FAQ: What Is an Honorary Degree and What Can You Do With One?

An honorary degree is an academic award that accomplished professionals can earn without pursuing an education at a college or university. Colleges and universities often give honorary degrees to people who make a significant impact on a specific school and the world, either through a lifetime of service, commitment to improving the world or achievement in a certain field or industry. If you have an honorary degree, you may wonder what opportunities you’re able to pursue with it.In this article, we explore frequently asked questions about honorary degrees, including what they are, what you can do with one and how to qualify to get one.

What can you do with an honorary degree?

Having an honorary degree doesnt grant you any certain privileges professionally, but it can provide you with prestige and additional recognition. Typically, it grants you the following:

What is an honorary degree?

An honorary degree is an award that recognizes an individuals contributions to society, specific schools and the world at large. People who earn honorary degrees are typically those who make profound impacts on health care, economics, entertainment, politics, business, medicine and science. Most commonly, presidents, world leaders, celebrities, scientists and lawyers receive honorary degrees in recognition of any impactful work they contribute to the world. You may earn an honorary masters degree or an honorary doctoral degree, such as an honorary education degree. This degree comes in the form of a diploma as an honor.

How do you qualify for an honorary degree?

Different schools determine how individuals may qualify to receive an honorary degree. There arent specific qualifications that individuals can meet to ensure they can earn one. Schools identify people who, in their own opinion, have made significant impacts on society and deserve an honorary degree and use these opinions to select deserving individuals.

Schools have their own selection process that they adhere to when choosing who to give honorary degrees to, and they may have rules regarding who may receive one. For instance, if the individuals in question contribute monetarily to the school, are in public office or running for public office or are alumni, they may not be eligible for an honorary degree from the school due to a conflict of interest being present. Not all schools offer these awards in the first place, and requirements vary.

Why do schools give out honorary degrees?

Colleges and universities may give out honorary degrees for a number of reasons, including:

What is an honorary doctorate?

An honorary doctorate, or Doctor Honoris Causa, is a doctoral-level honorary degree that a school can give to an individual. For instance, schools may bestow an honorary law degree upon someone whos made significant impacts on law and politics. Common honorary doctorate degrees include the following:

Honorary doctorate degrees are not equivalent to Ph.D. degrees and dont allow anyone to practice under the pretense of being a doctor in any of these disciplines. Typically, you dont refer to yourself as a doctor, even if you receive an honorary doctoral degree.

Can you lose an honorary degree?

Its possible to lose an honorary degree after receiving one due to certain circumstances. Losing an honorary degree usually only occurs in extenuating circumstances and isnt necessarily common, but it happens from time to time. For instance, if a school determines that the person who they give an honorary degree upon is incompatible with the degree because they no longer meet the schools standards for honorary degrees, because they get into trouble with the law or something similar, they may rescind that degree from the person in question. At that point, that the honorary degree is no longer valid.

Is there a difference between an honorary degree and a regular degree?

Honorary degrees have no relation to formal, typical degrees that one earns through pursuing a formal education at a college or university. There are nearly no similarities between the two types of degrees. A person can receive an honorary degree without applying to a school, passing courses or taking exams. Just because you receive an honor degree doesnt mean you have qualifications to practice in the field you received the degree in, either. For instance, if you receive an honorary law degree, this doesnt provide you with qualifications to practice law.

Where do you receive an honorary degree?

While not a formal college degree, its typical for schools to bestow any honorary degrees upon their recipients at formal degree ceremonies. In many cases, people receive their honorary degrees at graduation or commencement ceremonies. Sometimes, the person receiving the honorary degree acts as the commencement or graduation speaker as well. This isnt the case for all honorary degree recipients, and sometimes, schools hold special ceremonies or events to give out their honorary degrees depending on how much the person or people in question affect the community or how many people are receiving a degree.

Who holds an honorary degree?

Many famous and impactful individuals have an honorary degree from different colleges and universities for a variety of different accomplishments. Here are some examples of people who have received an honorary degree:

Can you purchase an honorary degree?

You can technically purchase an honorary degree. Many schools allow individuals to legally receive an honorary degree from them in exchange for a sizable donation to the school. In some cases, schools award honorary degrees to individuals as an expression of gratitude for a monetary donation, though not as the sole reason for their reward.

Please note that none of the organizations mentioned are affiliated with Indeed.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *