Three students working together

Honors Thesis pathways

Honors Thesis Pathways

An honors thesis pathway is a structured thesis experience for those who prefer a little more support and guidance through the thesis process. There are a few variations:

  • You might join a cohort of students, all working on their own individual thesis projects with the same director. These groups will meet regularly to learn how to complete a thesis and support one another through the successes and challenges.
  • Similarly, you might join a cohort of students who are all working on thesis projects on a particular theme (e.g., Science and Society; Screenwriting; Environmental Justice). There is one professor acting as director to all projects, and the group meets regularly to check in on each person’s progress. 
  • Another version provides the opportunity to turn select honors seminar courses (HON 394) into your thesis with approval from the professor teaching the course. In this case you would take a special topics class one semester and then complete HON 493 with that professor on a topic related to the course. Students enrolled in an HON course in the fall who are confirmed for the thesis option by the faculty member can expect to defend and submit their thesis in the spring.
  • Students who have successfully completed The Human Event or History of Ideas may participate in a HON thesis pathway, regardless of the topic.

To get started, explore the options below. It is important to be proactive in engaging the professor about the thesis opportunity and understanding the thesis expectations for enrollment.

Fall 2024 HON opportunities

This cohort is designed for students doing research on projects related to any aspect of human society and culture. Research will be grounded in humanities methodologies which provide tools for shaping and reflecting the complexity of lived experience and provide powerful avenues for analysis, critique, creativity, and reflection. This class provides opportunities for thoughtful advancement and innovation in a range of areas, especially for students in pre-professional fields. Students in health-related fields, media, public policy, and arts are especially encouraged to apply. The class is based Downtown but students from all Barrett campuses are welcome. In this cohort you will work with the cohort, independently, and in small groups to refine research skills, craft research questions, and design your project. Deliverables can range from research papers or portfolios to performance and applied projects. Group projects welcome. Let your creativity run wild!!

For more information, or to enroll in the thesis cohort, please email Dr. O’Flaherty at Enrollment is on a rolling basis until the cohort is full. Students can follow an academic year plan (fall/spring) or a calendar year plan (spring/fall). 

#86959 On-campus student 
#86960 ASU Online student

What does it mean to feel at home? How have the concepts of home and homelands shifted in our increasingly transnational and global world? How do issues of race, class, gender, nationalism, politics, industrialization, and war impact our sense of belonging? How do cultural objects (literature, film, art, social media, technological innovations, historical documents, political policies, etc.) challenge, reflect, interrogate, or even re-imagine the modern notion of belonging and what it means to be simultaneously an individual and a part of a larger collective? Focusing on a broad interpretation of these guiding questions and themes, this two-semester interdisciplinary seminar is designed for students who are interested in doing research projects related to the concepts of belonging and identity using humanities methodologies.

This class provides opportunities for thoughtful advancement and innovation in a range of majors and disciplines and is not limited to students in the humanities and social sciences. Students in all fields and majors are encouraged to apply. Students will work independently or in small groups to refine research skills, craft research questions, and design thesis projects. Deliverables can range from research papers or portfolios to performance, applied and creative projects.

For more information, or to enroll in the thesis cohort, please email Dr. Rebecca Soares at Enrollment is on a rolling basis until the cohort is full. This class will meet synchronously via Zoom on Fridays 9 - 11:45 a.m., Arizona time.

#81778 On-campus student
#81779 ASU Online student

This cohort is open to students interested in producing research or creative projects on topics related to the environment, literature, humanities, mindfulness or spiritual traditions, mental and physical health, and the connections between human culture and the natural and non-human world, including issues involving animals. Those utilizing feminist perspectives are also encouraged to apply. Projects employing creative writing or other forms of artistic expression are welcome, as are those focused on academic research, which will be supported by class visits with subject librarians who can guide your research process. Students will work individually on their projects with specialized guidance and will also collaborate in groups. This course is suitable for students who already have an idea of what their thesis topic will be. The only course content will be documents designed to assist you in performing research and writing your thesis.

For more information, or to apply to enroll in the thesis cohort, please email Dr. Lisa Barca at Enrollment is on a rolling basis until the cohort is full. This class will meet synchronously via Zoom at scheduled class time.

#87122 On-campus student 
#87123 ASU Online student

Using an interdisciplinary approach to leadership, diversity, and equity, the topics of this thesis pathway will address the intersections of ability, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, and social class, and draw on interdisciplinary research in education and leadership to develop transformative approaches and solutions that lead to higher educational achievement for all students. Students may choose to focus on one, two, or all three areas of the topic in their thesis project. For example, students may analyze the structure of the American education system and examine historical, social, political, economic policies that promote educational equity and inclusion. Additionally, students may consider the role that education plays in fostering justice and equity in a democratic society, or construct a program or series related to education and leadership.

For enrollment permission, contact Dr. Kappes at

#71970 On-campus student 
#82097 ASU Online student

In an advanced industrial economy, science and technology impact our lives in increasingly intricate ways. Theses in this domain will focus on how a specific scientific/technical issue affects human beings at both the individual and social levels. There is substantial leeway in how this topic is interpreted, and it is meant to be as inclusive as possible. Though the thesis itself does not need to be scientifically technical, there must nevertheless be some substantive scientific/technological issue at its foundation. Both STEM and non-STEM students are enrolled, as the course relies on student perspectives from a wide range of backgrounds.

For enrollment permission, contact Dr. Martin at This class will meet synchronously via Zoom on Thursday 4:30–7:15 p.m.

#77130 On-campus student 
#86951 ASU Online student

This seminar is for students who wish to think about the pursuit of the “good life” broadly understood. Projects related to studies of culture, political theory, or psychology around questions of success and happiness are particularly welcome. These projects will provide philosophical and theoretical insight into practical, contemporary issues. Students will work independently or in small groups to refine research skills and design thesis projects on a range of topics. The course offers a flexible structure, guided research help, assistance finding experts with whom you can work, and a fun, supportive community of other students also working on thesis projects. All majors welcome, creative and group projects encouraged.

For more information, or to enroll in the thesis cohort, please email Dr. Sturgess ( Enrollment is on a rolling basis until the cohort is full.

#87191 On-campus student 
#87192 ASU Online student

This Thesis Pathway course is designed for students who want to participate in community-engaged projects with local BIPOC artists, arts organizations, and communities. Students will have the opportunity to engage in faculty-led research initiatives that study and document local cultural performances, cultural traditions, and community history. In our lab we’ll work collaboratively with each other in the classroom, with our community partners, with other ASU institutions, and with other universities. Deliverables may take the form of research papers, portfolios, videos, films, podcasts, art exhibitions, and/or other scholarly and creative forms. Students in any major who are interested in Metro Phoenix’s cultural and artistic diversity are encouraged to apply.

Admission in the course requires a meeting with Dr. Sandoval This class will meet synchronously via Zoom on Thursdays 4:30–7:15 p.m.

#87124 On-campus student

This two semester project (HON 492 Fall 2024 and HON 493 Spring 2025) will expose Barrett students to a variety of theories and content in the three media associated with the spectrum of eXtended Realities (XR). The term XR includes Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed, and Virtual Reality (VR). Students will read and present on rigorous theory papers, and finish HON 493 Spring 2025 with an honors thesis that they have designed and created on their own. It is a student-driven course and I work hard to find you second readers who are great fits for the topics you care about.

Describe what you would like to create and email Dr. Mina C. Johnson-Glenberg for permission to join. This class will meet in SCOB (SCHWADA) 397 Fridays from 10:30–11:30 a.m. 

#77673 On-campus student

The Justice & Equity Honors Network (JEHN) brings together honors students and faculty from ASU, the University of Pittsburgh, Macauley College and the University of Central Arkansas. The cohort of Justice and Equity Honors Scholars will identify and create new definitions, new understandings, of the principles necessary for achieving equity. Bringing together a coherent philosophy and plan of action to collaboratively make change, the Justice and Equity Honors Scholars will face the challenge of creating a more peaceful, equitable, just, and inclusive world. Each student will participate in the weekly online seminar, complete an honors thesis project, and present their findings at the Summer Gathering.

The application will require a personal statement, your transcript, and a summary of experiences you think are relevant. Applications open Monday, March 4 and close Monday, March 25. See

Please reach out to Dr. Jenny Brian at with questions or expressions of interest. This course meets Mondays 3-5:45 p.m. on Zoom.

#81389 On-campus student 
#81770 ASU Online student

Barrett travel and study abroad experiences, including short GIE trips and semester-long student exchanges, provide opportunities for rich cultural exchange that can reveal new perspectives to our students. Far too often, the engagement between our students and the people, communities and places they interact with on these travel experiences end after they return. On many occasions, our students are deeply inspired by their trips abroad, yet have limited avenues to either express their learning or to engage further with newly discovered interests.

The GlobalImpact Thesis Pathway course series, allows students to reflect on their travel experiences and to continue to explore cultural, environmental and social connections to them. Continuing a connection to these opportunities, communities and NGOs upon return to ASU, can be very rewarding for our students and may aid in expanding connections between Barrett, The Honors College, the wider ASU and the global communities. These extensions can also lead to improvements of upcoming study abroad offerings, potentially enriching the experiences of subsequent Honors students on trips to these countries and communities. This thesis pathway course also presents an opportunity to connect different communities, opportunities and experiences to each other through Barrett students and their global engagement.

For enrollment permission, contact Dr. Briggs at

#87030 On-campus student

Bringing theories of posthumanism into conversation with feminist and queer studies, disability studies, and the environmental humanities, this course will reconsider international film and literature, including classic fairy tales, graphic novels, and recent science fiction. Taught entirely in English.

Students may take the class as a one-semester HON 494 seminar or participate in a two term thesis cohort. Students who enroll in this HON 494 will have an option to become a part of a two-term sequence that culminates in GER 493, where students will conduct thesis writing and hold a final thesis defense. Students enrolled in this HON 494 in the fall and GER 493 in the spring can expect to defend and submit a final thesis by the end of Spring 2025.

This course meets Mondays 4:30–7:15 p.m. in Durham Hall 210.

#80875 On-campus student

Summer 2024 HON opportunities

For students interested in starting their Honors Thesis this summer. You will work with Dr. Jenny Brian and a second reader on a project of your choosing. We will find a meeting time that works for your schedule.

Contact Dr. Brian for enrollment permission.

#48882 On-campus student
#48883 ASU Online student

For students interested in starting and finishing their Honors Thesis this summer. You will work with Dr. Jenny Brian and a second reader on a project of your choosing. We will find a meeting time that works for your schedule.

Contact Dr. Brian for enrollment permission.

#48884 On-campus student
#48885 ASU Online student

Spring 2024 HON opportunities

Examines the food system innovation environment including the rapidly growing agri-tech, livestock-tech, bio-tech, and food-tech ecosystems. Topics include the economic motivations for innovation in food value chains, adoption and diffusion of technology, the entrepreneurial and financing environment for food system innovation, assessing financial feasibility of new technologies, and evaluating sustainability outcomes in the food value chain resulting from technology adoption. Guest speakers will be used throughout the term to bring insights into the strategies, risks, and rewards of developing and adopting innovative technologies for the modern food system.

This class will meet in person T/Th - 12:00 PM - 1:15PM at the Polytechnic campus. To get started please register for HON 394 (36045). Students enrolled in HON 394 in the Spring who are confirmed for the thesis option by the faculty member can expect to defend and submit their thesis in Fall. For more information, please email Dr. Mark Manfredo (

This creative project cohort is primarily designed for students interested in writing a screenplay or teleplay for their honors thesis, though students working in other narrative storytelling media such as fiction or creative nonfiction are welcome to apply and will be admitted on a space-available basis. In our once/week class meetings, we will review key creative screenwriting and storytelling strategies from exemplary scripts to inspire our own weekly writing. Students will work independently and in supportive writing groups based upon each student’s level of preparation for their project: those who already have their story developed and are ready to begin writing their screenplay/story will be in writing groups together, as will those who are just beginning their project and need to begin with story development exercises. We’ll keep each other accountable for making weekly progress, and we’ll learn from each other when giving feedback on multiple drafts. Students from all majors are welcome to apply; our diversity of disciplines makes storytelling endeavors all the more engaging.

For more information or to apply for enrollment in this thesis cohort, email Dr. Jacquie Scott Lynch at In your email, please include (1) your major and anticipated date of graduation; and (2) a brief description of your project’s genre (e.g., screenplay/teleplay/other narrative story) and whether you’ve developed a story to begin writing already or will be just starting out (which is fine!).

This thesis cohort will investigate disparities in disease incidence and healthcare outcomes in the United States. Factors that will be discussed are race, socio-economic status, gender, and environmental factors. By the end of the semester, students will have written a prospectus for the thesis (to be written the following semester) on an area that interests them. Group theses may be an option, depending on overlap in student interests.

For more information, or to apply to enroll in the thesis cohort, Dr. John Lynch (

In this two-semester honors thesis sequence, students will work with Dr. Loebenberg on a project to complete their honors thesis requirement by designing and making an analog game. In the 492 semester of the course, readings are semi-structured so that students can construct a thesis prospectus and an interdisciplinary literature review from game studies, play studies, and other relevant fields for their thesis. Class meetings are focused on experientially exploring different types of games through the play of different game types. The class will also create and test prototypes through some game-making exercises. Students will keep a visual journal of their experiences to document their work. This course is part of a two-semester sequence culminating in a self-chosen game project students will design and make in HON 493.

Contact Dr. Loebenberg ( for enrollment permission.

Other unique thesis pathway opportunities

In addition to the honors thesis pathways mentioned above, you can explore the following unique opportunities in other departments.

Join The Difference Engine, an ASU center dedicated to shaping the future of equality, as part of the esteemed fourth cohort of Barrett Honors students during the 2024-2025 academic year. 

This opportunity is open to juniors from all majors. After two semesters, Barrett students can stay on the team and complete their honors thesis with support from a thesis committee.

As a member of the research team, you'll play a crucial role in evaluating gender equity at large companies through the Women’s Power and Influence Index project. You'll collaborate closely with renowned professors and industry leaders, receiving guidance to maximize your impact. Selected students will:

  • Assist in gender equity research & data collection to expand our Index
  • Design & administer surveys
  • Craft marketing strategies

This role also offers exciting perks, including networking events, national conference presentations, and trips to Los Angeles. Participating in The Difference Engine program grants students automatic honors credit. 

Space is limited! To learn more about the project and to join the Fall 2024 cohort, please complete this application:

Hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurship & New Business Design at the W. P. Carey School of Business, the Founders Lab is a 2-semester (6 credit) honors thesis opportunity for Barrett students to instigate their own entrepreneurial journey, and develop belief in their entrepreneurial skills.

Throughout this intensive program, students gain entrepreneurial confidence as they exercise their critical thinking, business writing, and communication skills through hypothesizing, testing, and adapting a business plan - ultimately targeting traction through user acquisition and sales. This untraditional academic experience focuses on empowering students to engage with a specific opportunity, identify a distinct audience, and provide something of real value (that your target audience will exchange value to obtain).

As outlined above, this program is intense and it requires self-direction (as is entrepreneurial), determination and commitment. We ask that all students who aren't able or interested in this commitment think very seriously about the requirements of this program before committing.
This program is available to current Barrett sophomores, juniors, and seniors and will result in a final thesis submission in the spring semester. All majors welcome! 

Program Logistics

  • Approximately 100 students, in teams of 3, will design and launch a new user-centric business, culminating in a spring demo (defense) day.
  • Thesis credits will be WPC 492 for 3 credits in the fall and WPC 493 for 3 credits in the spring.
  • There will be required group meetings each semester with a schedule determined by the Thesis Director, Jared Byrne.
  • Second committee members will be provided, and students will submit their prospectus during the fall semester.
  • Full commitment and participation is expected for both fall and spring of the academic year.

To apply for participation for the upcoming academic year, visit Founders Lab - a Barrett Thesis Project

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the Director of the W. P. Carey Center for Entrepreneurship, Jared Byrne

The Humanities Lab provides students with the opportunity to engage in hands-on research on compelling social challenges of interest to today’s students while working with others who are also invested in making a difference.

All Humanities Lab courses offer automatic honors credit, and Barrett students have the opportunity to turn select Lab courses into their honors thesis across a two-semester Lab experience with approval from at least one of the professors teaching the course.

We recommend having a conversation with the faculty at the beginning of the semester to discuss your academic interests, your potential interest in the social challenge of the course, and how they can support you. Whether they serve a role on your thesis committee or assist you in locating faculty to serve on your committee, Lab faculty have agreed to support you in developing your thesis topic through their Lab’s social challenge. Barrett students in the Lab course may develop an individual thesis or a group thesis in consultation with the professors. 

Spring 2024 Thesis Pathway Eligible Labs

Fall 2024 Thesis Pathway Eligible Labs

To get started, enroll in a Humanities Lab course offering a thesis pathway opportunity and then complete the Humanities Lab Thesis Application.

InnovationSpace® is a transformative experience, where students build the skills of the future and develop their capacity for collaboration and innovation as they produce extraordinary projects while working on transdisciplinary teams. The program provides students with a unique opportunity to complete a real-world product-development project. Using the Integrated Innovation model, teams of students from all majors spend one to two semesters researching, developing and refining concepts.

Barrett students have the option to turn this two semester project into their honors thesis. These opportunities are open to students from all majors, and your thesis committee is provided for you.

Fall 2024 InnovationSpace Projects

  • Creativity, Ethics, and AI - Mon 1:30–4:15 p.m.
  • Unhoused Communities - Tue & Thu 10 a.m.–11:15 a.m.
  • STEAMtank - Wed 9:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

For more information on the projects and to apply: