Skip to main content

Awards & Honors

Graduate students and faculty are encouraged to participate in university, regional and national competitions which recognize outstanding accomplishments.

Popejoy Prize

Each year, the University of New Mexico awards the Tom L. Popejoy Dissertation Prize to recognize the highest level of academic excellence among our doctoral students.

The Tom L. Popejoy Dissertation Prize was established as a permanent memorial to the late Tom L. Popejoy, President of the University of New Mexico from 1948 to 1968. The award recognizes and encourages the highest level of academic excellence.

Competition for the prize is structured on a three-year rotation, so that in one year, the departments of Art and Art History (including MFA) and Humanities are asked to submit their best dissertations; in the next, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics & Statistics; and last, Social Sciences and Education (including EdD).

Nomination Procedures 

The departments eligible for submitting nominations for Spring 2018 are in the second category: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Math and Statistics, Nursing, Physics and astronomy(including Optical Sciences), Psycology, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, EECE(including Optical Sciences), Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Science and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Each of these departments or programs may nominate one dissertation from a student that graduated any time between the Spring 2015 semester through the end of the Fall 2017 semester. A jury of two tenured faculty members and the Dean of Graduate Studies will select the award-winning dissertation. The original dissertation readers’ reports will be made available to the jury, whose deliberations will be confidential. If no dissertation is found worthy of the prize in a given year, no award will be made and the rotation will continue the following year.

Nominating Units must submit the following information by the published deadline:

  • Nomination form
  • A written overview of the dissertation and why it was chosen as the departmental nomination.
  • A copy of the dissertation (Graduate Studies will obtain from LoboVault Repository); and
  • when possible, include the nominee’s current position and what publications/grants arose from the dissertation.
  • submit ALL electronically.

*Note: For dissertations written in a language other than English, the nominating unit must provide either:

  • An English translation of the complete dissertation or
  • an English translation of the complete introduction and conclusion, accompanied by a detailed summary of the dissertation and, when possible, one or more published articles written in English based upon the dissertation research.


A $2500 stipend will be awarded at Spring commencement each year. The recipient should be present at Spring commencement to accept the award.

Nomination Deadline:  March 1, 2018
For additional information contact Margaret Gonzales at

Thesis/Dissertation Awards

For additional information contact Margaret Gonzales:

Regional awards are presented annually by the Western Association of Graduate Schools for both outstanding thesis and dissertations. The Council of Graduate Schools also annually award outstanding dissertations.

Many national professional societies grant similar awards within their disciplines, and faculty mentors are encouraged to submit nominations of their advisees to these competitions.

Graduate Studies provides the information on this page as a service to graduate students at the University of New Mexico. Through this page you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of Graduate Studies. We have no control over the nature, accuracy, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.