Honors Thesis Program

The ASU-Intel Honors Collaborative Thesis Program, offering students opportunities since 1995, is a successful collaboration between the Department of Finance and Intel Corporation. The program is the brainchild of Intel Embedded Products Controller Bob Auer, an ASU honors college graduate with a B.S. degree in finance, and was developed in concert with Professor of Finance Michael Hertzel. Selected junior and senior honors students in teams of three to five are paired with Intel employees in a real-world, real-time work environment to apply their knowledge to active business cases.

Successful completion of the program, which requires a full academic year commitment, fulfills the honors thesis requirement and results in six credits.

General timeline

Information sessions

Select students, teams and coaches
Choose project topics

Organize teams, topics and coaches
Conduct skills assessment and training
Projects begin

Team proposals due

Mid-progress -- check presentations

Draft submittal
Thesis defense

Submission to the Honors College

Projects and subjects

Intel Corporation develops the projects, which relate directly to the company's business needs. Student teams, led by Intel coaches, create project plans, conduct detailed research and analyze business situations. Intel representatives monitor progress and provide coaching to the students through training on tools and analysis techniques and by engaging in interactive weekly on-campus/on-site progress checks and research direction. Department of Finance professors respond to student questions and help them determine how best to respond to challenges. The students ultimately impart their findings and recommendations in thesis defense presentations to the Intel and ASU representatives.

Some project topic areas have included:

  • Financial analysis of suppliers
  • International plant location decisions
  • Efficiency studies
  • Analysis of hedging
  • Value of green initiatives

Application requirements and how to get involved

Interested students must attend the information sessions held early each fall semester, during which Intel coaches present potential projects. In order to be considered for involvement, students must submit their resumes to ASU faculty co-director Professor Mark Simonson at the initial information session. Selection, which offers seniors priority, will be made as teams are organized in October to participate in the three to four projects to be conducted that year.