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Isenberg School of Management Honors Thesis or Honors Seminar Options Available to Isenberg Students in Commonwealth Honors College

Isenberg School of Management majors pursuing Departmental Honors I the Commonwealth Honors College (CHC) must complete a six-credit Isenberg (ISOM) Honors Thesis. Business majors in CHC who are completing Multidisciplinary Honors can partake in an ISOM Honors Thesis or other CHC Honors Thesis they might be eligible to take, see Honors Thesis | Commonwealth Honors College (umass.edu) for further information. 

Note that the Accounting major does not have Departmental Honors but Accounting students can pursue the Multidisciplinary Honors option through CHC and can also partake in (ISOM) Honors Thesis options.

Isenberg students can complete the ISOM Honors Thesis requirement in one of two ways: (1) Completing an Individually Contracted Honors Thesis; or (2) Completing a Thesis Seminar. Here is a brief overview of the available options for satisfying the ISOM Honors Thesis requirement:

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1. Completion of a six-credit Individually Contracted Honors Thesis or Project

The honors thesis and project options are designed to introduce students to aspects of independent research usually conducted by graduate students and academic professionals. Normally, students who intend to complete an honors thesis or project will sign up for “Honors Research” (499Y) in the fall, followed by “Honors Thesis” (499T) or “Honors Project” (499P) in the spring. This process requires several steps including the convening of a two-person Thesis Committee, which must include an ISOM Faculty Committee Chair and a Committee Member. Please see Individually Contracted Honors Thesis | Commonwealth Honors College (umass.edu) for further information.

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2. Completion of a six-credit Isenberg Thesis Seminar

ISOM Thesis Seminars are an alternative to completing a Individually Contracted Thesis or Project. They provide students with an opportunity to explore a topic in depth whether the focus is within the major or interdisciplinary in nature. Each of the ISOM Thesis Seminars consists of two courses.

The following approved Honors Capstone Experience course option exists within the Isenberg School:

  • SCH-MGMT 499C-D: Business Strategy and Entrepreneurial Leadership.

The SCH-MGMT 499C-D option is a two-part Honors Thesis Seminar that occurs over the course of the academic year and students must complete both to satisfy CHC’s Honors Thesis requirement. This Thesis Seminar also fulfills the BBA Track Integrative Experience (IE) through the second courses (SCH-MGMT 499D). This Thesis Seminar is designed to familiarize students with cutting edge ideas in strategic management of for-profit companies. It is an extension and an embellishment of the BBA Track Integrative Experience Strategy course (MANAGMNT 494BI).  As such, the objectives of this course include a conceptual understanding of business strategy fundamentals as well as hands-on and practical grasp of what it means to strategically lead business organizations. Concepts, books, speakers, and field trips will be spread throughout the fall semester. SCH-MGMT 499C (taken in the fall semester) will comprise an extensive review of prominent strands of thinking in Competitive Strategy. SCH-MGMT 499D (taken in the spring semester) will be focused on practical application of strategy concepts through forming teams, groupwork, and an extensive thesis/report.

This year-long experience requires an application and is capped at 12 students. Students considering this option should also have back-up plans as acceptance is not guaranteed. Applications for SCH-MGMT 499C-D will be sent to all Isenberg juniors in CHC via email on Monday, March 27. Interested students should complete the application no later than Friday, April 7, at 12:00 p.m. Decisions will be e-mailed to applicants no later than Friday, April 14. You may contact John Aube at jaube@isenberg.umass.edu with any questions concerning the SCH-MGMT 499C-D Honors Thesis Seminar.

  • SCH-MGMT499E-F:  Applied Research in Services Management.

The SCH-MGMT 499E-F option is a two-part Honors Thesis Seminar that occurs over the course of the academic year and students must complete both to satisfy CHC’s Honors Thesis requirement. This Thesis Seminar does NOT satisfy an Integrative Experience (IE) for Isenberg. SCH-MGMT 499E is taken in the fall term. It is designed to introduce the methods and approaches utilized to conduct research. Students work extensively with the professor and must come up with a topic for their project that will be completed in the following semester. SCH-MGMT 499F is taken in the spring term. The students who successfully complete the first part of the Thesis Seminar will carry out the proposed research projects under the supervision of the faculty member teaching the seminar.

To join this experience students can add SCH-MGMT 499E in the fall through SPIRE on a first come first serve basis. The course is capped at 15 students and cannot take more than this number. Questions regarding SCH-MGMT 499E-F may be directed to Dr. Muzzo Uysal at muysal@isenberg.umass.edu

  • MARKETNG 499J-K:  Marketing Honors Case Study and Honors Internship: Tools for Professional Success in Marketing.

The MARKETNG 499JK option is a two-part Honors Thesis Seminar that occurs in the fall semester only and students must complete both to satisfy CHC’s Honors Thesis requirement. This Thesis Seminar does NOT satisfy an Integrative Experience (IE) for Isenberg.  This option is for Marketing majors. In some appropriate situations, non-Marketing Commonwealth Honors students will be considered.  The seminar focuses on applying the conceptual frameworks of marketing to real-world problems faced by actual companies. Each student, as part of a team, will have a specific marketing problem from a real company that requires investigation and solution over the course of the semester. Course meetings will mimic consulting firm staff meetings, rather than the traditional lecture/discussion format.  There will be significant discussion of marketing procedural issues around the projects during class meetings, helping students to develop proper methodologies, analysis and presentation skills while laying a foundation for achieving success in the business world. Students will gain a better understanding of themselves and the strengths and weaknesses they bring to an employer as well as the satisfaction of having a true impact on a business organization.

This experience requires an application. The course is capped at 12 students. Students considering this option should also have back-up plans. Applications for MARKETNG 499J-K will be sent to all Isenberg Marketing juniors in CHC via email in late March. Interested students should follow the instructions provided in the email they will be receiving from the Marketing Department. You may contact Prof. Heidi Bailey at hbailey@isenberg.umass.edu or Prof. Charles Schewe at schewe@isenberg.umass.edu with any questions concerning the MARKETNG 499J-K Honors Thesis Seminar.

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Other Honors Thesis Opportunities at UMass

There are other Honors Thesis experiences available at the University that allow students to complete the Multidisciplinary Honors through Commonwealth Honors College. These are offered through other colleges or through CHC. For a listing of other potential Honors Thesis Seminars go to the following site:

Honors Thesis Seminar Offerings | Commonwealth Honors College (umass.edu)

If you have questions on fulfilling Commonwealth Honors College or Departmental Honors requirements, be sure to check with the Commonwealth Honors College Advising Office (210 Commonwealth Honors College – Bloom Honors Advising Center; 545-2483), or your Honors Program Director (see the list below).

Program Director

Program Director

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