Distinguished Thesis Award

Deadline:  All nomination materials must be submitted to the Graduate College by September 15. (If September 15 falls on a weekend or holiday, nominations will be accepted on the next working day).

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 4 categories: Biological/Life Sciences, Humanities (including History), Social Sciences, and Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering. 

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 categories for that academic year (odd Fall semester = Biological/Live sciences & Humanities including History; even Fall semesters = Social Sciences & Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering). In each category, our nominated thesis will be the better of the current and previous years' MSU winners. These nominees 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 preceding Summer (not the most recent 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 preferred category.

Nomination materials must all be submitted ELECTRONICALLY and must include

  • A pdf file 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 September 15 (If September 15 falls on a weekend or holiday, nominations will be accepted on the next working day).  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.


The recipients of the Distinguished Master’s Thesis Awards will be announced at a Graduate Council meeting and may be recognized at the Interdisciplinary Forum.

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.