Libraries offers $1,250 award for 2020 outstanding undergraduate thesis

Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, April  7

Applications for the University Libraries’ annual Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award are open to all spring graduating Penn State students and recent graduates from the previous summer and fall who have completed an undergraduate thesis. Credit: Donatello Trisolino from PexelsAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Libraries invites submissions for the ninth annual competition for the Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award. The University-wide competition aims to find the best research by a Penn State undergraduate student in consultation with his or her adviser. The winner will receive $1,250, and awards of $750 and $500 will be presented to the second- and third-place recipients, respectively. 

Students from all Penn State campuses who have graduated in summer or fall 2019 or plan to graduate in spring 2020 are eligible for the 2020 award. The competition includes a review of 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.

Deadlines for the 2020 award include:

  • Now: Students should discuss the award and thesis requirement with their faculty adviser.
  • Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, April 7. Students should submit a copy of their final thesis, the online Student  Thesis Application and the Faculty Statement of Support.
  • Friday, April 24: Three finalists will be notified.
  • Thursday, May 7: Public oral presentations by finalists will be held in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, on Penn State’s University Park campus.

Details, including submission forms and application criteria, are available on the Libraries’ Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award 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.

Last Updated February 18, 2020