- IUPUI Maynard K. Hine Medal (2009)
- IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award (1999)
- School of Dentistry Distinguished Alumni Award (1985)
- School of Dentistry Distinguished Service Award (1980)
Ralph E. McDonald earned his B.D.D.S. in 1942, his D.D.S. in 1944 and his M.S.D. in 1951 from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. McDonald is a dean emeritus and professor emeritus of pediatric dentistry for IUSD. He was first appointed to the faculty in 1946 and became dean in 1968 until 1984.