Exemplary Master's Project Designation

In 2023, after thoughtful consideration, we discontinued the Exemplary Master's Project designation in favor of offering all graduating students the opportunity to present their work in our year-end Master's Project Showcase.  Projects presented there are designated "Showcase Projects." 

The following information about the former "Exemplary Master's Project" designation is preserved here for historical purposes.

The Graduate Liberal Studies Exemplary Master’s Project designation was used 2014-2022 as a way to publicly acknowledge our students' outstanding student scholarship or creative work.  Projects awarded this designation were during those years recognized in our graduation ceremony program, on the GLS website and on DukeSpace.  Students with Exemplary designated projects also presented their work to the Duke community and guests at the annual Exemplary Master's Project Celebration held during commencement week. We celebrated our 2019-20 Exemplary Master's Projects with a video showcase that can be found here.

For 2014-22, when we used the Exemplary Master's Project designation, we employed the following criteria and limited recognition to 4-8 students per year:  Projects named Exemplary were:

  • Nominated by the faculty supervisor.
  • Notably clear, well written and well organized. 
  • Of particularly high academic quality, demonstrating 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.