Presidential Medal of Graduate Student Excellence

Established in 2017, the Presidential Medal of Graduate Student Excellence (PMGSE) is a prestigious honor awarded by the university president to exceptional graduate students who are graduating from their master's or doctoral program.

These students best exemplify scholarship, leadership, character, service and the ideals of the University of Cincinnati. Recipients will be recognized at the All University Recognition Ceremony and the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony and Master's Ceremony in Spring/Summer 2022.

Submission Guidelines

Nominations of graduate students who fulfil the award criteria are welcome from students, faculty and staff. The due date for application packets is December 17th, 2021. Application packet includes an online PMGSE Application form and Nomination form . Please refer to the application components below for more information.

Incomplete and late submissions will be rejected, no exceptions. The submitter will not be notified if materials are missing and the nominee will not be allowed to update or add materials after the deadline.

Application Components

  • Nominee must complete the online PMGSE application form.
  • Applicants must upload current resume or CV, no more than three pages on the PMGSE application form.
  • An essay of no more than four typed, double-spaced pages, explaining, in terms of the criteria, why you think you should be named a recipient of this award and reflecting on your involvement illustrating innovation, initiative, independence, a positive peer impact and contributions to a group for sustainability and growth should be upploaded on the PMGSE application form.
  • A completed PMGSE nomination form and corresponding letter of recommendation from a faculty, staff or administrative member of the University of Cincinnati.
  • A second PMGSE nomination form and corresponding letter of recommendation from a faculty, staff or administrative member of the University of Cincinnati. If the first nomination is by a faculty member, the second letter should be from a member of the UC staff or administration, and vice-versa.
  • One further letter of support is permitted (maximum of three) and can be submitted by filling the PMGSE nomination form.

Deadline: December 17th, 2021 at 5pm EST. 

PMGSE Award Criteria

The 2021-2022 Presidential Medal of Graduate Student Excellence will be awarded to the university's outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated the following criteria:

Eligibility for graduation from a graduate degree program in Fall 2021, Spring 2022 or Summer 2022.

The nominee has a cumulative university grade point average of 3.2 or better and also exhibits evidence of high academic excellence and achievement within their respective academic field.

Examples of high academic achievement may include:

  • Research work and publication that has potential for global impact and/or attainment of inter/nationally competitive fellowships and scholarships.
  • Student’s academic record in the graduate program and the quality and impact of the student’s culminating experience, including creative arts, performance and projects conducted in a professional setting.
  • Local, state, regional and/or inter/national recognition for academic achievements.

The nominee demonstrates innovation, initiative, independence and a positive peer impact. Candidates have demonstrated growth and advancement in their involvement with an organization and/or in their discipline.

Examples include:

  • Significant leadership in UC co-curricular activities (e.g., advocacy, governance, honorary, service, social or athletic organizations); endeavors and pursuits towards diversity and/or global engagement; and recognition for their contributions at the regional, state and/or inter/national organizational level.
  • Participation in community activities; contribution to the community or country through the creation and/or enhancement of an organization/agency.

The nominee’s work during their time as a graduate student is impactful, and gives back to the university and the community.

Examples of significant graduate student impact include:

  • Contributing towards personal growth, development and/or academic success of other students at the university (effective mentoring, outstanding teaching performance).
  • Nominee’s exemplary pursuits and endeavors have contributed to the graduate community and student life as a whole in a unique way.
  • Nominee’s work and commitment to advancing welfare of and quality of student life as validated through external recognition. 

Tangible evidence that upon graduation, the student is poised for strong success (job offers, book/article contracts, grants for postdoctoral study, invitations to speak/perform, patents, etc.).

Contact GSG President or the Chair of the PMGSE committee if you have any questions.