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Selection Criteria

Texas Gamma Chapter, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

Written February 7, 2008 | Last Revised January 7, 2024

Reviewed by:
Dr. Kevin Klein (AOA Faculty Sponsor, Councilor)
Dr. Angela Mihalic (Associate Dean for Student Affairs, AOA Faculty Sponsor, Secretary/Treasurer)
Sara Lindsey (AOA Chapter President 2008)
Josh Mitchell (AOA Chapter Vice President 2008)
Cason Pierce (AOA Chapter President 2009)
Chan Nguyen (AOA Chapter Vice President 2009)
Evan Walgama (AOA Chapter President 2010)
Blake Gregory (AOA Chapter Vice President 2010)
Patricia Purcell (AOA Chapter President 2011)
George LeBus (AOA Chapter Vice President 2011)
Thomas Heyne (AOA Chapter President 2012)
Sarah Stack (AOA Chapter Vice President 2012)
Nasim Sobhani (AOA Chapter President 2013)
David Brown (AOA Chapter Vice President 2013)
Ryan Thorpe (AOA Chapter President 2014)
Swalpa Udit (AOA Chapter Vice President 2014)
Samantha Sirignano (AOA Chapter President 2015)
Travis Miller (AOA Chapter Vice President 2015)
Samuel Parnell (AOA Chapter President 2016)
Elise Rasmussen (AOA Chapter Vice President 2016)
Lorel Huelsmann (AOA Chapter President 2017)
Christopher Leba (AOA Chapter Vice President 2017)
Phil Tolley (AOA Chapter President 2018)
Lindsey West (AOA Chapter Vice President 2018)
Bethany Werner (AOA Chapter Co-President 2019)
Michael Kutschke (AOA Chapter Co-President 2019)
Janice Jiang (AOA Chapter Co-President 2020)
Paul Parisot (AOA Chapter Co-President 2020)
Jeffrey Li (AOA Chapter Co-President 2021)
Natasha Houshmand (AOA Chapter Co-President 2021)
Ahneesh Mohanty (AOA Chapter Co-President 2022)
Courtney Ann Prestwood (AOA Chapter Co-President 2022)
Whitney Stuard (AOA Chapter CO-President 2023)
Alexa Ciarolla (AOA Chapter Co-President 2023)
Wyatt Miller (AOA Chapter Co-President 2024)
Angela Wang (AOA Chapter Co-President 2024)

“Scholastic achievement should be the primary but not sole basis for election of a student. Leadership capabilities, ethical standards, fairness in dealing with colleagues, potential for achievement in medicine, and a record of service to the school and the community at large should be criteria in addition to the academic record.”
AOA Constitution


Junior AOA Members: The top 12.5% of the junior class (determined by cumulative UTSW GPA) will be made candidates for induction into AOA in the spring of their MS3 year, and approximately one-twelfth of the class will be selected for Junior AOA membership. Candidates will be evaluated by the two categories listed below (UTSW grades and CV review). For junior candidates, all clerkship grades through spring break of MS3 year will be considered. Elective courses receiving Pass/Fail designations will not be counted. (Note that the MS3 clerkship courses are more heavily weighted in calculating UTSW cumulative GPA and this weighting will be used to determine AOA candidate lists.)

Senior AOA Members: The top 25% of the senior class (determined by cumulative UTSW GPA) will be made candidates for induction into AOA in August of their MS4 year. Up to one-sixth of the class can be selected for membership (including Junior AOA members). At the discretion of the Executive Committee, one or two spots can be held open for election of those senior class students that show exceptional aptitude during their last year of school.

Students who anticipate delaying graduation to complete additional educational opportunities (research, IMEP, MBA, MPH, etc.) should apply for Jr. and Sr. AOA in the spring and summer of their MS3 year so as to be considered alongside their peers.

Exclusion criteria: Students who have had any of the following will not be considered for AOA selection; remediation of any UT Southwestern course or conduct/disciplinary violations. As professionalism forms can vary widely in severity of infraction, any candidate that has received a professionalism form will be reviewed to determine eligibility, and any significant breaches will be grounds for exclusion.

Evaluation of Candidates

All candidates will be evaluated according to the following two categories: UTSW grades and CV review. Click to expand each pane of information in the accordion below.


    UTSW Grades

    1 20 21 13 41 6
    2 20 22 13 42 6
    3 19 23 12 43 6
    4 19 24 12 44 5
    5 19 25 12 45 5
    6 18 26 11 46 5
    7 18 27 11 47 4
    8 18 28 11 48 4
    9 17 29 10 49 4
    10 17 30 10 50 3
    11 17 31 10 51 3
    12 16 32 9 52 3
    13 16 33 9 53 2
    14 16 34 9 54 2
    15 15 35 8 55 2
    16 15 36 8 56 1
    17 15 37 8 57 1
    18 14 38 7 58 1
    19 14 39 7 59 0
    20 14 40 7 60 0

    Using a rank order list based on cumulative UTSW GPA obtained from the Registrar’s office, candidates will receive points based on their class rank. Any person tied for first in class rank will be assigned 20 points. Any student tied for last in class rank out of those in the first quartile will be assigned 0 points. All other assigned points will be spread evenly among the remaining candidates. For example, if there are 60 class ranks, there are 20/59 = 0.338983 points per class rank. Points for each class rank are rounded to the nearest whole number. An example with 60 ranks is shown above.

    If a tie occurs for a position that would change the number of awarded points, the individuals involved in the tie will each receive the points awarded for that rank number. For example, if two students are tied for a class rank of 10, each student would receive 17 points based on the above table. The next student in the rank order list would then be considered as class rank number 11.

    Although only the top 12.5% are considered for Junior AOA, points will be awarded during Junior AOA selection as if the entire first quartile were eligible for selection. For example, if there were 60 class ranks in the first quartile, but only 24 class ranks are being considered for Junior AOA, points 12-20 would be assigned to the students based on the table shown.

    Pre-clerkship Grades:

    Although pre-clerkship grades are not included in the overall class rank and cumulative GPA, as scholastic achievement is the primary criteria for selection in Alpha Omega Alpha, consideration of consistency of academic excellence is important. Pre-clerkship grades of the 2nd and 3rd semester will be utilized by the AOA Gamma Chapter Leadership to assist in delineating consistency of academic excellence for the Class of 2024 and henceforth for all future classes.

    96 or above 5
    95 4
    94 3
    93 2
    92 1

    CV Review

    All candidates will be given a two-week deadline by which they must turn in a CV that covers the leadership, community service, research, and personal categories. The CV is meant to generally answer the question, “What have you done outside of class work?” All information must pertain to the student’s time in medical school. The only exception to this rule is research conducted the summer immediately prior to matriculation. Candidates should be as specific as possible in noting their activities and should provide a brief description, the number of hours involved, and the duration of involvement. For each activity candidates will be asked to provide a contact person. Please ensure this contact person is a faculty member or administrator involved in this activity, not a fellow student. Please note that involvement in a certain activity cannot be listed in more than one category. An example CV will be provided. Students who fail to turn in their completed CV by the specified deadline forfeit their candidacy for induction into AOA.

    The current AOA student members and AOA faculty sponsors will review the CV of each candidate. The more involvement and excellence a student shows in each category the more points he/she will receive. Zero points may be given in a category if the candidate has no qualifying activities in that category. The maximum number of points for the leadership, community service, and research categories are five points each, whereas the maximum number of points for the personal category is two points.

    Points from each category will be added together to calculate a student’s total points for the CV review section, for a maximum total of 17 points. These points will be added to the points obtained from UTSW grades. Points are awarded as outlined below.

    **The following are examples. Please list all of your experiences. If other commitments are not listed in the tables below, the Board will still vote to assign a point value to them.


    A maximum of 5 points can be awarded, based on your single best point category, though years as leaders of different organizations can be additive (i.e. one year leading the United Gospel Mission clinics, one year as Monday Clinic manager, and one year as United to Serve Health Fair Chair is the equivalent of three years as an organization leader).

    For non-UTSW organizations, please provide a description of your role as a leader, the responsibilities it includes and the duration of your role in this leadership position.

    5 3 years as class president or an equivalent 3-year commitment to campus or community organizations
    4 2 years as class president or equivalent positions OR
    3 years serving as one of these class officer positions: curriculum committee, OSR representative OR
    an equivalent commitment to campus or community organizations
    3 1 year as class president or equivalent position OR
    2 years serving as one of these class officer positions: test committee, curriculum committee, OSR representative OR
    3 years serving as colleges senator OR
    An equivalent commitment to campus or community organizations
    2 1 year serving as one of these class officer positions: test committee, curriculum committee, OSR representative OR
    3 years as officer of UTSW organization OR
    1 year as a clinic manager for a community clinic (e.g. Monday Clinic) OR
    An equivalent commitment to campus or community organizations
    1 1 year as officer of UTSW organization (interest groups, etc.) OR
    Election to one of these class officer positions: college rep, volunteer coordinator, IT representative, elective coordinator, convergence coordinator OR
    Leadership positions in organizing school events such as Pre-Op Committee member and Multicultural Show

    Community service

    A maximum of 5 points can be given based on your maximal involvement in service. CVs will primarily be graded based on hours of service (averaged over the first three years) and participation in organizing service projects. Please provide a detailed description of your role and the hours that you volunteered. Involvement in activities requiring prolonged commitments such as summer programs may be used to decide between two point values if on the borderline. A point award of zero may be given to those who participate in less than 5 hours per year. Total number of years in school should be listed in this section of the application to account for MSTP students or students with gaps in their education. Community service awards based on hours volunteered will not incur additional points past the cumulative hours across all listed activities (e.g. Presidential Volunteer Service Awards).

    5 Organizes service projects/chairperson (for example, committee chair for United to Serve) and consistently demonstrates commitment to serving school/community throughout medical school
    4 Organizes service projects but community service involvement is more interspersed throughout medical school
    3 Volunteers for projects regularly but less time commitment than the people planning and organizing the events; Participant in summer program dedicated to service (such as Camp Sweeney)
    2 Occasional volunteer work; Other summer service activity (such as medical mission trip or Pre-Op Counselor)
    1 Seldom completes volunteer work

    Hourly Guide for Community Service Grading (assuming no gaps):

    • 0 points :
    • 1 points : 5-25 hrs/year
    • 2 points : 25-50 hrs/year
    • 3 points : 50-100 hrs/year or [25-50 hrs/year + organizer role]
    • 4 points : >100 hrs/year or [50-100 hrs/year + organizer role]
    • 5 points : >100 hrs/year + organizer role


    Any articles listed must have been published or accepted for publication. Please note that articles that have been submitted but not yet accepted do not qualify. Please state the number of weeks and number of hours worked on each research project (as a general rule, one full-time week implies at least 40 hours of work).  Please also specify the TYPE of publication (i.e. a paper in a (non-)peer reviewed journal, abstract, poster, oral presentation) Of importance please specify who presented the abstract or poster for all posters and oral presentations listed on your CV. PMID should be included for all first-author papers and any other time they are available. Authorship should be listed in order as written on the publication. As scholarly activity is required for all students, and some may not have completed it by the time of AOA applications, it is NOT included for points that are awarded for time spent on research (publications that result will still count toward points). Research completed before medical school is not considered towards AOA points, unless it was completed leading into medical school such as the UTSW Summer Research program. Publications occurring during medical school for research conducted during undergrad also are not considered. Also please note that unlike the leadership category where hours across positions are additive, this category is not additive.

    5 MD/PhD OR
    First author of at least 3+ peer-reviewed original research articles or reviews
    4 Year-long research fellowship (e.g.: Doris Duke, Howard Hughes; if fellowship will be completed between third and fourth year it still counts toward points) OR
    Combined 4 year MD/MPH with Thesis completed OR
    First author of a peer-reviewed original research article or review OR
    Second author of 3+ peer-reviewed original research articles or reviews
    3 First author of a case report, review, or commentary OR
    Second author of a peer-reviewed original research article OR
    Any authorship on 3+ peer-reviewed original research articles or reviews OR
    First Author and presenter at a national meeting (Including posters and oral presentations) OR
    Combined 4-year MD/MPH OR
    Summer research program + 1 month additional research elective
    2 UTSW Summer research program OR
    Authorship besides first/second author of a peer-reviewed original research article OR
    Presenter at a non-national meeting (eg UTSW research forum)
    1 4 weeks of full-time research outside of scholarly activity OR
    Authorship of an abstract in a peer-reviewed journal or national presentation OR
    Awarded NIH grant or patent

    Personal Points

    Up to two additional points may be awarded for extraordinary hardship or personal circumstances that limited participation in formal leadership/service/research activities during medical school. Examples include but are not limited to death of a spouse, being the primary caregiver for an ill child, holding a full-time job when financial aid/loans were not available. Please note that it is extremely rare for points to be awarded in this category.

Ranking and Voting

Students will be ranked based on their total point score, which is calculated by adding points from each of the three categories outlined above. Available AOA membership positions will be filled by the students with the highest total points.

Total points (42) = UTSW grade (25) + CV REVIEW (17)

Rank Ties: Any ties between students in the process of ranking from highest to lowest total points will be handled as described in the table shown below. In the event that a tie in the overall ranking creates a problem in deciding who to induct into AOA, the student with the highest points in the UTSW GPA category will be inducted. Next, the overall CV review score will be considered. If the tie persists further, individual points in each of the CV review sub-categories will be considered, in the order of Leadership, Research, and Community Service.

1 Student with highest total points
2 Student with second highest total points
3 Student with third highest total points
4 Three students tied with fourth highest total points
7 Student with next highest total points

Voting: All members of the AOA chapter are allowed, encouraged, and expected to participate in scoring CVs. Junior AOA members will assist in selecting Senior AOA members from their class in July. Both Junior and Senior AOA members will assist in selecting Junior members the following Spring (from the matriculation class one year behind them).

Timeline of application process

Students who are candidates for junior AOA induction will be notified in March of the MS3 year. Notification of selected candidates will depend on when spring grades are available to the Registrar’s Office and when CVs are received for evaluation.

Students who are candidates for senior AOA induction will be notified in July of the MS4 year, with the top 25% of the Senior class being asked to submit a CV for consideration. Selected Senior AOA candidates will be notified in August of that year.

Additional information

STUDENT OFFICERS: Each year, two chapter Co-Presidents will be chosen from the Junior AOA members by the Executive Committee, based on the above criteria. The officers will serve a one-year term and will act as members of the Executive Committee. The officers will be expected to attend a transition meeting with the current presidents during their junior year, but will be formally inducted during their MS4 year with the rest of their classmates.

INDUCTION: All AOA members, whether elected as Juniors or Seniors, will be formally inducted during their MS4 year at the Spring Induction Banquet, typically held the evening before Match Day.

PROFESSIONALISM: All candidates must be cleared by the Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. If the candidate has a record of a serious or concerning professionalism offense including a professionalism form, the AOA selection committee and/or the Dean may remove the student from consideration.

M.D./PH.D. STUDENTS: M.D./Ph.D. students will be candidates for induction into AOA based on the same criteria as M.D. students. These students will be evaluated with the other AOA candidates and all selection criteria, including the AOA application deadline, shall apply to these students.

INCOMPLETE THIRD YEAR COURSES: AOA candidates who have not completed and received a grade for all MS3 clerkships by the AOA Application deadline will be evaluated based on the grades available from the Registrar’s Office at that time.

FAILED COURSES: AOA candidates by GPA who have a history of needing to remediate any pre-clinical or clinical course are removed from AOA consideration.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Beginning in 2021, a diversity committee was created to evaluate the selection process for AOA members to ensure an unbiased and equitable selection process. After careful evaluation in conjunction with the UT Southwestern Department of Diversity and Inclusion, we found the percent of URM students in AOA is equivalent to the percent of URM students in the first quartile who are eligible to apply for AOA. Additional findings indicate that the number of URM students in each medical class is rising; however, the proportion has not changed in the first quartile. Under-representation in the first quartile is apparent, and this information has been shared with medical school leaders. Through this committee, we will continue to monitor the demographic composition of our chapter longitudinally in order to be as inclusive as possible.

Final Notes

The criteria for induction into AOA are deliberately designed to favor students who demonstrate excellence in all of the following areas – leadership, community service, research, development of professional relationships with peers, and grades.

It is possible that a student with high grades could fail to be chosen for AOA if their application is weaker in the areas of leadership, community service, and/or research. Similarly, it is possible that a student with superb leadership, community service, and research could fail to be chosen for AOA if their UTSW grades are lower than other applicants.

Extraordinary circumstances not specifically addressed in these guidelines will be evaluated by the AOA Faculty Sponsors and Chapter Officers, who will determine an appropriate response in accordance with the spirit of these guidelines and the AOA Constitution.

In an effort to be as fair and objective as possible, the point system outlined above will be followed for reviewing and ranking each applicant. All applications will be blinded to those on the committee so there is no conscious or unconscious bias. The Executive Committee reserves the right to make changes at any time.