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The M.D. honors thesis for medical students is one of the mechanisms which may allow students to graduate with Honors.
To be eligible to participate in this program, students must rank in the upper 40% of their class and receive no grades less than "Pass" at the end of the first two years of medical school. Academic eligibility is determined by the Scholastic Evaluation Committee. Research proposals must be submitted no later than the first Monday of January of the junior year. After completion of an approved research project, a thesis is written and due on or before the first Monday of January of the senior year. A student whose thesis receives an Honors designation will be eligible for graduation with Honors on that basis. Students eligible for Honors based on academic performance may receive higher Honors designations (e.g. Distinction, High Distinction, Highest Distinction) based on the Honors thesis.
The Office of Research and Development is responsible for the evaluation of scientific merit and approval of the proposal. The Research and Development Committee also has the responsibility of final scientific evaluation of the thesis and recommends to the Scholastic Evaluation Committee if the thesis merits the Honors designation. Neither a thesis proposal nor a thesis will be approved for work completed entirely prior to the submission of the research proposal.
Each student must find a faculty sponsor who will closely supervise the research project and oversee the preparation and submission of the thesis proposal and the preparation and submission of the thesis itself. Both the proposal and the thesis must be accompanied by a letter from the faculty sponsor indicating that they have read and that they approve and support the documents. Unlike some student research, the thesis must be the student's own work and cannot represent solely technical participation in an ongoing research project.
The goal of this program is to encourage students to engage in scientific research during medical school. Success of the program relies heavily on the critical oversight and guidance by the faculty sponsor.