Distinguished Thesis and Dissertation Awards
MU’s annual Graduate School Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award and Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award recognize the outstanding research and creative accomplishments of MU graduate students.
Dissertation and Thesis Award nominations are due annually by 5 PM (Central Time) on November 1st. If the first day of November falls on a weekend, then the due date is the following Monday.
Self-nominations are not accepted for the dissertation award; departments are asked to nominate a single doctoral graduate for this award.
Departmental and self-nominations are accepted for the thesis award.
Recognition Beyond MU
The winning thesis and dissertation may become MU’s nominations for prestigious awards beyond MU (e.g., the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools’ (MAGS) Distinguished Master’s Thesis and the Council of Graduate Schools’ (CGS) Distinguished Dissertation Award).
The Dean of the Graduate School will nominate the highest-ranking thesis and dissertation in the specific discipline noted in the MAGS and CGS calls (eligible disciplines rotate annually), even if that thesis or dissertation is not selected as MU’s best for the year.
Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award
This award has been established to reward distinguished scholarship and research at the doctoral level.
Nominated dissertations should represent original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. Both methodological and substantive quality will be judged.
- Each department or area program that offers a doctoral degree may submit one nomination.
- The effective date of the degree award or the completion of doctoral degree requirements and dissertation must be within the fall, spring, and summer semesters of the prior academic year. For example, students nominated in fall 2021 must have completed their degree and dissertation in fall 2020, spring 2021, or summer 2021.
- Nominations should be submitted as a single pdf document by email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. The nomination should include:
- An abstract. Up to 10 double-spaced, numbered pages plus appendices containing non-textual material, such as charts or tables. Include nominee’s name on each page.
- Three letters of support evaluating the significance and quality of the dissertation work, from:
- Nominee’s dissertation supervisor
- Additional member of the nominee’s dissertation committee
- Expert of the nominee’s choice from within or outside the University
- Note: Letters not originally in electronic form should be scanned.
- Nominations will be evaluated on:
- Clarity of writing
- Methods or approach
- Contributions to the field
- The nomination email attachments must be received by the Graduate School by the prescribed deadline. The complete dissertations of finalists will be reviewed by the Graduate Faculty Senate Awards Committee.
The recipient will receive an honorarium of $1,000 during the Graduate and Postdoctoral Awards Banquet held in April.