Honors Program

Looking at 4 students at a table through a glass wall

Honors Program

The Business Honors Program is a full-year program earning 8 credits.

An Honors Project in the Business Program may be one of the following alternatives:

Business majors qualify to apply for the Business Honors Program if they meet all of the following requirements:
  1. They are rising seniors
  2. They have a cumulative "BUS GPA" of at least 3.666. The "BUS GPA" is based on all BUS courses, not including BUS 89a or BUS 98a
  3. They have completed AT LEAST the following courses in the Business Program: BUS 71a, BUS 152a and one of the following: BUS 114a, BUS 120a, BUS 130a, BUS 135a, BUS 160a, BUS 172a.
  4. Additional course recommendations are listed in the Business Honors Program recommended pre-requisites list.

Candidates for Honors in Business enroll in BUS 99a in the fall semester of their senior year and in BUS 99b in the spring semester.

Candidates will be admitted to BUS 99b only if the progress they made in BUS 99a is judged satisfactory by the assigned primary advisor and second reader, as well as by the Honors Coordinator. BUS 99a and BUS 99b each earn 4 credits but do not count as electives for the BUS major. Students must register for both BUS 99a and BUS 99b to be considered for Honors in Business.

How to Apply:
All students considering the Honors Program should begin early to think about a topic and to plan their senior year to accommodate a substantial program.

Thesis Proposal:
The proposal should specify the type of project, the question(s) the project will address and the methods and data to be used.

The Honors Coordinator will consult with potential advisors to judge whether the project seems feasible and appropriate and also assign an advisor with expertise in the relevant area of interest. Our program attempts to distribute advising responsibilities fairly among faculty members. While we try to honor a student’s request to work with a particular faculty member, in some cases it may not be possible to assign a student’s first choice of advisor.

A committee of program faculty will determine which thesis proposals are accepted into the program. As not all proposals are accepted, students should sign up for an additional course in case they are not able to enroll in BUS 99a. If your proposal is accepted, you must contact Karen Muise to get a consent code to enroll in BUS 99a. It is your responsibility to get this and enroll in the course before the last day to add classes.

Advisor Assignments:
Each potential Honors project writer will be assigned two faculty advisors – a primary one that s/he consults regularly, and a secondary one that s/he also consults, but less frequently.

December Graduates:
Students scheduled to graduate in December should consult the Honors Coordinator as early as possible, but in any case before the start of the spring term prior to their expected graduation. To be admitted to BUS 99a. December graduates must submit a one-page thesis proposal to the Honors Coordinator at least three weeks in advance of the Registrar’s deadline for spring enrollment.

The level of honors awarded, which is decided by the department faculty, depends on the quality of the project as judged by the primary advisor, second reader and the entire BUS faculty. Honors candidates whose BUS GPA falls below 3.666 during their senior year may only continue in the Honors Program with the approval of the Honors Coordinator.

Considerations & Resources:
Writing a thesis can be very rewarding, but it takes a surprising amount of hard work. Most candidates feel pressed for time in the senior year as thesis research competes with job hunting or graduate school applications for their attention. Choosing a suitable topic is often the toughest part. It is helpful to discuss potential topics with one or more faculty members to help decide whether an honors thesis is right for you.

Looking at some past honors theses is a good way to learn what kinds of work have gained approval in the past. Past years’ theses are catalogued and kept in the Brandeis Library, and some recent examples are available in the Business Program office for students’ perusal.

Here are a few possible project ideas that our faculty may be interested in advising.