Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award – STEM Disciplines

Distinguished Master's Thesis Award

STEM Disciplines

The Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) and ProQuest are pleased to announce the 2023-2024 WAGS ProQuest Distinguished Master's Thesis award competition in STEM disciplines. This award recognizes distinguished scholarly achievement at the master’s level in STEM disciplines: biological sciences, mathematical sciences, physical sciences, life sciences and engineering.

Award Details

The 2023-2024 recipient will receivee $1,000, a Certificate of Award, and travel expenses for the recipient to attend the WAGS Annual Conference and Awards luncheon to be held (TBD).


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

Nominees must have successfully defended and submitted the final copy of their thesis towards the master’s degree within the period of July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.

Nominees must be from a WAGS member institution

Evaluation Criteria

  • Originality of the study
  • Scope and significance of the study
  • Contribution to the discipline and/or profession
  • Overall quality of the summary and abstract of the thesis

Nomination Period

The nomination period begins on July 24, 2023. All nominations must be submitted by October 6, 2023 by 5 p.m. PST. Awards will be determined by December 2023.

Nomination Procedure

Each WAGS member institution may submit one nomination through the online nomination form for this award.

Appropriate institutional staff, as determined by each member institution, will establish an internal selection process, and are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the internal selection process is systematic and inclusive.

Nomination Packet

In the online nomination form, nominators will be required to prepare/upload the following materials as one PDF document using the following file name convention and upload it through the nomination form: "Nominee’s last name_Nominee’s institution_WAGSSTEM.pdf"

  1. A non-technical summary prepared by the nominee (1000-1500 words) describing the research and its significance. This summary is intended for a general academic audience of non-specialists.
  2. An abstract of the nominee’s research (not to exceed 10 double-spaced pages). Appendices containing nontextual material, 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.
  3. Two nomination letters (not to exceed 1 page per letter). One letter from the department head or major professor and one letter from an additional faculty member. The letters should include information regarding 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.
  4. The nominee’s curriculum vitae or resume (not to exceed five pages).

Nomination Form


If you have any questions about the WAGS award processes, please contact the WAGS Board at WAGSOfficer@gmail.com.