Libraries offers $1,250 award for 2017 outstanding undergraduate thesis

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries invites submissions for its sixth annual competition for the Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award. The competition aims to find the best thesis by a Penn State undergraduate student in consultation with his or her adviser, with the winner receiving $1,250. Awards of $750 and $500, are presented to the second- and third-place recipients, respectively. 

Undergraduate students from all Penn State campuses who have graduated in summer or fall 2016 or plan to graduate in spring 2017 are eligible for the spring 2017 award. The competition includes a review of the submitted theses by a faculty jury, and oral presentations by the students chosen as finalists.

"Through this award, the University Libraries emphasizes the importance of utilizing quality research methods and employing a thorough understanding of the legal and ethical issues related to the use of information — both key components of academic excellence,” Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, said. "The projects submitted in past years have been very impressive, and each thesis has demonstrated excellence in the research process of locating, evaluating and utilizing appropriate scholarly resources."

Students must submit an online application, have a statement of support submitted by a Penn State faculty member, and provide a copy of their final thesis. Deadlines for the 2017 award include:

  •  Now — Discuss the award and thesis requirement with your faculty adviser.
  •  By or before 11:59 p.m. Monday, April 10 — Submit the online Student Thesis Application, Faculty Statement of Support, and final thesis.
  •  Monday, April 24 — Three finalists will be notified.
  •  Thursday, May 4 — Public oral defense by finalists will be held in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.

Details, including submission forms and application criteria, are available at

The Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award is a partnership between the University Libraries and the Schreyer Honors College.

For more information, contact Wendi Keeler at or 814-863-5449.

Last Updated February 09, 2017