The Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) is soliciting nominations for the Excellence in Teaching Award in recognition of graduate students who exemplify excellence in the teaching/learning mission of their university.

Two awards have been created to recognize the importance of excellence in teaching and mentoring as a component of graduate education and the preparation of graduate students for future service as college and university faculty. One award will be given to a doctoral student and one to a master’s student.

Award: Nomination to the MAGS’ annual Excellence in Teaching Award competition.

Degree Level: master’s and doctoral

Grad Student Status: current

Who can apply: Program Nomination required. Please reach out to your Director of Graduate Studies or Graduate Program Coordinator.

A Graduate Program may submit one nomination for a master’s student and one nomination for a doctoral student. Programs submit a single PDF for each nominee of all application materials to by the due date.

2023 Application window opens: September 15, 2022

2023 Application due date: December 9, 2022 at 12:00pm CST


  • Master’s or doctoral students registered in the University of Minnesota Graduate School during the 2022-23 academic year
  • Hold a graduate student teaching appointment during the 2022 calendar year (e.g. Spring 2022, Summer 2022, and/or Fall 2022)

Application Requirements:

  • Letter of Support from the Department Chair or Head, see details below
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Nominee’s Teaching Portfolio, maximum of six (6) pages, see details below

Further Information

For more information about internal review and nomination procedures, please contact your Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or designated program support staff. If you have additional questions, contact the Graduate School Fellowship Office.

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Expectations of content

Include a description of any departmental honors awarded to the student for excellence in teaching


​​​​​​Expectations of content

Maximum of six (6) pages double spaced, 12-point font, and must include the following components (A - E) as headers:

a. Teaching Statement Philosophy

b. Evidence of instructional design for improved student learning

c. Teaching in Action Video
           i. Electronic link to YouTube video (see instructions)

           ii. 10-minute maximum
           iii. A variety of teaching settings may be used for the video including, but not limited to, lecture, facilitated discussion, lab, etc. as appropriate to the course; focus is on the quality of teaching/learning, e.g. student engagement, enthusiasm, and knowledge of subject matter, rather than expertise in creating the video.

d. Evidence of effective student/colleague mentoring
           i.  Describe your experience with mentoring students outside the classroom, whether that be related to the courses you teach or in other settings.
           ii.  Additionally, describe any experience you have with mentoring your peers or colleagues in the context of teaching.

 e. Evidence of professional development 
           i. Explain how you have used professional development opportunities to grow in your teaching excellence 
           ii. If appropriate, how have you aligned professional development in the feedback you have received on your teaching?


What are the review and selection considerations?

Selection criteria is based on the national guidelines. Up to 105 points are allocated as follows:

i.    Letter of support from the Department Chair/Head (5 points)
ii.   Statement of Teaching Philosophy (15 points)
iii.  Evidence of instructional design for improved student learning (25 points)
iv.  Video clip of “Teaching in Action” (25 points)
v.   Evidence of effective student/colleague mentoring (10 points)
vi.  Evidence of professional development (25 points)