HONORARY DEGREES


An honorary degree, in Latin a degree honoris  causa ("for the sake of the honor") or ad honorem ("to the honor"), is an academic degree for which a university (or other degree-awarding institution) has waived the usual requirements, such as matriculation, residence, a dissertation, and the passing of comprehensive ...


What Are Honorary Doctorate Degrees?

Many schools, public and private, recognize individuals who make notable contributions to society by awarding them honorary doctorate degrees. Distinguished philanthropists, musicians, politicians, authors, and scientists often receive acknowledgment for their exemplary accomplishments and achievements that serve a greater good.


To be considered for an honorary doctorate degree, there are specific criteria that individuals must meet, and there are a variety of doctorate degrees that they may be awarded. There are also many non-honorary doctorate degree options that require advanced education.


Recipients of honorary doctorate degrees do not earn the degree through academic achievements; rather they receive these awards based on generous and altruistic actions or lifetime accomplishments that benefit a community, nation, or humanity in general. Some schools allow candidates to apply for consideration for the degree, while others require nomination by a third party. Each university that confers honorary degrees establishes its own criteria for acceptance.


Recipients may receive more than one honorary degree, but never from the same school twice. A candidate does not necessarily have to be an alumnus of the awarding school, though many schools prefer to recognize their own graduates or individuals who have made a contribution to the school. Beneficiaries of the prized degree may use the title of 'Doctor' that the degree confers, although they have not completed a doctoral program.

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      Degree Selection Process


Based on the type of honorary doctorate degree being awarded, the school's provost, chancellor, or honorary committee forms a selection panel to review nominations. Candidates or nominating parties typically must submit a minimum of a nomination form and biography by a specified deadline.


The selection panel reviews all documentation and presents their recommendations to the governing faculty, board of trustees, or university president. The school notifies accepted honorees and confers the degrees during regular commencement ceremonies. Many universities also expect a sizable donation from honorary degree recipients


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