Academic Medals

Academic medals are awarded on the basis of overall academic standing. The Graduate Awards Committee adjudicates the competitions for the academic medals.

Governor General's Academic Medal

This medal is awarded at the fall convocation to the graduate student who achieves the highest academic standing in a master's or doctoral degree program at either the spring or fall convocation.

Medals for Academic Excellence (Gold Medals)

At each of the spring and fall convocations up to eight medals for outstanding graduate work may be awarded, as follows:

  1. At the master's level, one medal, if merited, in each of the six major graduate divisions, namely, Faculty of Social Work, Faculty of Music, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Science, School of Business and Economics and the Seminary.
  2. At the doctoral level, one medal, if merited, in the Faculty of Social Work, one medal, if merited, in the Faculty of Arts and one medal, if merited, in the Faculty of Science..
  3. Awards may be granted only when candidates' records meet the following criteria:
    • normally a minimum overall GPA of at least 10.5 in course work;
    • normally a minimum of A- in any course;
    • at the master's level, the examination committee considers the thesis work or research paper (where applicable) to be outstanding;
    • at the doctoral level, the examination committee considers the dissertation to be outstanding, and the external examiner attests to the outstanding nature of the dissertation in a letter to the dean of Graduate Studies and Research;
    • at the master's level, practicum work (where applicable) is categorized as outstanding by the practicum supervisor.
  4. Twice a year (in April and September) a candidate may be recommended by each of the major divisions to the Graduate Awards Committee. Procedurally, in the case of the MMT, MSW, PhD (Social Work), MBA and MDiv/MTh/MTS programs, the respective graduate advisory committees select the candidate; in the case of the MA/MES/MSc/PhD programs in the faculties of Arts and Science, the program directors/graduate officers nominate up to one candidate from their department. With regard to the MA/MES/PhD programs in the faculties of Arts and Science, a recommended candidate from among the nominations will be selected by the Graduate Awards Committee. In each of these cases, the name of the recommended candidate and a brief explanation of the choice is forwarded by the Graduate Awards Committee to the dean of Graduate Studies and Research. The names of the winners are printed in the convocation program.

Award for Excellence in Social Work Research

An annual Award for Excellence in Social Work Research has been established by an alumnus of the Faculty of Social Work in order to promote excellence in social work research and to encourage social work students to undertake and publish research of significant benefit to the professional community. This award is granted on the basis of the following criteria and procedures:

  1. Faculty members will select theses prepared by students as being representative of the excellence and significance required, and recommend to the dean of Social Work that the student be considered for the award;
  2. The adjudication committee reviews the theses recommended by the faculty and selects the recipient of the award;
  3. The recipient receives a letter of recognition from the dean and the thesis advisor. The letter encourages the student to submit the thesis for publication in an appropriate refereed journal;
  4. When the article based on the thesis has been published in a refereed journal, an award of $500 is provided to the student.
Application information is available from the dean of the Faculty of Social Work.

Ontario Association of Social Workers-Sheldon Rahn Award for Ethics

The Ontario Association of Social Workers (Midwestern Branch), strives to promote and maintain standards for professional competence and ethical practice. In an effort to encourage these standards, the midwestern branch wishes to recognize the efforts of Wilfrid Laurier University social work students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and excellence in these areas. Upon graduation, two successful candidates will receive a new graduate membership in the Ontario Association of Social Workers.