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Outstanding Thesis Award

2018-2019 Outstanding Thesis Award Recipients

The Outstanding Thesis Award is given annually to recognize those students who have shown exceptional scholarship and dedication in developing and writing their master’s thesis or project.

We are proud to announce the 2018-2019 winners:

  • Bryan Castillo, author of Ages of Prehistoric Earthquakes on the Banning Strand of the San Andreas Fault, Near North Palm Springs, California, written for his Master of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences (Computer Science, Biological Sciences, Math, Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences category)
  • Alana Muller, author of Neurological Correlates of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, written for her Master of Arts in Psychological Science (Humanities and Social Sciences category)

Each winner is presented with a check for $500 and a certificate to commemorate the event. Congratulations, Bryan and Alana!

Read more about their outstanding achievements.


2019-2020 Nomination Process

Each program may nominate one thesis or project for submission; submissions are judged for their originality, significance, quality, and outcomes. A call for nominations is sent to faculty during the spring term and winners are announced the following fall.

There are two categories:

  • Outstanding Thesis/Project: Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, and Business
  • Outstanding Thesis/Project: Biological Sciences, Computer Science and Technology, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences.

One student will be awarded in each category.

2020 Award Deadlines

Because the spring 2020 thesis review deadlines have been extended into summer due to COVID-19, the outstanding thesis award deadlines will also be extended this year to ensure that all 2019-2020 graduates have the opportunity to participate.

The deadline for programs to submit their nominee is August 7th.

Nomination Procedure

We would like one nominee from each degree program, thus one from the MA in Education program, the MA in Psychology, the MS in Psychology, etc.  You may nominate either a thesis or a project.  Students whose degrees post between Summer 2019 and Spring 2020 are eligible, including those who opt for the extended spring 2020 deadlines.

Please make your nomination no later than Friday, August 7th.  Nomination materials should be assembled in the following order and be submitted electronically as one PDF file.

The nomination must include:

  • A non-technical summary prepared by the student (1,000-1,500 words) describing the research and its significance for a general academic audience of non-specialists.  Students should include their name, degree, and title of the thesis or project in a running head or on the first page of the summary.
  • One letter from either the department head or committee chair. The letter should include the following information: (1) The significance of the thesis/project, (2) The contribution of the thesis/project to the program, and (3) The impact of the thesis/project on the knowledge base of the discipline. 
  • A CV or resume from the student nominee. 

A panel of faculty members from various disciplines will evaluate the submissions. Theses and projects will be judged based on four criteria:

  1. Originality
  2. Significance of the study  
  3. Overall quality
  4.  Contribution to the discipline/profession

Nominations can be submitted electronically to 

Please contact our office at (909) 537-5058 if you have any questions.