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How Do I Receive an Honorary Degree?

Dan Cavallari
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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An honorary degree is granted by a college or university, though other degree-granting institutions can also confer such degrees. This honor is usually given to a person who has advanced a particular field or contributed significant progress in a given area. The person receiving the honorary degree does not necessarily have to have any previous association with the college or university, nor does that person need to have any previous college experience. The degree is granted to a person who has excelled in a particular field or otherwise made significant contributions to education, arts, sciences, or other fields.

The process of receiving an honorary degree is quite difficult, and you will generally not know if you are being considered for such an honor. The best way to do so is to work exceptionally hard in whatever field you choose to pursue throughout your career, and make significant advancements within that field. There is no set criteria for the granting of an honorary degree, which means there are no set steps you can take to get one. All you can do is become exceptional within your field and make sure your advancements and achievements are publicized.

The practice of granting an honorary degree is always somewhat under scrutiny, both in the field of education and in society at large. It is common for members of the education field and society to question the value of such degrees, and while many colleges and universities choose candidates carefully, others have granted degrees to seemingly undeserving candidates, leading to an outcry against frivolity. Colleges and universities often justify the granting of an honorary degree by noting how the person in question has contributed to a particular field, and since the college or university can benefit from the added media exposure and potential financial gain, the practice is unlikely to cease.

Sometimes it is possible to apply for an honorary degree from a particular educational institution. If this is possible, you will need to prepare a strong resumé and assemble letters of recommendation. Your credentials should exhibit your exceptional qualities, and you will need to make a strong case as to why you should be honored with such a degree. If applications for such honors are available, be sure to read them carefully and assemble all required materials. Fill out the application thoroughly and make sure your references are aware of your pursuit and are ready to make a case for your honor.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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