Awards & Recognition

The University of Minnesota Medical School honors outstanding performance of its students through two national societies, overall honors in years one and two, and awards through the University Foundation. 

The top 20% of each class receive a designation of Honors for their overall performance in each of the first two years. Students can earn Overall Honors at the end of their first and second years of medical school. The top 20% is based on cumulative points earned in each of their courses. 

Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) is the National Honor Medical Society. The chapter at the University of Minnesota elects members from the Junior and Senior classes each year. The number of students elected to AOA is up to one sixth of the graduating class. Selection is made from those students in the top quartile of the class in academic standing; one-third  are elected in the junior year and the remainder in the senior year. Alpha Omega Alpha is an honor that accompanies a physician throughout his or her lifetime. It is also a way for medical students to distinguish themselves in medical school.  The selection criteria is as follows: 

Junior AOA Election Criteria

Year 1 Grades 25%
Year 2 Grades 25%
Step 1 Score 12.5%
Year 3 grades 17.5%
Essay 20%*

Senior AOA Election Criteria

Year 1 Grades 15%
Year 2 Grades 15%
Step 1 Score 10%
Year 3 and 4 Grades 40%
Essay 20%*

*The AOA chapter of the University of Minnesota invites eligible students to write an essay as part of the AOA nomination process. 

For more information visit the local chapter website and the National AOA website

The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) honors senior medical students who "demonstrate excellence in clinical care, leadership, compassion and dedication to service." The Society was founded to elevate the values of humanism and professionalism within the field of medicine and its constituent institutions.  The Society is fast becoming integrated into our educational environment. Students are admitted into GHHS based on responses to a peer nomination survey toward the end of their third year of medical school.  The final membership list is confirmed by a faculty and administration selection committee that also ensures adequate representation from all medical school programs, including those on the Duluth campus for years 1 and 2. GHHS arranges many humanistic events during their year of service including a retreat held annually the day before Match Day for all MS4s.  For more information, visit the U of MN Gold Humanism Honor Society website and the national site of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation

To recognize excellence and achievement, numerous honors and awards are made possible each year by the University of Minnesota Foundation (UMF) and its donors. For further information contact Austin Calhoun, calhoun@umn.edu

Some awards are administered through the Medical School while others are determined by departments or other academic units. If applicable, nomination or application forms—including instructions for submitting supporting materials—are also available. For more information, visit the Foundation's Honors and Awards web page.