Libraries offers $1,250 award for outstanding undergraduate thesis

February 08, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries invites submissions for the seventh 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 graduated in summer or fall 2017 or plan to graduate in spring 2018 are eligible for the spring 2018 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 are 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. Important dates for the 2018 award include:

  • Now: Discuss the award and thesis requirement with your faculty adviser.
  • 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 9: Deadline to submit a copy of your final thesis, the online Student Thesis Application, and the Faculty Statement of Support.
  • Monday, April 23: Three finalists will be notified.
  • Thursday, May 3: Public oral presentations by finalists will be held in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, University Park.

Details, including submission forms and application criteria, are available on the Library’s webpage. 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.

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Last Updated February 15, 2018