MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Thesis Award Procedure

The Executive Committee of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) annually solicits for nominations for the MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Master’s Thesis Awards to recognize and reward distinguished scholarship and research at the master’s level. Each member of MAGS may nominate one candidate for the award in each disciplinary category.

MAGS is currently soliciting for nominations for the 2024 competition. Internal applications are due to the Graduate School no later than 4pm on October 19, 2023.

View Past Nominees


Eligible students

  • will have earned a master of science degree between July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2023 in the fields of:
    • Biological/Life Sciences OR
    • Humanities (history is considered with humanities)
  • will have completed an original thesis that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline
  • will not have earned a PhD (or comparable research degree) in any discipline prior to the writing of the master’s thesis

Each department or college may nominate one candidate for either or both of the eligible fields.  Each unit may determine its own selection method for its nominee.

The 2025 competition will seek nominees in the fields of Social Sciences or Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering.


Each department or college may nominate one eligible student in each disciplinary category. The department chair or college dean will submit to the Graduate School:

  1. An abstract of the nominated thesis that includes the significance of the research. Include the title of the work and name of the student, but not the University.
  2. A support letter from the advisor. The support letter must include a blank spot labeled for the Dean of the Graduate School's signature. If the nominee is chosen, the Graduate School will have the dean sign the letter.

Note that the Graduate School has access to all theses electronically, so the thesis is not needed to nominate a student. Nomination packets are due by 4pm, October 19, 2023 to the Graduate School via e-mail ( Eligible students with a complete nomination packet will be evaluated by a panel of faculty from the University.


Recipients of the MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award will receive:

  • A $750 honorarium.
  • Travel expenses to attend the Annual Meeting.  The MAGS 80thAnnual Meeting will be April 3-5, 2024 in St. Louis, Missouri.

The faculty mentor or thesis advisor will also be invited to attend the presentation ceremony.

 Past Recipients and News