Academic Affairs


The Office of Student Progress and Academic affairs deals with student progress and issues within the curriculum. The Academic Status Policies document is the official document on policies and procedures relating to student academic and professional progress.

Recognizing Academic Achievement

AOA- The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has an active Alpha Omega Alpha Chapter. AOA is a national organization dedicated to supporting academic excellence and perpetuating excellence in the medical profession. No more than 1/6 of the class may be nominated into AOA from any given graduating class. Academic excellence, as identified by grades during the pre-clinical years and performance on the first several clerkships of the third year are used to nominate students into AOA in February of the Junior Year. Additional candidates for AOA nomination are identified around August of the senior year. An initiation ceremony is held the evening prior to Match Day every year for the Junior AOA members of the next academic year and those elected as senior AOA.

Dean's Letters of Commendation- Letters of Commendation are awarded to freshman or sophomore students who receive a grade of Honors in 75% of their required courses or earn 75% of the available honors points. Letters of Commendation are awarded to junior students who achieve a grade of Honors in at least 5 of the 6 clerkships or a grade of Honors in 4 clerkships and high satisfactory in the remaining clerkships. A ceremony is held in the fall to honor this academic achievement.

Department specific awards are also presented for academic excellence in specific subject areas. These awards can be recognized during the fall awards ceremony or at graduation.

Graduation Honors

Latin Honors

Latin Honors include Summa, Magna, and Cum Laude. Honors points are accumulated on required courses and are calculated as follows:

  • For each calculation the Honors Multiplier is:
    • 2 for Honors
    • 1 for High Satisfactory
    • 0 for all other grades
  • Pre-clinical courses Honor Points = Course Hours x Honors Multiplier
  • Clinical year Honors Points= Weeks of clerkship x Honors Multiplier

Only required courses are tabulated.

Candidates for Summa Cum Laude must achieve 90% of all available honors points, candidates for Magna Cum Laude must achieve 85% of all available honors points, and candidates for Cum Laude must achieve 75% of all available honors points.

Research Honors

Research honors are awarded based on the following criteria:
  • Duration of research while in medical school
  • Focus research effort
  • Evidence of significant participation
  • Quality of effort as revealed by publication or presentation of results and
  • Receipt of award(s) for research.

The application form is available in pdf format and should be submitted to Dr. Charles Severin in the OME. The deadline to apply is February of the senior year.

Application for Research Honors

Thesis Honors

The award of Thesis Honors is intended to recognize outstanding academic achievement in a specific area of study by an individual medical student and to encourage scholarship while pursuing the Doctor of Medicine degree.

Thesis Honors are awarded based on the criteria similar to that of research honors with these additional components:

  • The student must complete a meritorious thesis based on an original contribution to medical science
  • The work must be completed under the sponsorship of a faculty member of the Medical School

Students must indicate their intention to apply for Thesis Honors by October of senior year by responding to the message sent to the class listserv. The reply must contain the student’s name, the title of the thesis, the major advisor, and the department affiliation.

Contact Info

Office of Medical Education
40 Biomedical Education Building
3435 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14214

P: (716) 829-2802
F: (716) 829-2798


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