Graduation with Honors
The Medical College of Wisconsin offers opportunities for students to graduate with an Honors distinction in specific areas, consistent with components of the MCW institutional mission. These include:
• MD with Honors in Research
• MD with Honors in Community Engagement
Context: MCW’s Scholarly Pathways and summer research programs provide structure and support for students to excel and pursue an area of scholarship with the guidance of a mentor. Thus, the general expectations for scholarly achievement at MCW are high.
Purpose of the Honors Programs: To recognize and support students who demonstrate exceptional commitment and performance in a selected area that goes above and beyond general the expectations for medical school graduation.
Distinctions are not pathway-specific; i.e. it is possible for students to achieve an Honors distinction regardless of pathway if requirements are met. However, certain pathways may be more closely associated with a distinction area, as requirements are supported by structured pathway activities.
Specific requirements for Honors distinctions vary. Common requirements include:
a) Achievement of prerequisites for the Honors Program, including: 1) good academic standing; 2) outstanding performance history relevant to the distinction area during the first three semesters of medical school (e.g. “over and above” expectations); 3) progress toward completion of the MCW scholarly project requirement, including (at minimum) and approved Scholarly Project Proposal.
b) An Honors application, approved by the Honors Committee, which includes: 1) a plan for continued educational enrichment in the area, 2) a proposal for an Honors project which extends beyond the required scholarly project; 3) a mentor/sponsor letter of support which includes activities already completed and a commitment to continued support;
c) Evidence of sustained commitment to the area as demonstrated by extended time involvement and effort in the area, including a commitment to dedicate time during the third year (pathway and/or an elective) to the area.
d) An end product that is reviewed and approved by the Honors Committee. This could be a thesis or project report or other “body of work,” as specified by each individual Honors area, but must exceed the expectations for the general scholarly project requirement. Publication in a peer-reviewed forum is encouraged. Characteristics of projects that will be considered in awarding an Honors designation at graduation include Originality (student has a lead role), Quantity (substantive, significant commitment of time and intellect), Quality (Valid, appropriate), Relevance to medicine, and Impact.
Participation in an Honors Program does not guarantee an Honors Distinction at graduation. Students may not participate in more than one Honors Program.