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Every year, The Graduate College honors students and faculty with the following awards:

Visit our awards page for detailed descriptions of the past recipients' work. 

Texas State Outstanding Master's Thesis Award

The Outstanding Master's Thesis Awards are $500.00 are in alignment with the Conference of Southern Graduate School’s (CSGS) awards, which are given in five different categories on a rotating basis: a) Math, Physical Sciences and Engineering, b) Humanities and Fine Arts, c) Social Sciences, Business, and Education, d) Life Sciences, d) Digital Scholarship (in any field).  

The competition for the 2016–2017 Outstanding Master's Thesis Award is now closed. Visit our Awards page to view past recipients of this award, including this year's winners.

Texas State Outstanding Dissertation Award 

The Outstanding Dissertation Awards are $1,000 dissertation awards in alignment with the Council of Southern Graduate School’s (CSGS) awards. The awards are given in four different categories on a rotating basis:  a) Math, Physical Sciences and Engineering, b) Humanities and Fine Arts, c) Social Sciences, Business, and Education, d) Biological and Life Sciences. Texas State Ph.D. students or alumni in programs that fall into these categories will be eligible to participate.

The Graduate College is delighted to announce The 2017 Graduate College Outstanding Dissertation Awards.  

For 2017, the award categories are as follows:

  • Biological and Life Sciences: biology; botany; zoology; ecology; embryology; entomology; genetics; nutrition; plant pathology; plant physiology; anatomy; biochemistry; biophysics; microbiology; pathology; pharmacology; physiology; and related fields. Also included are agriculture, forestry, and related fields.
  • Humanities and Fine Arts: history; philosophy; language; linguistics; literature; archaeology; jurisprudence; the history, theory and criticism of the arts; ethics; comparative religion; and those aspects of the social sciences that employ historical or philosophical approaches.

Please note that these categories are not based on the student’s affiliation with an academic department, but on the research approach/topic of the dissertation. 

The Graduate College is inviting each doctoral program to submit up to three unusually outstanding dissertations. The Graduate College will submit the winners of the on-campus competition to CGS’s outstanding dissertation competition, where they stand to win an additional $2,000 honorarium, a certificate of citation, plus reasonable travel expenses for the awardee to attend the 2017 CGS meeting in Scottsdale, AZ (Dec. 6-9, 2017) where the award will be presented.


  • The effective date of degree award, or the completion of doctoral requirements and dissertation, must lie between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2017 (inclusive).
  • The dissertations must represent original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline. Both methodology and substantive quality will be judged.


  1. An abstract of the nominee’s dissertation not to exceed 10 double-spaced pages. Appendices containing other material, such as charts, tables, and/or references, may be included as additional pages. The pages should be numbered, and each should bear the name of the nominee. The abstract must summarize the work of the dissertation. In other words, it must contextualize the research question within the literature of the field, present the methodology, and discuss the findings and their impact on the field.  It is highly recommended that nominees make use of the full 10 pages and seek the input of their faculty advisor(s) and or colleagues.
  2. Letters from three references evaluating the significance and quality of the nominee’s dissertation work. One letter must be from the nominee’s dissertation supervisor, while another must be from a member of the nominee’s dissertation committee. A third letter may be from a reference of the nominee’s choosing; however, it must be from someone who is very familiar with the nominee’s dissertation research. Each letter should be 2–3 pages long. Letters of recommendation must provide a brief description of the dissertation project. The bulk of each letter though should address the appropriateness of the methodology and the quality of the dissertation by not only stating that the dissertation is of superb quality but how/why it is. In addition, the letters must explain in detail in which ways the dissertation makes an unusually strong contribution to the field.
  3. The nominee’s CV (not to exceed five pages)


A committee appointed by the graduate dean will recommend the awardees to the dean of The Graduate College who makes the final selection. The graduate dean will nominate one dissertation in each scholarly area to CGS.  Upon the recommendation of the selection committee, the graduate dean may ask the nominee and/or letter writers to revise their documents before they are submitted to CGS.


Materials must be submitted as a single PDF to by June 1, 2017 (11:59 p.m.). Please include “CGS Dissertation Award” in the subject line of the email submission.


Contact Andrea Golato, dean ofThe Graduate College at

Texas State Outstanding Mentor Award

Every year, The Graduate College hosts the Outstanding Mentor Award competition. This award recognizes and honors a faculty member who has had outstanding success in mentoring graduate students. The award eligibility criteria specified and requirements for the nomination materials are aligned with the criteria established by the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) for their outstanding mentor award. As a result, the campus winner is entered in the CSGS competition with a chance to earn regional recognition. 

The competition for the 2016–2017 Outstanding Mentor Award is now closed. Visit our Awards page to view past recipients of this award, including this year's winner.