Libraries offer $1,000 award for outstanding undergraduate thesis

October 09, 2012

The Penn State University Libraries announced the second annual competition for the Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis, a competition to find the best thesis submitted by an undergraduate student in consultation with an adviser. The winner will receive $1,000, second place will get $500 and third place will receive $250. Undergraduate students graduating in summer 2012, fall 2012 or spring 2013 from throughout Penn State are eligible for the spring 2013 award.

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. The competition includes a review of the submitted theses by a faculty jury and an oral presentation by the students chosen as finalists.

 2013 deadlines are:

-- March 18, submit online Student Thesis Application and Faculty Statement of Support

-- April , final thesis submission

-- May 2, public oral defense by the top finalists in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library

Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, said, "The Libraries initiated this award in 2012 as a way to emphasize 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." She continues, "We were very impressed with the quality of work submitted in the first year, and it was gratifying to see each thesis demonstrated excellence in the research process of locating, evaluating and utilizing appropriate scholarly resources."

Christian M.M. Brady, dean of the Schreyer Honors College, added, "Research forms the foundation of all scholarship and thus is the very basis of the academic mission of the university. For Schreyer Scholars and many other students, the thesis is the capstone of their experience at Penn State, but all students engage in research during their tenure. This competition recognizes the discerning inquiry and diligent research undertaken by Penn State students in preparation for the completion of a thesis. It celebrates research methodology and scholarship, conducted thoroughly and with integrity, and will further elevate the outstanding research conducted by all Penn Staters."

Additional details, including submission forms, are available at

For more information, contact Deborah Richner at 814-863-5446 or



Last Updated October 16, 2012