Honors and Awards

Graduation with Distinction

Graduating students may receive their degrees with distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction. Generally, 20 percent of the graduating class will earn some level of distinction. 

Consideration for distinction requires a minimum of 3.5 or greater GPA in all economics courses. High and highest distinction require 3.65 and 3.85 GPAs in economics courses and the submission of a significant economics research paper. All economics coursework taken at the University of Rochester will count in the GPA calculation (including retakes).

The research paper requirement can be fulfilled through Senior Seminar or an Independent Study course. The research paper must be deemed to be of sufficient quality to be awarded the respective level of distinction.

At least six economics courses must be taken during the regular academic year to be considered for distinction.

To be considered for distinction students must complete at least 24 credit hours in economics during the regular school year (not summer session).

Graduation with Honors

Students seeking an enriched curriculum can pursue a concentration with honors. The honors program requires additional coursework, as well as enrollment in "Honors" designated courses. Honors graduates will also write a research paper in Senior Seminar.

Undergraduate Honor Society

Each year outstanding junior and senior undergraduates are nominated by the faculty to the Economics Honor Society, Omicron Delta Epsilon. Nominations are based on academic performance in economics courses.

To be considered seniors must have completed 24 credit hours in economics with an outstanding economics GPA. All economics course work taken at the University of Rochester will count in the GPA calculation (including retakes).

Nominees are honored at a luncheon at the end of the spring semester.

Citation of Special Achievement

The Department of Economics provides the opportunity to earn a Citation of Achievement through additional course work and classroom performance.

The requirements for a Citation of Special Achievement are the following:

  • A 3.3 GPA in economics courses
  • One additional elective beyond the concentration requirements
  • After meeting the requirements, you will receive a formal citation along with your diploma at graduation. The receipt of this citation can be cited on your resume.

Research Honors and Prizes

Each year the department awards several prizes to undergraduates for original research papers, overall performance in economics courses, and for excellence in teaching-assistantship. Students do not have to apply for these awards.

Floyd Griswold Greene and Bessie Denny Greene Memorial Prize
This is a cash prize that is awarded annually to a senior majoring in economics or in the field of management (including accounting, finance, and business economics). Students considering law as their profession are given first consideration. Secondary consideration is given to those preparing for a future in economics, accounting or finance.

William Morse Hastings Essay Prize
This is a cash prize awarded to a senior for the best essay or thesis on a topic of economic research.

John Dows Mairs Prize
This is a cash prize awarded to the member of the junior class concentrating in economics and having the highest GPA in economics courses (at least four economics courses must have been taken).

Barry Rapoport Prize
This is a cash prize awarded to a member of the junior class concentrating in economics who has demonstrated general excellence in the field of economics.