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Senior Thesis in Economics

The senior thesis is the capstone course for economics majors. It requires both an oral and written presentation.  Students present their theses at a conference of undergraduate economics students from Delaware Valley Colleges.  This conference has traditionally been held at Ursinus College in mid-to-late April. Students also present to the economics faculty and TCNJ community during the Celebration of Student Achievement at the end of the spring semester.  Contact your thesis advisor for the specific requirements for each presentation and the date when the written version is due.

Click here to view the Economics Senior Thesis Handbook.

Completion of the senior thesis takes place in two courses:

If you wish to complete an honors version of ECO 495 you must contact Prof. Vandegrift at x2294 or

See more about the Omicron Delta Epsilon Undergraduate Business and Economic Conference here.

Click here to view Senior Theses in Economics from 2001 – present.

Economics 494 – Senior Thesis Preparation

  • The goal of the senior thesis preparation course is to produce a prospectus for the senior thesis (ECO 495).
  • The prospectus for the senior thesis must include an introduction, literature review, and bibliographic sources. In addition, the prospectus identifies key data sources. The introduction motivates the paper. That is, it tries to answer the question: who cares or why does this research matter? In addition, the introduction must clearly state your research question.
  • The literature review (often referred to as the background section) summarizes and analyzes the available literature related to your research question.
  • Completion of ECO 494 is required for enrollment in ECO 495 (Senior Thesis in Economics). No Exceptions.

Economics 495 – Senior Thesis in Economics

  • Prerequisite: ECO 494
  • Completion of ECO 494 is required for enrollment in ECO 495 (Senior Thesis in Economics). No Exceptions.
  • The goal of the senior thesis is to produce original research on an economic topic. The thesis requires not only that students review and synthesize related literature from the economics journals but also gather and analyze new data in support of a particular hypothesis.
  • Such analysis typically requires extensive use of statistical and econometric techniques. Many of the best senior theses at TCNJ have, after some additional work, appeared in the peer-reviewed economics journals.
  • Thus, the senior thesis in economics differs from a typical term paper because it seeks to make a real contribution by generating new evidence and/or analysis on a particular economic topic.