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
- Medals for Academic Excellence (Gold Medals)
- Award for Excellence in Social Work Research
- Ontario Association of Social Workers-Sheldon Rahn Award for Ethics
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.
At each of the spring and fall convocations up to eleven medals for outstanding graduate work may be awarded, as follows:
- At the master's level, one medal, if merited, in each of the seven major graduate divisions, namely, Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Music, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Social Work, School of Business and Economics and the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary.
- At the doctoral level, if merited, in each of the Faculty of Social Work, the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Science and the School of Business and Economics.
- 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 and Postdoctoral Studies;
- at the master's level, practicum work (where applicable) is categorized as outstanding by the practicum supervisor.
- Twice a year (in May and September) a candidate may be recommended by each of the major divisions to the Graduate Awards Committee, a standing committee of Graduate Faculty Council. Recommended candidates from among the nominations will be communicated by the Graduate Awards Committee to the Dean of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies for approval. The names of the winners are printed in the convocation program.
In each of these cases, the nomination form and supporting evidence is forwarded to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies by May 1 (for spring convocation) and September 15 (for fall convocation).
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:
- 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;
- The adjudication committee reviews the theses recommended by the faculty and selects the recipient of the award;
- 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;
- When the article based on the thesis has been published in a refereed journal, an award of $500 is provided to the student.
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.