Disclaimer: Honorary degrees are not awarded to encourage or reward 
financial contributions to the university.

Overview:

An honorary doctorate is the highest award conferred by the Prowess University System.  An honorary doctorate constitutes recognition of distinctive achievement that has added materially to knowledge and to the betterment of society.

At Prowess University 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 Doctoral 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 doctorate program.

 

Eligibility

An honorary doctorate may be awarded to an individual who has achieved acknowledged eminence in cultural affairs, in public service, or in a field of knowledge and scholarship, consistent with the ideals and purposes of the university.  An honorary doctorate recognizes the extraordinary and lasting distinction.  Nominees need not have been educated at or otherwise associated with the Prowess University before being conferred with the degree.

Honorary degrees are not awarded to encourage or reward financial contributions to the university.  However, honorary degrees may serve as a way of identifying with or honouring individuals who are highly regarded for achievements in their fields of endeavour.

 

Degree Criteria

While many colleges and universities provide their own strict criteria for honorary candidates, at PU an honorary degree may only be given to an individual with sustained lifetime achievement, rather than Candidacy for the degree often represents a school’s prominent vocation or pursuit. However, Prowess put more emphasis on the prolonged bearing of an individual’s accomplishment.

The University requires the honoree to be present at the time the degree is conferred. Prowess allows honorary doctoral degrees to be awarded posthumously, and the degree may be accepted by the honoree’s family or colleagues.

 

Limitations

The nomination and review process is confidential. No disclosure is to be made until after Board of Regents review and the institution’s subsequent invitation to the nominee.

As a matter of policy, the Board generally limits to one the number of honorary degrees any individual may receive from the PU System.

Honorary degrees are to be awarded in person and not in absentia. A degree may be awarded posthumously to a nominee if, after accepting the chancellor’s invitation, the nominee’s death occurs before the scheduled conferral.

In awarding honorary degrees, the Prowess University System does not assume any legal obligations. The recipients receive no honoraria, but the institution would generally be expected to assume the expenses incurred by the recipients in connection with their participation in the commencement ceremony.

 

Honorary Degree Types

Depending on the achievement, PU may present different types of honorary doctoral degrees. It may offer only a Doctor of Philosophy degree, or bestow a degree based on the accomplishments of the recipient. A few examples include:

  • Doctor of Humane Letters, acknowledging academic distinction
  • Doctor of Laws, awarded to professionals in the field of law
  • Doctor of Science, recognizing revolutionary scientific research and discovery
  • Doctor of Fine Arts, conferred primarily to musicians, actors, architects, and artists
  • Doctor of Divinity, bestowed upon exceptional religious figures etc.

Degree Selection Process

Based on the type of honorary doctorate degree being awarded, the Honorary Award Committee reviews nominations. Candidates or nominating parties typically must submit a minimum of a nomination form and biography by a specified deadline.

The Honorary Award Committee reviews all documentation and presents their recommendations to the Board of Regents through the faculty. The school notifies accepted honorees and confers the degrees during regular commencement ceremonies. Meanwhile the university also appreciates a sizable donation from honorary degree recipients.

Procedures

Prowess University partners/representatives that nominate candidates for honorary doctorates shall do so in consistent with procedures, policies, and criteria developed by PU HAC.

At least two months prior to the commencement ceremony at which an honorary degree is to be conferred, and at least three weeks prior to a regularly-scheduled Board of Regents meeting, the PU affiliates shall forward to the Secretary of the Board of Regents: (1) a letter from the PU representative indicating the name of the nominee(s) and expressing the president approval; (2) the curriculum vitae or résumé of the nominee(s); and (3) letters of recommendation and other documentation of the contributions of the nominee and the merits of the nominee as an honorary degree recipient. It is the responsibility of the PU institution to exercise due diligence in ensuring that a nominee is of high moral character.

Upon the timely receipt of an honorary degree nomination from a PU affiliate, the Secretary shall: (1) review nominations to verify consistency with the requirements of this policy and to confirm, to the extent possible, that a nomination poses a low risk of reputational harm to the Prowess University; (2) if any concerns are identified, consult with the President of the Board of Regents as appropriate; (3) after any concerns are addressed, place the nomination on the agenda of the Board’s next regular meeting for Board of Regents review; and (4) notify the representative of a favorable review by the Board.

After the Board’s review, the President may invite the candidate to attend the commencement ceremony at which the degree is to be conferred.

 

Other Doctoral Degree Types

There are also doctoral programs available for those who want to conduct advanced academic or professional studies.

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.): This degree is available in a wide range of subjects and focuses on academic research. Program length varies by subject and by student.
  • Doctor of Theology (Th.D.): This degree is available for individuals who are interested in advanced studies in religion-related subjects.
  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.): This is the terminal degree for educators. Program lengths vary but usually take at least three years of study.
  • Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.): These professional degrees are for aspiring physicians and take four years of study to complete.

Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.): Individuals who want to become lawyers complete a three-year program to earn this degree.

 

“No degree shall ever be conferred in consideration of the payment of 
money or the giving of property of whatsoever kind.” PU/28-19/HD/002.