MD Student Honors Program
NYU School of Medicine awards the MD degree with an honors distinction to students who perform original, hypothesis-driven research that demonstrates exceptional ability and knowledge in a chosen specialty area.
Students develop honors research projects under the guidance of experienced principal investigators, who serve as mentors, and work alongside graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to test hypotheses.
As a student in the Honors Program, you write and defend a thesis describing your scientific research. Approved honors projects fulfill the concentration requirement for the MD degree. You follow other projects in the lab, attend journal clubs and scientific seminars, and interact with scientists from around the world as they present their research in our Honors Lecture Series.
These experiences prepare you for a career in academic medicine and distinguish you from your peers when pursuing top residencies or other career opportunities. Past participants often say that the student honors research project is one of the most rewarding experiences of their medical training.
Pioneering Translational Medicine
NYU School of Medicine’s Honors Program was founded in 1957 and prioritized translational medicine—the application of research advances to new medical therapies—before the term was coined. At the same time, our program has long recognized the importance of training physicians in the basic sciences.
Training students in research practices through our Honors Program helped to shape the development of our MD/PhD program in 1964. Ours was one of the first U.S. medical scientist training programs founded with funding from the National Institutes of Health, along with programs at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.
Prior Honors Program participants have gone on to win awards for work that continues to resonate in medicine and medical education. Biochemist Severo Ochoa, MD, a founder of our program, won the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with fellow lab member Arthur Kornberg, MD, for their research into the role of enzymes in RNA and DNA synthesis. Their work laid the foundation for modern genetic engineering and has influenced the development of targeted therapies for cancer and viral infections.
If you’ve completed a semester of medical school, are in excellent academic standing, and are interested in applying to the Honors Program, contact Takeya Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment with our program director, John Munger, MD.