Through their Senior Thesis, majors learn to identify interesting economics questions, survey the existing academic literature and demonstrate command of theoretical, empirical, and/or experimental methods needed to critically analyze their chosen topic.
All seniors are encouraged to browse the Senior Thesis Database for examples of past work.
To see examples of papers that won Senior Thesis Prizes, see this article about the Class of ’22 student winners.
Senior Thesis Coordinator
Professor Alessandro Lizzeri
Key Resources for Seniors
Senior Thesis Handbook Updated 9.5.23
Senior Thesis At-a-Glance
Senior Thesis Advisors and Their Advising Interests
Senior Thesis Proposal/Advisor Request Form
Senior Thesis Advisor Assignments
Senior Thesis Grading Rubric
Exit form: Senior Thesis Advisor Evaluation
Exit form: Departmental Survey
At the end of senior year, the department awards several prizes to acknowledge the best Senior Thesis projects from each class. Available awards are listed below.
- John Glover Wilson Memorial Award: Awarded to the best thesis on international economics or politics.
- Walter C. Sauer ’28 Prize (joint eligibility with Politics, SPIA): Awarded to the student whose thesis or research project on any aspect of United States foreign trade is judged to be the most creative.
- The Griswold Center for Economic Policy Studies Prize: Awarded annually to the best five policy-relevant theses.
- Burton G. Malkiel ’64 Senior Thesis Prize in Finance: Awarded for the most outstanding thesis in the field of finance.
- Elizabeth Bogan Prize in Economics: Awarded for the best thesis in health, education, or welfare.
- Daniel L. Rubinfeld ’67 Prize in Empirical Economics: Awarded for the best thesis in empirical economics.
- Hugo Sonnenschein Prize in Economic Theory: Awarded for the best thesis on economic theory.
- Wolf Balleisen Memorial Prize: Awarded for the best thesis on an economics subject, written by an economics major.
- Halbert White ’72 Prize in Economics: Awarded to the most outstanding senior economics major, as evidenced by excellence in departmental coursework and creativity in the Junior Paper and Senior Thesis.