Outstanding Master's Thesis/Report Awards


The Outstanding Thesis/Report Award was established in 2003 by the Graduate School to recognize exceptional work by master's students and to encourage the highest levels of scholarship, research, and writing. Nominations are accepted from Graduate Studies Committee Chairs. Three awards will be presented in 2016.

Three categories will be used to group the nominations:

  • Area A – Humanities and Fine Arts
  • Area B – Social Sciences, Business and Education
  • Area C – Mathematics, Engineering, Physical Sciences, and Biological and Life Sciences

A thesis or report may be considered in only one competition category. Because certain graduate programs may be included in several of these areas, please select the area most appropriate to the topic and methodology of the nominated thesis or report.

Nomination and Submission Guidelines

The Outstanding Thesis/Report Award was established to recognize master’s students whose theses, reports and portfolios merit recognition for excellence in scholarship, research, and writing. Each graduate program may nominate only one student for the award.


To be eligible for the 2016 award, the thesis/report must meet one of the following criteria:

  • It will be submitted in final form to the Graduate School by May 6 for a degree to be awarded in May 2016. (Note: Nominees who do not submit their thesis by May 6 or who do not complete other degree requirements by this date will be ineligible to receive an award in this year’s competition.)
  • It was submitted for a degree awarded in August 2015 or December 2015.
  • It was submitted after April 1, 2015, for a degree awarded in May 2015.


Nominations must be completed online using the Graduate School's online awards system. Nominations must be initiated by the Department Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) Chair. Nominators are required to solicit all required documentation from their respective nominees and upload them on their behalf. You will need the following items available to complete the online application.

  • A cover letter from the chair of the GSC briefly describing why the thesis/report was chosen for nomination by the program
  • Two letters of support from among the following: thesis supervisor, the graduate adviser, the department chair, or a committee member
  • One copy of the thesis, including the abstract


The faculty review committees will consider both the methodological and substantive aspects of the thesis, including:

  • the importance/impact of the subject
  • the originality/creativity of the work
  • the quality of the scholarship
  • the potential for publishing or other professional outlet
  • the organization
  • the quality of the writing
  • other appropriate factors that denote excellence

Individuals writing letters of support should be encouraged to keep the above criteria in mind as they comment on the significance/major contribution of the thesis/report and the particular aspects of the thesis that distinguish it.

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Submit Nominations

Nominations Open: JAN. 29, 2016 Deadline: FEB. 26, 2016

Nominations and supporting documentation may be submitted via the online awards system.

Danielle Thoma, Program Coordinator


⋆ Rigoberto Choy ⋆
Latin American Studies
⋆ Hyunbae Park ⋆
⋆ R. Joseph Parrott ⋆
Read more about their work »

Previous award winners »

For additional information

John Dalton, Assistant Dean


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