Master’s Thesis Awards

CSGS 2021 Master’s Thesis Awards

The Conference of Southern Graduate Schools sponsors Master’s thesis awards, which are given in four different categories on a rotating basis:  a) Math, Physical Sciences and Engineering, b) Humanities and Fine Arts, c) Social Sciences, Business, and Education, and d) Life Sciences.  The fields for competition for 2021 are:

    • Humanities and Fine Arts (1 award) (includes, for example,  History, Classics, Comparative Literature, Linguistics, Speech, American Studies, Archeology, Art, Music, Philosophy, Theology, Religion, Theater, Language, Literature, and Architecture).
    • Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering (1 award) (includes, for example, mathematics; statistics; computer sciences; data processing; systems analysis; chemistry; earth sciences; physics; geology; meteorology; astronomy; metallurgy; geophysics; pharmaceutical chemistry; aeronautical, architectural, biomedical, ceramic, chemical, civil, and electrical engineering sciences; environmental health engineering; geological, mechanical, mining, nuclear, and petroleum engineering

In addition, at the 2020 Business Meeting the following new award category was created:

    • Non-traditional Thesis/ Project Award (1 award) This new category refers to both theses that do not readily conform to the traditional model, such as those produced in MFA programs both for literature and the performing arts, as well as those that deviate from the typical disciplinary approaches.  Furthermore it also includes capstone/final research-oriented projects in non-thesis degree programs.


Graduate Deans or their designee(s) at CSGS member institutions may nominate one person per category (total of three per institution) whose thesis (or project) has been accepted in partial fulfillment of master’s degree requirements during the past two academic years and/or summer sessions (Fall 2018 through Summer 2020).


$1,000 and a plaque that will be sent to the recipient.  The award ceremony will take place at our virtual conference in 2021.

Deadline and Nomination Materials

The Graduate Dean or designee shall provide the following materials as part of the nomination dossier to be received no later than November 16, 2020.  Materials must be compiled as a single PDF and named as follows: ThesisAward_Category_LastName_FirstName_Institution.pdf 
(Note: Nominations that do not adhere strictly to these instructions will not be considered).

  • A synopsis of the thesis (500 word maximum) outlining its context within the broader field, as well as how the completed research contributes to the discipline; prepared by the nominee;
  • An abbreviated resume or CV for the nominee (2 page maximum, prepared by the nominee);
  • A web link to the thesis or an electronic copy submitted by e-mail;
  • A letter of support/endorsement from the major professor focused on the criteria by which the committee will evaluate the submitted theses. These consist of: clarity of style and presentation, scholarship, research methodology, and contributions to the field or discipline; and
  • Certification by the Graduate Dean or designee that the thesis was approved in partial fulfillment of requirements for the master’s degree and that the student completed the master’s degree within the past two academic years and/or summer sessions (Fall 2018 through Summer 2020);

Please email dossiers to and include either “Thesis Award Nomination Humanities and Fine Arts” or “Thesis Award Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering”  Thesis Award Non-Traditional Thesis or Project in the subject line.

Evaluation Process

Each thesis will be reviewed by faculty members in the field from CSGS member institutions and will be evaluated on the basis of clarity of style and presentation, scholarship, research methodology, and contributions to the field or discipline.