The William Preston Society established the William Preston Society Thesis Award in 1999 to recognize graduate students whose thesis presents the best original research with potential to benefit all people. Nominations may be made in three categories.

Category 1: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Category 2: Social Science, Business, Education, and Humanities
Category 3: Innovative Application of Technology in a Master's Thesis: Evaluation will be based on the use of technology in the presentation of the ETD, scholarship, research methodology, and contributions to the field or discipline.

Winners receive a plaque and $500.

The Graduate School will submit the winning theses to the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools for its thesis award in years when award criteria align.


Award Criteria

  • Originality of idea
  • Clarity and effectiveness of presentation
  • Quality of writing
  • Contribution to the field and future scholarly productivity
  • Thesis must have been submitted in Spring, Summer or Fall 2017
  • Only one nomination per department
  •  Secured theses are not eligible


Nomination requirements

  • Completed and signed nomination form verifying student as the department's nominee
  • One- to two-page double-spaced summary (not the abstract) written by the nominee so that reviewers outside the field can gain insight into contribution
  • Nomination letter from major professor addressing all of the selection criteria, including nominee's current position, if applicable
  • Support letter from a member of the thesis committee
  • ETD web link access information for the thesis (Secured theses are not eligible)
  • Two-page abbreviated curriculum vitae from the nominee


More information:


Submit: Combined PDF files to

Deadline: January 29, 2018