Distinguished Thesis Award

The Graduate Council’s Distinguished Thesis Awards recognize and reward Missouri State students for exemplary scholarship and research. Theses are evaluated for both scholarly contribution and writing by the Graduate College Scholarship Committee. A winner may be selected in each of the following catagories: Biological/Life Sciences, Humanities (including History), Social Sciences and Physical Sciences. 

In addition, two theses may be selected each year to submit to the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) competition. These will be chosen based on the two MAGS catagories for that academic year (odd fall semester = Biological/Live sciences & Humanities including History; even fall semesters = Social Sciences & Physical Sciences/Mathematics). In each catagory, our nominated thesis will be the better of the current and previous years' MSU winners. These nominnees will represent MSU at the MAGS competition the following Spring.


The nominated student must have earned his or her master’s degree last Spring, last Fall and the preceeding Summer (not this past Summer). Students who received a PhD or a comparable research degree in any discipline prior to the writing of the master’s thesis are not eligible. However, recipients of a first professional degree awarded prior to the writing of the thesis may be nominated.

How to nominate a student

Every department with a graduate program in an appropriate category may submit one nomination for the award and must designate the prefered catagory.

Nomination materials must all be submitted ELECTRONICALLY and must include

  • A copy of the final version of the thesis 
  • A letter of endorsement from a faculty mentor or graduate coordinator
  • A one page summary in the student’s own words describing how the thesis contributes to knowledge within their discipline.

Electronic nominations must be submitted to the Graduate College before 5:00 p.m. on October 3rd.  Submission can be made to GraduateCollege@missouristate.edu

Original works accepted by a department or program instead of a thesis — musical compositions, published books, works of art, computer software, etc. — may not be nominated.

Prize items

The recipients of the Distinguished Master’s Thesis Awards will receive a commemorative plaque from the Graduate Council.

Up to two winners each year will also be the university nominees in the relevant categories for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Master’s Thesis Awards.