The content of the Honors Program is designed to develop a deep and critical understanding of the methodology, theory, and policy aspects of a social science which provides key insights into political, legal, business, and personal arenas of life. For example, should economics be considered a scientific discipline? What is the relation of economics to other fields of inquiry? How have economists viewed the role of the market price system in the development of modern economics? What is the role of ethics in economics? To what extent can economists agree on policy objectives or goals? What weights should be given to potentially conflicting objectives as efficiency, equity, security, and growth? At the same time the program will expose the student to the way in which the “skills of the economist” can be applied to the problems of modern society.
This course is required for an honors degree in economics, unless an exemption or substitution is approved in advance by the Department. This course is typically taken during the graduation year. This is a three-credit course open only to students enrolled in the Honors Program. Economics 400M is offered in the Fall semester and is devoted to the methodology and philosophy of economics, the role of the price system, and their relation to problems of public policy, involving work in some applied area of economics. In previous years the course has been concerned with such topics as:
- Current international economic problems
- Issues in federal tax policy
- Methods and effects of government regulation
- Worker and consumer safety standards
- Issues in health economics
- Origins and development of social insurance and economic regulation
- Income distribution and welfare economics
- Economic application of game theory
- Economics of technological change
This course is required for an honors degree in economics, unless an exemption or substitution is approved in advance by the Department. This course is typically taken during the graduation year. Two credits of this course are taken in the Fall Semester; four credits in the Spring Semester. In the Fall Semester the student selects the topic for his or her honors thesis, which normally deals with some current issue of public policy, and begins research on it and writing. In the Spring Semester the student completes the research and writing of the thesis and presents it to the class.
Economics 413 or Economics 452
Both of these courses are three credit courses and are offered in the Spring Semester. Honors option can be used for these non-honors economics courses (subject to instructor’s approval). These courses are optional and can be used by students who seek additional opportunities to obtain honors credits for economics courses.