THE GOVERNOR GENERAL’S ACADEMIC MEDAL
Revised: March 2006
1. The Governor General’s Academic Medal was first awarded in 1873 by the
Earl of Dufferin, and has since become one of the most prestigious awards that
a student in a Canadian educational institution can receive. The governor general
of Canada continues this tradition of encouraging scholarship across the nation
and recognizing outstanding students.
2. The medals are known as the “Governor General’s Academic Medals” and
are awarded only for academic excellence at four levels:
- Bronze at the secondary school level;
- Collegiate Bronze at the post-secondary diploma level;
- Silver at the undergraduate level;
- Gold at the graduate level.
3. To maintain a spirit of universality across the country, the Directives were
designed to ensure that the medals are awarded on academic marks only,
regardless of the more intangible qualities of students’ life, such as good
citizenship, moral behaviour or popularity.
4. It is the responsibility of the educational institution to determine a clear winner
every year based on these directives. Students cannot jointly be awarded one medal.
5. Canadian citizenship is not a prerequisite for the awarding of the medal.
6. Institutions participating in the Governor General’s Academic Medals program
agree to abide by these directives.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
7. Eligible institutions must apply to the Chancellery of Honours to participate
in the program. Once accepted into the program, participating institutions
automatically receive their medals annually. The Chancellery must be advised
of any change in status affecting the participant’s eligibility.
SECONDARY SCHOOLS – BRONZE MEDAL
8. To be eligible, a secondary school must follow the provincial/territorial syllabus
and award the secondary school diploma. The school must offer senior-level
secondary courses according to the provincial/territorial requirements. Currently,
the final year of secondary school is secondary V in Quebec; completion of
30 credits resulting in an OSSD in Ontario; completion of 28 credits in Manitoba
resulting in a secondary school diploma; and grade 12 in all other provinces and
8.1 A BRONZE medal is awarded to the student who achieves the highest average
upon graduation from a secondary school.
8.2 The average includes all grade 11 and grade 12 courses (secondary IV and V
in Quebec) as listed on the student’s official Transcript of Grades issued by the
ministry of education. The average cannot be anticipated; it must be calculated
based on final results after provincial/territorial examinations, where the ministry
of education requires final exams.
8.3 Equitable access for the entire student population is an important aspect of the
medal’s value. Regardless of the stream or the subjects chosen, all students are
eligible for consideration upon graduation.
8.4 Courses taken after graduation to upgrade marks are not to be included.
COLLEGES – COLLEGIATE BRONZE MEDAL
9. A college is a post-secondary institution recognized by the province/territory,
which follows an approved syllabus and offers a minimum two-year program
leading to the granting of a diploma.
9.1 For the purposes of these directives, “college” includes institutions such as
Quebec’s CEGEPs, Ontario’s Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT),
technical institutes and other establishments providing training in the technologies,
in specialized fields such as agriculture, arts, music and forestry and/or university
transfer programs, and schools classified as “hospital schools” offering postsecondary
programs in nursing, various health sciences technologies and health
9.2 The COLLEGIATE BRONZE medal is awarded to the student who
achieves the highest overall average upon graduation from a diploma-level,
post-secondary program (minimum two-year, full-time duration).
9.3 The Collegiate Bronze medal is engraved with the word “COLLEGE” on
UNIVERSITIES – SILVER AND GOLD MEDALS
10. A university must be empowered to grant degrees by its province and must
belong to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.
10.1 Federated universities may only award the medal in the discipline(s) for which
they have the right to grant degrees.
10.2 The SILVER medal is awarded to the undergraduate who achieves the highest
academic standing upon graduation from a bachelor degree program.
The number of silver medals awarded by each university shall be determined
by its full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate enrolment:
- 1 medal – under 15,000 students
- 2 medals – 15,000 to 25,000
- 3 medals – more than 25,000.
10.3 The GOLD medal is awarded to the student who achieves the highest academic
standing at the graduate level. The number of gold medals awarded by each
university shall be determined by its full-time equivalent (FTE) graduate
- 1 medal – under 2,500 students
- 2 medals – 2,500 to 5,000
- 3 medals – more than 5,000.
10.4 Universities awarding more than one silver and/or gold medal may use any
method of determining winners that satisfies the basic criteria of academic
excellence and equitability of access for the student population (e.g. one in
Arts, one in Science).
10.5 Since the number of gold and silver medals is determined based on full-time
equivalent (FTE) enrolment, all students (full-time and part-time) are eligible.
11. It is the responsibility of each educational institution to ensure that medals
are presented to recipients at an appropriate ceremony.
12. Medals should be presented on behalf of, and in the name of, the governor
general. They are not to be associated with any monetary award.
13. The presenting academic institution is responsible for inscribing the winner’s
name on the certificate.
14. Participating institutions are responsible for providing the names of winners
to the Chancellery immediately after presentation.
15. In the event of non-award by an institution in a given year, the medal and
certificate are to be returned to the Chancellery with an explanation of the
circumstances surrounding the non-award.
16. The Chancellery maintains the Official Register of recipients.
17. A lost medal may be replaced at cost if the recipient’s name appears in the
Official Register. Application for replacement must be made to the Chancellery,
in writing, explaining the circumstances of the loss.
18. For more information on the Governor General’s Academic Medals program,
The Chancellery of Honours
Office of the Secretary to the Governor General
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A1
Phone : 1 800 465-6890
Fax : (613) 949-4197
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org