Exemplary Master's Project Designation

In 2015, Graduate Liberal Studies inaugurated a new designation – the Exemplary Master’s Project -- to publicly acknowledge outstanding student scholarship or creative work.  Projects awarded this designation are recognized in our graduation ceremony program, on the GLS Website and on DukeSpace.   Students whose projects are designated as Exemplary also have the opportunity to present their work at the Exemplary reception (typically the Thursday before graduation weekend), and through the Ideas and Conversations series throughout the year.

Exemplary projects must represent particularly accomp­lish­ed models of graduate-level inter­disciplinary work.  To ensure this level of quality, we limit the award to 4-8 students each year. In order to be considered for this honor, a master’s project must:

  • Be nominated by the faculty supervisor.
  • Be notably clear, well written and well organized.  The penultimate copy should need only minor edits or technical changes at the time of submission to the GLS office (ten days before the master’s examination).
  • Be of particularly high academic quality.  It should demonstrate a notable measure of the following characteristics, as appropriate to the project’s particular interdisciplinary combination of disciplines and methods:
  • sound and thorough research;
  • sustained and insightful critical inquiry and analysis;
  • evocative and meaningful creative work;
  • original perspectives or innovative approaches;
  • coherent synthesis of multiple perspectives or approaches; and
  • lucid, precise and meaningful prose.

To nominate a project, the faculty supervisor sends a brief paragraph to the GLS director, by the annual deadline, outlining how the project meets the above standards. Students who are working on or considering their own master's projects should turn to these examples.