MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Master's Thesis Award

The Office of Graduate Studies accepts nominations for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS/ProQuest) Distinguished Master’s Thesis Awards. These awards recognize and reward distinguished scholarship and research at the master’s level.

MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Master's Thesis Award | Overview and Guidelines


September 4 - 22, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. CDT


For the 2023-2024 cycle, MAGS is seeking nominations for the MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Master's Thesis Awards in the two broad categories of (1) biological and life sciences, and (2) humanities. A full listing of eligible departments is provided below.

This category considers the following areas:

  • Agriculture
  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Botany
  • Ecology
  • Embryology
  • Entomology
  • Forestry
  • Genetics
  • Health Sciences
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition
  • Pathology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Plant pathology
  • Plant physiology
  • Zoology

This category considers the following areas:

  • Archaeology
  • Comparative religion
  • Ethics
  • History
  • History, theory, and criticism of the arts
  • Jurisprudence
  • Language
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Philosophy

Note: also included are those aspects of the social sciences that employ historical or philosophical approaches.



  • The thesis must contain original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline.
  • The effective date of degree awarded, or the completion of master’s degree requirements, must fall between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2023.

    *Since the intent of the competition is to recognize scholarship by students who are pursuing their first graduate research degree, individuals who received a Ph.D. (or 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.

    Award Details

    Each school/College can nominate one (1) thesis per broad category, for a total of two (2) nominees.

    Top nominees will be selected to represent KU in the regional competition. Each recipient of a MAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award will receive a $750 honorarium. In addition, travel expenses to attend the MAGS 80th Annual Meeting, April 3-5, 2024 in St. Louis, Missouri will be covered by MAGS and the Office of Graduate Studies. The faculty mentor or thesis advisor will also be invited to attend the presentation ceremony, but their expenses will not be covered.  

    Nomination Process & Documents

    Nominations must be made by the nominee’s school using the form below. Inclusion of an additional letter of support by from the faculty mentor as part of the submission is encouraged.    

    All of the following documents should be uploaded as PDFs:

    • A statement of support from the school/college (statements can be provided to the school for the application by the nominee's advisor, DGS, chair, associate dean, or dean). The statement should provide insight on the level of scholarship and research demonstrated within the thesis, and should explain how this original work makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline, as well as any impacts beyond the discipline.  ​
    • An abstract of the nominated thesis, submitted as a standalone document.

    Selection Criteria

    Nominees will be evaluated on these criteria:

    • Level of scholarship
    • Contribution to the discipline
    • Potential impacts beyond the program or discipline

    Nomination Form

    The nomination period is September 4-22, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. CDT.