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Departmental Honors Program

Economics and Finance Honors Projects In Progress: AY 2019-2020


Economics and Finance Recent Honors Projects

Student Name Major Project Title Project Completion

Faculty Advisor

Giraldo, Esteban FIN Relationship Between Financial Markets and Natural Disasters in the United States​ Spring 2019 Kemal Saatciouglu, Ph.D.
Lukowicz, Brianna E. ECON Education Shapes the Mind, but What Shapes Education? A Comparative Study of First-Generation vs. Non-First-Generation Students Spring 2019 Sanae Tashiro, Ph.D.
Blachly, Ben ECON Rental Premiums for Eco-retrofits: An Analysis of LEED for Existing Buildings​ Spring 2014 Sanae Tashiro, Ph.D.


The purpose of the Department Honors Program is to:

  1. Encourage development of research skills.
  2. Challenge students to discover and study topics of special interest.
  3. Recognize outstanding performance in the major.

Admission to the Department Honors Program:

Eligible students shall apply for admission to the department honors liaison or the chairperson of the department, who will forward applications to the Department Honors Committee. An application form can be found at the end of this document. Upon successful review of the application participation begins the following semester. Students may apply at anytime after accumulating 60 credits (at least 24 from Rhode Island College). No student may be admitted with fewer than 30 credits remaining in his/her program.

Criteria for Admission:

  1. Enrollment in a major in the department.
  2. At least a 3.00 GPA in all courses taken prior to admission to the Department Honors Program (including transfer credits).
  3. Completed application form (including all required documents).
  4. Acceptance by the Department Honors Committees of proposal and paper submissions.
  5. Final approval of the 491 proposal by the Dean’s office.

Enrollment in the Department Honors Program:

Students who are admitted to the Department Honors Program shall enroll in the following two-semester-sequence courses.

ECON 491-492: Independent Study
Note: ECON 491: Restricted elective for major; and
ECON 492: Required for major & Substitute for ECON 462


FIN 491-492: Independent Study
Note: FIN 491: Restricted elective for major; and
FIN 492: Required for major & Substitute for FIN 461 or FIN 463

Requirements for Department Honors in Economics and Finance:

  1. Maintenance of a B or better in all major and core courses taken while a member of the Department Honors Program.
  2. Maintenance of a C or better in all other courses taken and overall GPA of 3.25 or better and a GPA in departmental courses of 3.50 or better while a member of the Department Honors Program.
  3. Completion of a Department Honors Project while enrolled in ECON 491-492: Independent Study or FIN 491-492: Independent​ Study under the supervision of a faculty advisor, plus a grade of B or higher in ECON 491-492 or FIN 491-492. The research project may be, for example, a historical study, a policy-analysis, or an empirical study. Department Honors Projects must be completed and submitted to the Department Honors Committee by April 30 of their year of graduation in the case of spring graduation or by November 30 of the year prior to graduation in the case of winter graduation. The completed projects must be formally presented to the Department Honors Committee in which all faculty members in the department are invited.
  4. Approval of the department honors project by the Department Honors Committee. In the case of an unsatisfactory evaluation, the committee may suggest revision which, if completed in a timely fashion, may result in a satisfactory evaluation. Evaluation of the project will be based upon criteria announced prior to project production (see part D below). Students may appeal an unsatisfactory evaluation of a project to the Department Honors Committee, the Chairperson, the Dean, the VP for Academic Affairs, and the President (in this order) but must accompany such appeals with substantiating evidence of an incorrect or unfair evaluation. (Please refer to Section 3.11.4: Procedures for Handling Student Grievances in the College Handbook.)

Dismissal from the Department Honors Program:

  1. Failure to maintain required grades and GPAs will result in dismissal from the Department Honors Program at the beginning of the semester following the unsatisfactory performance.
  2. Credit and grades will be granted for the 491 or 492 course in which a dismissed student enrolled based on the performance in the course. Students will be allowed to complete research in progress should dismissal from the Department Honors Program occur, but students will not be recommended for Department Honors at graduation.
  3. If the student fails to achieve satisfactory evaluation of the project or to satisfactorily revise the project upon recommendation of the Department Honors Committee, the grades for the 491 or 492 courses will be recorded on the transcript but without an indication of Honors.

Department Honors Committee


  1. Composition of the Department Honors Committee and Meeting

    1. The Department Honors Committee shall consist of all full-time faculty members of the Department, as well as any department adjunct faculty members or other College faculty members deemed appropriate by the department chair.
    2. The Chairperson of the Committee shall be elected from among the members of the Committee, not including the Faculty Advisor. The Chairperson of the Committee shall be elected each year when the committee is active, and a person may succeed him/herself as chair.


  3. Duties of the Members of the Department Honors Committee

    1. Duties of the Chairperson
      1. distribute the honors application to the Department Honors Committee
      2. schedule meetings and provide agendas for these meetings in a timely fashion
      3. inform students in writing of acceptance or rejection and time lines
      4. collect and make available semester grade reports of students accepted to use in retention decisions
      5. inform students of adverse retention decisions and inform students of actions they can follow in the event of adverse retention decisions
      6. inform chairperson of the Department of adverse retention decisions
      7. inform students of criteria for evaluation of Honors Projects
      8. inform students and/or supervising faculty about problems with projects that can be ameliorated, and provide deadlines for completion of revisions
      9. inform department chairperson of recommendations for graduation with Department Honors in Economics or Finance
      10. other duties as necessary
    2. Duties of the Other Members
      1. decide who shall be accepted into the program
      2. assist the chairperson in monitoring the progress of all students in the program
      3. participate in the evaluation of the quality of the research proposal and project and make suggestions for plausible revisions when needed
      4. participate in the decisions to recommend graduation with department honors
      5. propose revisions to the program when needed


  5. Duties of the Faculty Advisor

    1. The Faculty Advisor shall direct, assist and advise the student in preparing a research proposal and conducting the research project; and monitor the student’s progress
    2. The Faculty Advisor shall evaluate the quality of the student research proposal and project, and make suggestions for plausible revisions when needed, and assign a final letter grade for enrolled courses​​​​​​​​​​

Page last updated: September 12, 2019