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Distinguished Thesis Award

Call for Nominations

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the 2022 Distinguished Master’s Thesis Awards competition in the following categories:   

  • Biological Sciences
  • Humanities and Fine Arts 
  • Social Sciences 
  • Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering 

This award recognizes outstanding and exceptional research and writing produced by UW master’s students in any discipline. 

Nominations are due to the Graduate School by 5 p.m., May 12, 2022. Each department can submit only one nomination per category; nominations must be submitted with the approval and concurrence of the Chair or Graduate Program Coordinator.   


These awards recognize distinguished scholarly achievement at the master’s level. Nominations will be accepted in any discipline offering a master’s degree. 

The scholarly product eligible for this competition is a formal written thesis in English. If a nominating department offers both a thesis option and a project option, only the thesis is acceptable for consideration for this award. 

Guidelines for the 2021 Graduate School Distinguished Master’s Thesis Awards

  1. Nominees must have successfully defended and submitted the final copy of their thesis for the Master’s degree with the period of July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. 
  2. The following materials must be submitted electronically and combined into a single PDF (hard copy submissions will not be accepted), in this order:  
    1. The nomination packet cover sheet
    2. Summary prepared by the student (1,000-1,500 words) written in non-technical language describing the research and its significance for a general academic audience of non-specialists. 
    3. An abstract of the nominee’s research (not to exceed 10 double-spaced pages).  Appendices containing non-textual materials, such as charts or tables, may be included as additional pages.  All pages should be numbered, and each should bear the name of the nominee.   
    4. Two nomination letters:  A letter from the department head or major professor and one additional faculty member. The letters should include information about the significance of the thesis, the contribution of the thesis to the program of the degree-granting unit, and the impact of the thesis on the knowledge base of the discipline. 
    5. A CV or resume from the student nominee (not to exceed five pages. 
    6. Nominating departments should be prepared to provide an electronic copy of the complete thesis. 
  3. A Graduate School awards committee will select the award recipient based on four criteria:         
    1. Originality of the study. 
    2. Scope and significance of the study. 
    3. Contribution to the discipline and/or profession.    
    4. Overall quality of the summary and abstract of the thesis as described in non-technical language. 


  • Nominations are due to the Graduate School by 5 p.m., May 12, 2022 c/o This is a firm deadline and in fairness to all nominators, no exceptions or extensions will be granted. 
  • Nominations must be submitted electronically, combined into a single PDF. Please save your file in this format: 
    LAST NAME NOMINEE, – Nominee’s Home Department – THESIS – [category ].pdf 
  • If applicable, the Graduate School will submit a) one STEM discipline thesis; and b) one non-STEM discipline thesis (in the humanities, social sciences, education and/or business disciplines) to the Western Association of Graduate Schools for consideration of the WAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Thesis Awards. Additionally, the UW nominee will receive $1,000 and will be publicly recognized by The Graduate School. 

Nomination materials should be addressed to 

Joy Williamson-Lott
Dean of The Graduate School 

Questions can be directed to

Jerry Pangilinan
Assistant to the Dean