Dissertation Awards

There are several  awards to recognize students who are graduating with an outstanding thesis dissertation at the master's and doctoral levels. These awards are by nomination only — students do not apply directly.

Convocation Medals

Two Governor General Gold Medals and twelve Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medals are awarded to students who have achieved the most outstanding academic record during their thesis completion. Students are presented with their medals and certificates at the June Convocation ceremonies. 

Students must have completed their degree requirements within the period of April 1 of the previous year through March 31 of the nomination year.

Departments must submit the nomination package to the Graduate Studies Office by March 31 of each year.

The Senate Graduate Awards Adjudication Committee will choose the top candidates to be awarded the medals.

CAGS/PROQUEST-UMI Distinguished Dissertation Awards (Doctoral only)

The  Canadian Association for Graduate Studies presents the CAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards, which have been recognizing outstanding Canadian doctoral dissertations for more than 20 years. They seek work that makes significant, original contributions to both the academic community and to Canadian society.

There are two awards:

  • engineering, medical sciences and natural sciences
  • fine arts, humanities and social sciences
  • Each award includes a $1,500 prize, a Citation Certificate, and an awards ceremony at the CAGS Annual Conference in Toronto. 

Students must have completed their degree requirements between January and December, in the year previous to the competition, to be nominated.

Departments must submit the nomination package to their Faculty Graduate Program in February.

Faculties must submit their nominations to the Graduate Studies Office in early March (exact dates to be provided each year)

The Senate Graduate Awards Adjudication Committee will choose the two candidates to be nominated forward to national competition.

CGS ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award

First presented in 1981 and sponsored jointly by the Council of Graduate School (CGS) and ProQuest Dissertations Publishing (a Division of ProQuest Information and Learning), these CGS ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Awards are made each year to individuals who, in the opinion of the award committee, have completed dissertations representing original work that makes an unusually significant contribution to the discipline.

Two awards are given annually in two different broad areas:

  • biological sciences; social sciences; mathematics, physical sciences and engineering
  • humanities and fine arts

Individuals must be nominated for these awards by a member institution.

Students must have completed their degree requirements within the period of July 1 of the previous year through June 30 of the nomination year.

Departments must submit the nomination package to the Graduate Studies Office in early June (exact dates to be provided each year).

The Senate Graduate Awards Adjudication Committee will choose the candidate(s) to be nominated forward to the CGS competition.

WAGS Thesis Awards 

Each year, the Western Association of Graduate Schools (WAGS) seek nominees in these award categories:

  • WAGS/UMI Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award for the Humanities, Social Sciences, Education and Business (non-STEM award)
  • WAGS/UMI Distinguished Master's Thesis Award for the Biological Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Engineering (STEM award)
  • WAGS/ProQuest Innovation in Technology Award

Students must have completed their degree requirements within the period of July 1 of the previous year through June 30 of the nomination year.

Departments must submit the nomination package to the Graduate Studies Office in mid July (exact dates to be provided each year).

The Senate Graduate Awards Adjudication Committee will choose the candidate(s) to be nominated forward to the WAGS competition.