MAGS Distinguished Thesis Award

The Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Distinguished Thesis Award recognizes recent master's graduates who have demonstrated exceptional scholarship in their theses. UC full-time faculty are encouraged to nominate a recently-graduated master's student for this award. UC will then choose one student in each category (see below) to nominate to the region-wide MAGS competition.

MAGS will award the Distinguished Thesis Awards in two of four categories that alternate every two years. For the upcoming award cycle (opening in August 2019), MAGS is seeking nominations for the Distinguished Thesis Awards in the two broad categories of Biological and Life Sciences and the Humanities. In the following cycle (2020-2021), the two broad categories will be Social Sciences and Physical Sciences and Engineering. 

Current Award Cycle

Nominations will be due to Megan Tischner by 5 p.m., October 1, 2019. Students who graduated from a master's program in the biological/life sciences or the humanities between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2019 are eligible. (Students in the social sciences and physical sciences/engineering will be considered in the following application cycle.)

The nomination application must include:

  1. The abstract of the nominated thesis. The abstract, describing the research and its significance, must not exceed 300 words and must contain the title of the thesis and the name of the author, but not UC's name.
  2. The thesis.
  3. The student's resume (one page only, please) with current contact information (email, phone and address).
  4. A letter from the student's faculty mentor.

Read the call for nominations (PDF). (To view this document, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free download.)

MAGS Thesis Guidelines

  1. To be considered, a thesis must contain original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. It must be in a format that conforms to accepted disciplinary standards, and it must have been accepted as final by the degree-granting institution. Theses submitted electronically will normally be in pdf format; hyperlinks to additional materials may be included but must be verified prior to submission. Any program wishing to submit a thesis in another electronic format should consult with the Graduate School Office ( prior to doing so.
  2. Nominations will be accepted in the disciplines of Biological and Life Sciences and the Humanities in which UC offers a master's degree. Original works accepted by a program "in lieu of thesis" (such as musical compositions, published books, works of art, computer software, etc.) may not be nominated.
  3. A nominee must have been awarded the master's degree within the two-year span of July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019. Since the intent of the competition is to recognize scholarship by students who are pursuing their first graduate research degree, individuals who received a PhD degree (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.

Submission Guidelines

All nomination materials must be submitted electronically to Megan Tischner ( by 5 p.m. on October 1, 2019. Submit all materials together (in the same email or cloud storage folder). Incomplete and late submissions will be rejected, no exceptions.

Please direct questions to