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.

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 in concentration courses;
  2. select a topic;
  3. get the topic approved by the BEO advisor and check with him/her before presenting a thesis proposal for approval by a committee of BEO faculty;
  4. find a thesis advisor and a second reader; and
  5. complete two thesis-related courses in senior year. The student may enroll in independent studies with the thesis advisor in both semesters (SOC 1980-1990), or the student may enroll in an independent study under the thesis advisor in the first semester of senior year and in SOC 1950 if offered in the second semester. SOC1 950 is an advanced research seminar for students in the second semester of work on an honors thesis.

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 November 10 of the student’ senior year;
  4. if admitted in the Honors program, enroll in ENGN 1950 and/or ENGN 1960; and
  5. 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.

2013 Student Honors Theses

In May 2013, four students graduated with concentration honors: James Ardell, Miriam Furst, Adam Pelzer and Yanqiang Tan.

To read their thesis presentations, please click on the titles below: