Thesis Awards

Each spring we honor our graduating seniors and their families at a special Commencement ceremony, which is held the evening before the University of Oregon Commencement. The highest grade a thesis can earn is Pass with Distinction. At the Clark Honors College commencement ceremony each spring, the faculty recognize certain theses as worthy of honor even beyond that. Prize-winning theses evoke comments from advisors such as "a model for future students"; "deserves to be published as a scholarly article"; "comparable to doctoral work"; "stunning". Students who win these prizes maintained a strong academic record, while independently designing and executing research projects. They not only wrote flawless theses, but performed at the highest level in the oral thesis defense.

The President's Award, the oldest and most prestigious commencement award, is given for an outstanding scholastic record at the University of Oregon and completion of a thesis of especially distinguished quality.

The Aaron Novick Award, named in honor of the world-renowned scientist and founding head of the UO Institute of Molecular Biology, recognizes a student or students who have conducted especially distinguished research in the field of science.

The Robert D. Clark Award commemorates our college's founder and rewards a commitment to the liberal arts as well as an impressive thesis.

The Barbara Corrado Pope Award, named in honor of a former director of Clark Honors College and head of the UO Women's Studies Department, recognizes a distinguished thesis in the area of diversity, including gender and ethnic studies.

The Henry Melton Alley Literary Thesis Award, named in honor of a Clark Honors College emeritus professor with a strong commitment to the development of writing skills, recognizes a distinguished thesis and thesis defense in the area of literary criticism or creative writing. It was first awarded in 2008.

The Creative Thesis Award recognizes a distinguished thesis of a creative nature.

The Interdisciplinary Thesis Award honors a thesis that crosses the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines.

The International Thesis Award goes to a distinguished thesis that involves significant research abroad, or in second-language sources. It was first awarded in 2009.

Depending on the quality of theses winning distinction each year, prizes may be split between two students or not given at all.