Honors Thesis Seminar Offerings

Honors Thesis Seminar Offerings

Course Descriptions


One-Semester Honors Thesis Seminars


Fall 2022



Tools for Professional Success in Marketing and Honors Internship

Tuesday:  2:30 PM – 5:15 PM

Students must co-enroll in Marketing 499J (Tools for Professional Success) and 499K (Honors Internship). Marketing 499J and 499K together satisfy the Commonwealth Honors College six-credit Culminating Experience requirement. Professional Success focuses on applying the conceptual frameworks of marketing to real-world problems faced by actual companies. The purpose of the course is to give students some particular real-world experience as interns and to solve marketing problems with actual companies. Each student will have a specific marketing problem from their company that will require investigation and solution over the course of the semester. Company problems will cover a variety of topics and depend on the needs of the intern's company. This course's meetings will be run like a series of staff meetings rather than the traditional lecture/discussion course. Class meetings offer discussion, providing a variety of skills and direction 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. They will understand the field of marketing in various industries and explore many career choices. All capstones require that a thesis or project manuscript be produced according to the Honors Thesis formatting and submission guidelines.

For application form, contact 

Instructor: Heidi Lieblein

Credits: 6 credits (3 credits - 499J and 3 credits - 499K) in fall

To Enroll: Instructor consent required; application required. Contact: hbailey@isenberg.umass.edu


  • This culminating experience course is open to Isenberg/Commonwealth Honors College juniors and seniors only, marketing majors preferred.



Spring 2023


Digital Communication & Global Society

Monday & Wednesday: 9:05 AM – 12:05 PM

What is the relationship between digital communication and global society? On the one hand, the historical shift in communication technology from mass media to digital media has promised to connect individuals both within countries as well as across the world to an unprecedented extent. Digital communication can rapidly bring dispersed peoples closer together. On the other hand, uneven access to technology and its safeguards, as well as the rapid spread of misinformation and inflammatory speech have intensified divisions both within communities as well as across them. As one consequence, this technology can also reinforce structures of domination, often along social differences. Broadly speaking, this course will investigate both the possibilities and the limits of communication technology in society understood in a global perspective.

In this course, students will write an honors thesis that will examine either one form of digital communication of their choosing (i.e., social media platforms, dating apps, etc.) or one significant online event in relation to a selection of relevant technology-centered topics around free speech, privacy, social movement, economic policy, profit incentives, regulatory practices, media literacy, and platform design. Students will also explore how these areas of concern around digital technology intersect with a social topic. Examples of such topics in global society include racialization, gender, sexuality, ability, socio-economics, cultural and linguistic differences, and national identity, among others. A driving question of the seminar is the following: in what ways might digital communication serve public interest both at home and abroad?

Instructor: Angela Maione, Lecturer

Credits: Honors 499DZ for 6 credits in Spring

To Enroll: E-mail Angela Maione for instructor consent

Notes: Students will meet in seminar format with the professor on Mondays, 9:05 am – 12:05 pm.  An additional time block is reserved on Wednesdays, 9:05 am – 12:05 pm for students to meet individually with the professor or in small groups.



Year-Long Honors Thesis Seminars




Conquest by Law: The Use of Law to Subjugate and Marginalize in the U.S.

Tuesday & Thursday:  10:00 AM – 11:15 AM

This two-semester Thesis Seminar considers current and past legal structures that have marginalized certain groups in the U.S., including American Indians, immigrants, African Americans, and the poor, while perpetuating inequality. It also looks at how state and federal laws have been used over the centuries to perpetuate inequalities while addressing the potential to legislate equality and social justice. From the time Europeans first arrived on this continent, there was competition for resources and control. First the colonies, then the U.S. government, enacted laws to ensure that resources and control remained in the hands of a select few. Even today, the top 1 percent of Americans own 40 percent of the wealth in this country, while the bottom 80 percent owns just 7 percent. However, marginalization affects more than just wealth. Its effects are also evident in access to health care, access to a healthy space to live and work, and access to clean air and water. While there are state and federal laws in place that address some of these issues, not every aspect of social justice can simply be legislated. In addition to looking at the legal aspects of social justice, this course considers the potential for other means of leveling the playing field. Students who register for ANTHRO 499C in the fall are expected to take the 4-credit continuation course in the spring (ANTHRO 499D).

Instructor: Kathleen Brown-Perez

Credits: Anthro 499C for 4 credits in fall and Anthro 499D for 4 credits in spring.

To Enroll: Instructor consent required. Contact: brown-perez@honors.umass.edu


  • This course is open to Commonwealth Honors College seniors in all majors.




Media Effects

Tuesday & Thursday:  2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

In the first semester (fall), we examined a broad range of theories and methods that have been used to study the ways in which media participation, exposure, and use shape the conceptions, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors of individuals, and each student develops a proposal to conduct an original research project on some relevant topic. In the second semester (spring), you will implement your individual research projects, learn how to analyze the data that you collect, and write up the final sections of your Honors Thesis. The entire experience will culminate in an archivable Honors Thesis and public presentation at a research conference.

Instructor: Erica Sharrer

Credits: COMM 499CA for 4 credits in fall and COMM 499DA for 4 credits in spring.

To Enroll: Instructor Consent Required. Professor Scharrer can be contacted by email at scharrer@comm.umass.edu.


  • This course is open to Commonwealth Honors College seniors.




Social Values and Public Decisions: Philosophical and Economic Perspectives

Tuesday & Thursday:  11:30 AM – 12:45 PM

This two-semester, eight-credit Honors Thesis seminar will combine readings and methods from philosophy and economics to address ethical questions that are relevant to the goals and evaluation of public policies. These questions include: Should we assess social outcomes, policies, and institutions by reference to well-being, fairness, rights, or other criteria? What do these notions consist of and can they be measured? Does well-being consist of happiness, life satisfaction, goal attainment, some combination of these, or something else? Is inequality bad in itself or because of the outcomes to which it leads? Can we measure how fair a society is? How should we incorporate consideration of future generations in thinking about our policies today? If we care about multiple values, how do we balance them? These questions of value are relevant to a broad variety of policy issues associated with topics such as taxation, immigration, climate change, democracy, and the boundaries of markets. Students will write a thesis relating to questions of value or their application to public decisions using methods and ideas from philosophy or economics.

Instructor: Kevin Young

Credits: ECON 499C for 4 credits in fall and ECON 499D for 4 credits in spring.

To Enroll: Instructor consent required. Contact: Kevin Young


  • This course is open to Commonwealth Honors College seniors in all majors.
  • No prerequisites.



ENGLISH 499C & 499D

Foundations and Departures in Creative Writing: Fiction, Poetry and Literary Nonfiction

Monday & Wednesday: 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM (fall 2022, 499C)

Wednesday: 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM (spring 2023, 499D)

This is a multi-genre, two-semester course in creative writing designed to help students complete a capstone project within the genre of their choice. Both a class in contemporary literature and a writing workshop, “Foundations and Departures” will offer students a wide variety of reading assignments and writing exercises from across all three genres. At the end of the first semester, students will submit a portfolio of original work; in the second semester, students will finish drafting and revising their capstone projects. Textbooks will include two fiction anthologies (Charlie Chan Is Dead 2 and The Art of the Story), novels by Gabriel García Márquez, Virginia Woolf, and Milan Kundera, a memoir by Helene Cooper, nonfiction by Joan Didion, poetry collections by Major Jackson, Katia Kapovich, Nick Carbó, and other contemporary poets, and the Alhambra Press Poetry Calendar 2010, which provides a selection of poetry from all over the Anglophone poetry world — from Africa to Oceania to India, Canada, and the Caribbean.

Instructor: John Hennessy

Credits: English 499C for 4 credits in fall and English 499D for 4 credits in spring.

To Enroll: Enrollment requires instructor permission. Contact jhennes@english.umass.edu . Please submit a complete story or essay, or five to ten pages of poetry. Some combination of poetry and prose is also acceptable. Also include a two- to three-page personal statement (Why are you interested in this class? Describe your reading preferences and habits; address your writing and work habits, preferences, and aspirations.) to jjhennes@english.umass.edu, by April 11.


  • Open to Commonwealth Honors College seniors and juniors only. Priority will be given to English majors who are pursuing Departmental Honors.



HONORS 499CC & 499DC

Honors Thesis: Debating Globalization

Monday & Wednesday:  2:30 PM – 3:45 PM (fall 2022, 499CC)

Tuesday & Thursday:  2:30 PM – 3:45 PM (spring 2023, 499DC)

Globalization will serve as the cornerstone of our study in this two-semester seminar as students undertake their Honors thesis. Globalization meaning the increasingly integrated nature of our world’s economy, culture, and consciousness. Some of the main issues of globalization that the course will explore are: strengthening borders against outsiders (refugees, immigrants); increasing borderlessness of technology, which reaches into all corners of the globe, and the relationship between globalization and the distribution of income across countries. Within these broad topics, the course will investigate how and why people have access to more goods and a better life in some parts of the world (China, India) and the escalation of poverty in other parts (Jamaica). We will also explore the social impact of globalization on solidarity movements for human rights—for example, the World Social Forum and the Arab Spring. Another significant feature of globalization is the homogenization of cultures (the popularity of McDonald’s) and increased awareness of different cultures (eating sushi). The course will evaluate this effect of globalization from the perspective of its impact on human welfare in several countries. In short, the seminar will explore how globalization can foster increased inclusion and participation in some cases and exclusion in others.

Instructor: Deepika Marya

Credits: Honors 499CC for 4 credits in fall, and Honors 499DC for 4 credits in spring

To Enroll: Instructor consent required. Contact: deepikamarya@umass.edu


  • This course is open to Commonwealth Honors College seniors in all majors; CHC juniors as space permits.


HONORS 499CE & 499DE

The Evolution and Meaning of the American Home

Tuesday & Thursday  1:00PM-2:15PM (fall '22 and spring '23)

In this two-semester, 8-credit Honors Thesis seminar, students will learn about the myriad of psychological and historical forces that have shaped house and home in the United States, where there evolved dominant norms that other nations and cultures must variously mimic, alter or resist. We will examine issues such as the meaning of “home” individually and collectively; ideas about land and home ownership that emerged during colonization and solidified through westward expansion; the vast landscape of 19th century “traditional” houses that were actually industrially manufactured; the invention of the mortgage and the middle class; the role of gender and the women’s movement; the overwhelming impact of racism; emergent technologies, and efforts to “reinvent the wheel” in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The course will begin with readings that are as engaging as they are informative: Witold Rybczynski’s Home: A Short History of an Idea; Alain de Botton’s Architecture of Happiness; Ta-Nehisi Coate’s article in the Atlantic, The Case for Reparations. Such writings draw wholly unexpected connections across a host of themes, from the individual to the societal; from the past to the future; from the everyday to the global—while giving students a glimpse of how much fun it can be to research, write and brainstorm. Various majors welcome. Students will develop research proposals in the Fall and complete their Honors Theses in the spring.

Instructor: Ray Mann

Credits: Honors 499CE for 4 credits in fall and Honors 499DE for 4 credits in Spring

To Enroll: Instructor consent required; Contact: rkmann@umass.edu


  • This course is open to Senior Commonwealth Honors College students



HONORS 499CG & 499DG.

American Struggles: Immigration and Mass Incarceration

Tuesday & Thursday:  2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

This two-semester, eight-credit Honors Thesis course focuses on two of the most intractable structural issues confronting contemporary American society: immigration and mass incarceration. Because of the multiple ways in which they affect virtually every individual in this country, either directly or indirectly, countless policymakers, journalists, academics, and activists have studied the two issues over the decades, and have offered various fixes, some radical and some incremental. Most of our contemporaries, however, would agree that both the immigration system and the criminal justice/mass incarceration system are ineffective, unfair, and all-around broken. This course will place these two issues in historical context through a variety of academic, journalistic, and autobiographical texts and documentaries, which will allow students to see how the contemporary phenomena of immigration and mass incarceration have common ideological underpinnings and common historical roots. In addition to tracing the development of these “wicked problems” through the different eras of American history, the course units will also address such secondary issues as media representations of immigrants and convicts; cultural attitudes, assumptions, and expectations; the intersections of journalism, activism and public policy; the ethnography of marginalized communities, such as immigrants and incarcerated children, men and women; and “radical” fixes versus more “traditional” fixes. Students will develop research proposals in the fall and complete their Honors Theses in the spring.

Instructor: Razvan Sibii

Credits: Honors 499CG for 4 credits in fall and Honors 499DG for 4 credits in spring.

To Enroll: Instructor consent required. Contact: razvan@comm.umass.edu


  • This course is open to Commonwealth Honors College seniors.


HONORS 499CK & 499DK

Open Science Instrumentation and Data Collection

Tuesday & Thursday: 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM

Students will complete and defend an individual Honors Thesis by creating an instrument to pursue a biological science research question. Using data collected with their instrument, students will create an “instructable,” supplemented with imagery or video, that describes their instrument, how it works, and how to make one. Students will be encouraged to coordinate with an existing research enterprise on campus. In the first semester, students will develop a thesis proposal and construct a prototype instrument. During the semester, students will explore case studies about creating/deploying instruments combined with hands-on activities to develop technical skills for instrument development. Technical lessons will lead students through two instrumentation platforms (Raspberry Pi and Arduino) on how to collect, log, and analyze data from analog and digital sensors. During the second semester, students will use Agile project management techniques to collaboratively build, test, and deploy finished versions of their instruments and conduct iterative rounds of calibration and data collection to assemble a data set that bears on their research question.

Instructor: Steven Brewer

Credits: HONORS 499CK for 4 credits in fall and HONORS 499DK for 4 credits in spring.

To Enroll: Instructor consent required. Contact: sbrewer@bio.umass.edu


  • This course is open to Commonwealth Honors College seniors.



HONORS 499CM & 499DM             

Uncertainty, Risk, and Decision Making

Monday, Wednesday, & Friday: 11:15 AM – 12:05 PM

Randomness and uncertainty exist in our daily lives, as well as in every scientific investigation. Our intuition is often wrong when assessing uncertain situations, leading us to make wrong decisions. The goal of this Honors Thesis Seminar and the projects is to better understand randomness and uncertainty and develop tools to make more informed decisions under uncertain situations. In the first semester, the instructor will cover fundamental and relevant concepts from probability, decision theory, and psychology. The presentation will be made in a way accessible to students from all majors and no advanced knowledge will be required. The goal is to lay the foundations for deeper investigation by students in their theses. In the later parts of the course, students will focus on specific topics in this wide area based on their interests and backgrounds. As the topic of decision-making under uncertainty can be studied from many different perspectives, it is expected that it could be appealing to a wide variety of honors students. For example, students in humanities (e.g., philosophy majors) can investigate the connections to morality and ethics. Students in psychology and neuroscience can investigate the psychological aspects—for example, the evolutionary aspects, human biases, etc. As probability is a major component, students in fields such as engineering, mathematics, statistics, and computer science can focus on the probabilistic aspects. Similarly, the students in finance, management, and economics can study the relevant topics in their fields—for example, from the point of view of investments, decision theory, or risk management. The topic is naturally relevant to the AI and big data revolution from two perspectives: First, as probability is essentially the foundation of almost all machine learning algorithms, interested students can choose their thesis in this area. Second, as we are moving toward an era where more and more decisions will be made by robots/machine learning algorithms, there are many questions that can be investigated from societal impacts, as well as moral and ethical considerations.

Instructor: Hossein Pishro-Nik

Credits: HONORS 499CM for 4 credits in fall and HONORS 499DM for 4 credits in spring.

To Enroll: Register in SPIRE


  • This course is open to Commonwealth Honors College seniors.



HONORS 499NA & 499OA


Friday:  10:10 AM – 1:10 PM

This Honors Project Seminar is a two-semester interdisciplinary course. Interested in doing a creative Honors Thesis? Would you like to develop a multimedia project, photojournalism, documentary? Or perhaps you are interested in writing literary journalism, memoir, biographical profiles, feature articles, or some other creative nonfiction project you've always hoped to get to. If creativity is at the heart of your Honors Thesis, this seminar will assist you in developing a concept, as well as refining and reflecting on the process for archival purposes. The Honors Seminar will establish a collaborative community and provide generous guidance, constructive critique, and mutual mentorship. Drawing on creativity and imagination, as well as research and reporting, we will incorporate narrative nonfiction techniques, such as scene and setting, character and complication, dialogue, and thematic resonance.

Students will present work in progress over the course of two semesters in a writing workshop style. The seminar culminates in a portfolio of creative nonfiction writing or production of a multimedia project accompanied by an analysis for archiving.

Instructor: Connie Griffin

Credits: HONORS 499NA for 3 credits in fall and HONORS 499OA for 3 credits in spring.

To Enroll: Instructor consent required. Contact: cgriffin@uww.umass.edu




Student Health, Wellbeing & Campus Spaces

Tuesday & Thursday: 1:00 - 2:15 PM

This two-semester, 8-credit Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis Seminar, we will explore current thinking on health and wellbeing in the built environment, with a focus on campus environments. Consideration of the impact of the built environment on health and well-being is an increasingly important priority in the design fields as well as in conversations concerning equity, public policy, public health, and education. These concerns are interrelated with issues of sustainability, resilience, and planetary wellbeing. We will read scholarly and practice literature, and examine case studies that center these topics, examine how different entities define, assess, and evaluate wellbeing in the built environment, and critically consider the challenges and opportunities for inclusively shaping campus environments. We will apply environmental theories, inquiry methods, and assessment strategies to understand the ways in which campus community members use and inhabit higher educational spaces and to propose improvements that support diverse student learning, development, and wellbeing.

Students from various majors are welcome - there are many topics ripe for student exploration, through writing, archival research, design and creative projects, and qualitative and quantitative studies. Workshops associated with research methods, writing, graphics, presentation skills, and other topics will be organized to align with Honors Thesis and Undergraduate Research Conference deadlines. Students will develop individual research proposals in the Fall and complete their Honors Theses in the Spring

Instructor: Caryn Brause, Associate Professor of Architecture

Credits: 4 credits Fall, 4 credits Spring

To Enroll: Instructor Consent required. Please contact cjbrause@umass.edu stating the reason for your interest in the course and provide a one-page writing sample.




Honors Thesis - Health and Health Care Inequality in the United States

Tuesday & Thursday: 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM

This course will help students develop capstone research topics concerning health inequality in the United States. Disadvantaged populations—racial minorities and people of lower socioeconomic status— face a higher burden of disease and death than their white, and more affluent, counterparts do. After an overview of the health care system in the United States compared to those of four other advanced, industrial democracies, this course will then consider insights from social epidemiology about the factors that drive disparities in health outcomes. Social epidemiologists show that lower social status consistently predicts health status today and in the past. The mechanism is thought to be the deleterious consequences of chronic stress, which impairs immune function over time. Numerous studies also show that the subjective experience of racial discrimination is bad for health. Students will have an opportunity to develop research topics that consider the relative health disadvantage of blacks and other minority populations, as well as why white Americans tend to do worse than their European counterparts. The answers reflect problems of the US health care system, and relate to the broader “social determinants” of illness and disease. These, in turn, ultimately reflect political inequalities that affect the pattern of health for Americans in general. The focus material for this part of the class will emphasis political and policy determinants of health and other indicators. We will facilitate this discussion by first revisiting the health disadvantage Americans experience relative to their wealthy nation counterparts.

Instructor: Dean Robinson

Credits: POLISCI 499C for 4 credits in fall and POLISCI 499D for 4 credits in spring.

To Enroll: Instructor Consent Required. Contact deanr@polsci.umass.edu.


  • This course is open to Senior and Junior Commonwealth Honors College students.




Honors Project: Public Policy and Citizen Action

Thursday: 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Public Policy and Civic Action is the third course in a four-course sequence that collectively makes up the Community Scholars Program (formerly the Citizen Scholars Program) under the auspices of the Civic Engagement and Service-Learning Office. More information about the Community Scholars Program is available online.

In addition, this class is a UMass-designated service-learning course in which you agree to engage in substantial and significant work in the community (on or off campus), build upon the relationships you have developed with your community partner, and engage in analysis of a specific public policy (local, state, or national) that interests you and, whenever possible, will be of use to the community organization where you serve.

In this course, we will explore the ways that public policy forms a critical part of the context of our social life, the complexities of defining a “public good” and, given that complexity, how to consider when a policy should be changed. Using a lens of critical compassion, we will explore how policy is created and shaped at the local, state, and national levels, and how people can employ approaches of compassionate social action to impact the policy process and work toward a conception of the common good. You will each identify a specific public policy issue that, ideally, arises out of your service experience.

You will research the issue, conduct a policy analysis, and advocate for a specific policy outcome. In addition, we will engage in productive critique of mainstream methods of analyzing and influencing policy as we study and engage strategies of empathic and compassionate social action. Students who graduate from the CSP Program fulfill the Foundations, S-L, Capstone, and four of the five content areas required to earn the interdisciplinary Certificate in Civic Engagement & Public Service (CEPS). Please contact CEPS advisor Kris Nelson at kenelson@educ.umass.edu if you have not yet applied to earn the certificate.

Instructor: Deborah M. Keisch

Credits: 4 credits in fall

To Enroll: Instructor consent required. Contact: dkeisch@umass.edu


  • For Commonwealth Honors College students, this course serves as Part I of your Commonwealth Honors College Thesis experience.




Honors Thesis Seminar: Economics of the Renewable Energy Transition 

Monday & Wednesday: 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

Transitioning our energy system to one that is supplied primarily by clean and renewable energy sources is arguably one of the most important challenges of the 21st century. Modern society depends on reliable and affordable energy supply, and energy markets affect all economic sectors including corporations and households. The success of the energy transition will depend on the development and deployment of new technology, as well as market mechanisms and policies to support this transition. This course will explore economic aspects of the renewable energy transition, including the costs and benefits of electricity from solar and wind, and policies to support market growth and technology adoption. We will also cover topics related to equity in energy markets and how the renewable energy transition can contribute to social welfare and equity. Course content will also include topics related to research development, writing, and presentation. Students will develop research proposals in the Fall and complete their Honors Theses in the Spring. 

CHC Seniors of all majors are encouraged to apply. Prospective students should email Dr. Christine Crago with a brief essay that discusses their (1) coursework and experience in economics and other fields related to renewable energy, and (2) motivations for taking the course.

Note: Students may select their thesis topic in consultation with Professor Crago as part of the Fall semester coursework. An alternative is to work on a topic with a co-advisor from the UMass Energy Transition Institute (ETI), which has developed a list of possible topics for students from any major to work with a co-advisor while attending RESECON 499C/D. If you are interested in any of the topics offered by the ETI, here are your next steps:

  1. Reach out to the faculty proposer to discuss this opportunity with them. Send an email introducing yourself as a CHC student seeking a Senior Honors Thesis project, and name the specific topic they proposed and why you are interested. Include a resume.
  2. Meet with the faculty proposer to ask questions and make sure that you understand the topic and the type of background preparation and research that will be involved (e.g. quantitative methods, interviews, archival research).
  3. Discuss logistics with the faculty proposer, who will serve as co-advisor for the project (along with Professor Crago who will direct the course). Ask how frequently you would meet and the balance of independent and guided work. Also ask if there is a summer component to the project; many faculty can offer paid or unpaid summer research experiences for undergraduates.
  4. Once you have reached an agreement with the faculty proposer, email Professor Crago with a brief essay discussing your coursework and experience in fields related to renewable energy and motivations for taking the course.
  5. Students pursuing Departmental Honors (DH) should also confirm with their department’s Honors Program Director that this thesis and course will fulfill the requirement for graduation with Departmental Honors.

SCH-MGMT 499C and 499D

Honors Thesis Seminar: Business Strategy and Entrepreneurial Leadership

Tuesday & Thursday:  4:00 PM – 7:00 PM (fall 2022, 499C)

Tuesday:  4:30 PM – 7:00 PM (spring 2023, 499D)

This is the first part of a two-semester Honors Thesis Seminar that fulfills the Honors Thesis requirement of Commonwealth Honors College. This course is designed to familiarize students with cutting-edge ideas in the strategic management of for-profit companies. Delivered over two semesters (fall and spring) in classes of three credits each, the course is an extension and an embellishment of the Capstone Strategy course (SCH-MGMT 497A). As such, the objectives of this six-credit course include a conceptual understanding of business strategy fundamentals, as well as a hands-on and practical grasp of what it means to strategically lead business organizations. Although the two phases are presented as separate classes, an attempt will be made so that students experience a seamless, integrated experience.

Concepts, books, speakers, and field trips will be spread throughout the fall and spring semesters. Phase I (fall semester) will comprise an extensive review of prominent strands of thinking in Competitive Strategy. Phase 2 (spring semester) will be focused on practical application of strategy concepts via field trips and executive speakers, as well as via public reports and management discussions of companies’ operations.

Instructor: Anurag Sharma

Credits: Sch-Mgmt 499C for 3 credits in fall and Sch-Mgmt 499D for 3 credits in spring.

To Enroll: Department consent required. Apply online to enroll

Instructor consent required. Contact sharma@isenberg.umass.edu


  • This course is open to Isenberg School of Management/Commonwealth Honors College seniors only.


SCH-MGMT 499E & 499F

Applied Research Methods in Services Management

Monday:  4:00 PM – 6:30 PM

This course is a two-part Honors Seminar (three credits per semester) that occurs over the course of the academic year and students must complete both to use the completion of this seminar to fulfill the Honors research and thesis requirement. The first part of the Honors Seminar is designed to introduce the methods and approaches utilized to conduct research in services management with an emphasis on current and timely business challenges and issues from the perspectives of management and business functions. Students will learn how to formulate a research question, construct a bibliography, review and synthesize the relevant literature, and identify and develop the appropriate analytical methods that can guide their research projects. By doing so, students will be able to develop proposals for their three-person team projects by the end of the fall semester. In the spring semester, the students who successfully completed the first part of the Honors Seminar will carry out the proposed research projects under the supervision of the faculty member teaching the seminar.

Instructor: Muzzo Uysal

Credits: SCH-MGMT 499E for 3 credits in fall and SCH-MGMT 499F for 3 credits in spring.

To Enroll: Instructor consent required. Contact: muysal@isenberg.umass.edu


  • This course is open to Commonwealth Honors College seniors.




Community Action for Social Change

Wednesday 1:25 -3:45 PM

This two-semester Honors Thesis Seminar is designed for seniors in the Commonwealth Honors College with recent experience in service-learning and/or community engagement who wish to deepen their praxis – the combination of theory and practice – within their chosen area of community work. Throughout the Fall and Spring semesters, students work both in the classroom and with a self-selected community partner and develop a collaborative civic/community engagement project. The civic/community engagement project will address a real-world issue or problem associated with the work of the community organization, group, or constituency. Guided by their community partner, students will complete a project that addresses an issue of justice, equity, or social support for a particular constituency. Through the auspices of the class and under the direction of the community partner advisor, students will define and address the issue or problem, as well as communicate its significance to a public audience.

Instructor: Ellen Correa, Senior Lecturer, Civic Engagement & Services Learning (CESL)

Credits: 4 credits Fall, 4 credits Spring

To Enroll: Instructor Consent required. Please e-mail ecorrea@umass.edu to schedule a meeting to discuss your experience and background in civic/community engagement.