Libraries offer $1,250 award for outstanding undergraduate thesis

The Penn State University Libraries announce the fourth annual competition for the Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis. The competition aims to find the best thesis submitted by an undergraduate student in consultation with his or her adviser. The winner will receive an award of $1,250. Second place will receive $750, and third place will receive $500. Undergraduate students graduating in summer 2014, fall 2014, or spring 2015 and from all Penn State locations are eligible for the spring 2015 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.

2015 Deadlines include:

  • January—discuss the award and thesis requirement with your faculty adviser.
  • April 13 (by 11:59 p.m.)—submit online Student Thesis Application, Faculty Statement of Support, and final thesis.
  • April 28—three finalists notified.
  • May 7—public oral defense by finalists in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library.

Barbara I. Dewey, dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications, explains, “Through this award, the Libraries 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, “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.”

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, see or contact Sandy Confer at or 814-863-4723.