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.  

General Information

  1. ECON 399 (Independent Research) provides ECON and MTEC majors with the opportunity to engage in a one-semester independent research course under the direct supervision of a faculty member.
  2. ECON 399 provides three hours of credit and serves as an elective for both the ECON and MTEC majors. ECON 399 may be taken only once for credit.
  3. Students should identify a general area of interest and then consult the faculty member whose research falls in that area, after completing all of the core courses required for their major as well as the 400-level course or courses in the subject area.  For guidance on choosing a topic and a faculty advisor, see any member of the department’s undergraduate committee.
  4. In order to enroll in ECON 399, students must have at least a B (3.0) combined GPA in the core courses required for their major.
  5. Students must special register to take ECON 399 with the faculty member who will be supervising their research.
  6. All course requirements will be specified by the faculty member supervising the course.
  7. Please note that 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.
  8. The independent research paper must be consistent with the citation standards described in the Honor System Handbook (see "Acknowledgment of Sources").