Independent Research

The Economics Department encourages Economics (ECON) and Mathematical Economic Analysis (MTEC) majors to consider an independent research project (ECON 399) as part of their degree program (although independent research is not required for either major). The requirements and procedures for an independent research project are described below. In addition to allowing a student to spend a semester investigating in detail an individually-chosen topic, such a project demonstrates the focus, perseverance, and analytical and quantitative research skills necessary for success in many careers.  

Independent research must be supervised by a faculty member. Students should choose a general area of interest and then consult a faculty member whose research falls in that area, after taking the departmental course or courses that cover the research topic. For guidance on choosing a topic and a faculty adviser, see any member of the departmental Undergraduate Committee.

In order to enroll in Independent Research, a student must have at least a B (3.0) average in the following courses: 

  • ECON 201
  • ECON 301
  • ECON 303
  • ECON 309 or ECON 409
  • STAT 280 or STAT 310/ECON 307
  • MATH 101 or the combination of MATH 111 and MATH 112

ECON 399 requires a full semester of new work; enrollment in ECON 399 is not appropriate for students who simply want to make marginal improvements on an earlier paper. No more than one semester of independent research is allowed as an elective for either the ECON or MTEC major. The independent research paper must adhere to the citation standards described in the Honor System Handbook (see "Acknowledgment of Sources").