Distinguished Thesis Award


Nomination Deadline: Friday, October 13, 2023 - 5pm.

The Graduate College seeks to honor outstanding research at the master’s level at Bowling Green State University. The Distinguished Thesis Award is granted annually as a way to recognize and promote excellence in research and thesis advising.  BGSU follows the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) guidelines for annual thesis awards. This year’s MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award has limited the acceptance of nominations to the disciplines of Humanities and Biological and Life Sciences (see notes below for definition of these areas and for future competition areas).  The intent of the competition is to recognize distinguished scholarship by students who are pursuing their first graduate research degree. 

Description of the Award: The Graduate College Distinguished Thesis Award consists of a student honorarium of $500, a certificate of citation, and a $100 award of recognition for the thesis advisor.  In addition, the annual recipient of the Graduate College Distinguished Thesis Award automatically becomes the subsequent Graduate College nominee for the Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award (in their category) sponsored annually by MAGS.   As a result, this is the reason for limiting categories. 

The Nominating Process:  Graduate Coordinators are invited to solicit nominations from their graduate faculty for the Graduate College Distinguished Thesis Award. A program is limited to submitting one nomination to the Graduate College.  In the event that more than one nomination is forwarded to the Graduate Coordinator, it is the responsibility of the graduate faculty to meet to determine which nomination will be forwarded to the Graduate College.  All nominees must have received their master's degree within the period of July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2023 (MAGS timeframe).  Because of this two year time frame, students in the Mathematcis, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and Social Sciences will be able to submit on the alternate years. 

Each nomination must include the following as a single electronic submission from the Graduate Coordinator:

a)       One (1) copy of the thesis;

b)      Thesis abstract, not to exceed 300 words. (Abstract must contain the title of the thesis and the name of the author);

c)       Letter of nomination from the Graduate Coordinator on behalf of the graduate faculty;

d)      One letter of support from either the thesis advisor or another referee in the student’s graduate program; and

e)      A one-page resume of the nominee. 

Selection Criteria: The successful nominee’s thesis should represent superior work in the nominee’s discipline or interdisciplinary area of concentration. The thesis will be judged on substantive and methodological quality, originality of thought, and clarity. Selection of the award winner will be made by the Graduate College Awards Committee appointed by the Dean of the Graduate College.

Deadline for Nominations: Graduate Coordinators should email all nomination materials to the Graduate College (gradcol@bgsu.edu), with the subject heading “Distinguished Thesis Award” by 5 p.m., Friday, October 14, 2022.  (Please note: Each program’s Graduate Coordinator may set their own internal program deadline to receive nominations from their faculty in order to meet the Graduate College’s deadline.)

If you have questions, or require additional information, please contact Alexia Coffman in the Graduate College at 419-372-0433 or alexiac@bgsu.edu.  


  • Fields to be considered for the 2024 award (completion date = July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2023):
    • Biological/Life Sciences: biology; botany; zoology; ecology; embryology; entomology; genetics; nutrition; plant pathology; plant physiology; anatomy; biochemistry; biophysics; microbiology; pathology; pharmacology; physiology; and related fields. Also included are agriculture, forestry, and related fields. If the dissertation is multi- or interdisciplinary in nature, at least one of these fields should comprise a significant of the work.
    • Humanities: history; philosophy; language; linguistics; literature; archaeology; jurisprudence; the history, theory and criticism of the arts; ethics; comparative religion; and those aspects of the social sciences that employ historical or philosophical approaches. If the dissertation is multi- or interdisciplinary in nature, at least one of these fields should comprise a significant portion of the work.
  • Future awards areas
    • The MAGS Award operates on a two-year cycle in regard to fields of competition. Please plan your submissions accordingly, as we can only consider a thesis once.               
    • 2025
      • Anticipated completion date July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024
      • The fields of competition for 2025 will be Mathematcis, Physical Sciences and Engineering, and Social Sciences.

Updated: 10/24/2023 08:47AM