesis in an 30-40 minutes oral presentation and examination before the honors thesis committee.

2014, 2015 and 2016 Student Honors Theses

In May 2014, May 2015 and May 2016 six students graduated with concentration honors:

  • Jefferson Chen '14: EROOM's Law: Addressing the Productivity Crisis in Drug Discovery
  • Michelle Chen '15: The Impact of Fashion Bloggers on the Current Fashion Industry
  • Alexandra Stanton '15: An Evaluation of Food Stamps: A Social and Economic
    Analysis of the SNAP Program
  • Sam Falkson '16: Investigating the Role of the Alpha Subunit of Inhibitory G Protein in Signaling from Tyrosine Receptor Kinase B in SH-SY5Y Cells
  • Neharika Goyal '16: Incentivizing Social Innovation: Determining the Role of Intellectual Property Protections in the Social Space 
  • Cara Mund '16: There She Is: Money, Power, and Gender Inequality: An Organizational Analysis of the Miss America Organization

To read their thesis presentations, please contact BEO's Program Manager.