Honors and Awards

Honors in the Major

Students pursuing departmental honors must complete 6 hours of ECON 495 culminating with an original work of research and an oral presentation.  Requirements for departmental honors are in addition to the coursework required for the major.  Students must complete ECON 495 with a grade of B or higher to receive departmental honors.  Economics majors who have completed 90 credits with an overall GPA of 3.50 and a GPA of 3.50 within the major are eligible to apply.  Not all applicants who meet the minimum requirements are guaranteed acceptance.  Applications will be available starting April 1st of each year.  Applications are due by June 1st. 

Howard R. Bloch Memorial Scholarship & Thomas Sowell Scholarship

The Howard R. Bloch Memorial Scholarship(s) & Thomas Sowell Scholarships will be awarded to full-time undergraduate students majoring in Economics. In the recent past we have been able to give several awards between $1000 and $3000. Applicants will be selected on the basis of academic merit and financial need, and the process is open to international and domestic students. Applications can be obtained at the Office of Student Financial Aid - (Student Union 1, 4400 University Dr #1100, Fairfax, VA 22030)

Applications are due in May, and decisions will be made over the summer. Check with the Financial Aid office for more information on scholarships.

Awards for Academic Achievement

Each spring, the department selects one student with the strongest academic record in the graduating class to receive the Howard R. Bloch Memorial Award.

Further, students graduating in the top 1% of the graduating class in terms of academic performance receive the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award.

The Economics Department as recognizes students graduating in the top 15% of the graduating class with the Excellence in Academic Achievement Award. 

Omicron Delta Epsilon --  International Honor Society in Economics

Graduating seniors who demonstrate academic excellence are invited to join Omicron Delta Epsilon, an international honor society in the field of economics. Please see the Omicron Delta Epsilon website for more information on the international organization and email the department at econbsba@gmu.edu for more information about our local chapter at Mason.

NOBEL LAUREATE ESSAY AWARDS

2021 DUE DATE AND SUBMISSION METHOD:

• Essay files should be saved in the following format (PDF or MS Word), with the file name as: First Name_Last Name_Name of Essay_G#

• Submit essays by email (attach essay to email) to mbernier@gmu.edu no later than April 7th, 2021 before 5:00 PM, EST

Note: No late submissions will be accepted.

Generally the Economics Department will sponsor three essay contests in the spring if students demonstrate sufficient interest:

James Buchanan Award

This contest is open to all undergraduate economics majors and minors. Prior award winners are ineligible for this contest. The award's 1st prize is $500 and 2nd prize is $250. To enter the contest, the student must write an essay discussing how public choice theory applies to an everyday problem. Follow link, below, for the 2021 essay contest prompt.

Buchanan Essay Contest 2021 Prompt

F. A. Hayek Award in Austrian Economics

This contest is open to all undergraduate economics majors or minors. Prior award winners are ineligible for this contest. The award's 1st prize is $500 and 2nd prize is $250. To enter the contest, the student must write an essay on the topic chosen for that year. Follow link, below, for the 2021 essay contest prompt.

F.A. Hayek Essay Contest 2021 Prompt

Vernon Smith Award

This contest is open to all undergraduates who are currently enrolled in any 100 level Economics class during the current spring semester. Prior award winners are ineligible for this contest.  The award's 1st prize is $500 and 2nd prize is $250.  To enter the contest, the student must write an essay discussing how economics and individual liberty promote individual and societal well being. Follow link, below, for the 2021 essay contest prompt.

Vernon Smith Essay Contest 2021 Prompt

Essay winners will be contacted by the Department of Economics by email.