Distinguished Master's Thesis Competition

Nomination Deadline:  12 noon, Friday, October 13, 2017

The Distinguished Masters Thesis competition guidelines are based on nomination guidelines for a national thesis competition.

2017 Recipient
2016 Recipient
2015 Recipient
2014 Recipients
2013 Recipient


The Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) is soliciting nominations in two of four categories that alternate every year.  In 2017, MAGS is seeking nominations for the Distinguished Master's Thesis Awards in the broad categories of Biological/Life Sciences and Humanities.  In the following year, the two categories will be Social Sciences and Mathematical, Physical Sciences, and Engineering.


Eligible nominees must have been awarded the Master's degree between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2017.  Nominations will be accepted in the disciplines of Biological/Life Sciences and Humanities.  For purposes of this competition, history is considered with the humanities.  Original works accepted by an institution "in lieu of thesis" (such as musical compositions, published books, works of art, computer software, etc.) may not be nominated.

Since the intent of the competition is to recognize scholarship by students who are pursuing their first graduate research degree, individuals who received a Ph.D. (or comparable research degree) in any discipline prior to the writing of a master's thesis are ineligible.


Each eligible graduate program may submit one nomination of a Plan A master's thesis. A PDF nomination package should be submitted to the Graduate Fellowship Office, gsfellow@umn.edu, by 12 noon on Friday, October 13. No hard-copy is required. An email response will be sent acknowledging receipt of nomination.

The PDF nomination file should include documents #1-4, in the following order:

1) Candidate Information Form (download and complete), and
2) a one-page nomination letter, signed by the DGS; 
3) a 300-word abstract describing the research and its significance, including the thesis title and name of the author but not the name of the nominating institution; and
4) a letter of support from the advisor.

An electronic copy of the thesis should also be provided, separate from the PDF nomination file.


The recipients of the award will receive a $500 honorarium and will be nominated to the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools’ (MAGS) annual Distinguished Master’s Thesis competition.  The national MAGS winner will receive a $750 honorarium and up to $500 for travel to the MAGS Annual Meeting in April 2018. 


Directors of Graduate Studies will be notified of the nomination selection outcome. 

Please call (612) 625-7579 or e-mail gsfellow@umn.edu if you have any questions.