Honorary PhD degree

Honorary PhD degree is among the most respected academic degrees. Universities award honorary PhD degree, also known as "Honoris causa", as recognition of particular merits of the person. The recipient of honorary PhD degree is exempted from usual requirements that other candidates must meet. Honorary PhD degree means that the recipient contributed significantly to the human knowledge.

The qualifications of honorary PhD degree recipients may vary considerably. Honorary PhD degree is awarded for various reasons and this particular matter is decided by the university. Honorary PhD degree reflects significant achievements in a particular field of knowledge and great contribution to general society development. Universities recognize immense contribution of scientists in their areas of knowledge and award them honorary PhD degree on the basis on their achievements. However, honorary PhD degree may be awarded to persons who were not previously related to the academic institutions. Educational institutions frequently enjoy benefits due to relationships with the person whom the degree is awarded.

University giving honorary PhD degree has a group of experts which chooses, proposes, and awards the degree to outstanding persons. The honorary PhD degree does not differ from the degree obtained after completing graduation. Honorary PhD degree is usually awarded during regular graduation ceremony and is accompanied by traditional speech of welcome. The person receiving honorary PhD degree has the right to use this degree similarly to a substantive degree with the exception of some situations when the strict academic background is necessary.

Bearers of honorary PhD degree may use the title of "Doctor". However, it is not always the case for recipients of honorary PhD degree to use this prefix. Some universities consider it as a matter of personal predilection. There are also universities that refer to the recipients as "Doctor." Other universities, however, demand that the bearers of honorary PhD degree abstain from using this prefix. Honorary PhD degree recipients may add the title post-nominally. However, it is recommended to make understandable that it is honorary degree using the words "honoris causa", "honorary", or "h.c" after the degree title.

Some people, however, think that the practice of awarding honorary PhD degree together with the title of "Doctor" may give the wrong impression about the bearer's qualifications. Other people affirm that this degree is frequently given for the sake of big donations to the university and does not necessary reflect exceptional contribution to the science. This is the reason why numerous universities make strict requirements and establish high standards for honorary PhD degree awarding.