top of page

Honorary Doctorate: Importance in the Current World

An honorary doctorate degree is not really a piece of paper; it is a prestige. It shows that you have been acknowledged for your achievements, and by receiving one, you are entitled to use the title "Dr." in front of your name.

However, there aren't many people who can call themselves “doctors” in this day and age. The number of honorary degrees has been skyrocketing in recent years.


The world has always been changing rapidly, and with developing technology, it has become even more progressive. The growing amount of new knowledge has made it increasingly difficult for people to obtain degrees from universities, so these honorary ones were created to acknowledge an individual's contribution or influence on the world.

In addition to those who have obtained their honorary doctorates through formal education, honorary doctorates can also be given to musicians and other artists who have reached an extraordinary level of success. They will receive an award for their outstanding performance in their respective fields.

Let's understand about an Honorary Degree

An honorary doctorate is a degree given to an individual in recognition of their accomplishments, which are not earned through a standard educational process.

  • The concept of awarding an honorary degree dates back to ancient times when the practice was used to recognize and honor successful poets, playwrights, philosophers, and public figures.

  • Today, honorary degrees are still awarded for a variety of reasons: for example, as a tribute to individuals who have made significant contributions to society in their field.

  • The recipients of honorary doctorates are most often accomplished professors or distinguished professionals in their fields.

  • Honorary degrees are generally not considered equal to earned degrees in academia; rather, they are comparable to awards like the Academy Award for Best Actor or the Nobel Prize.

  • In other words, these degrees may be used to honor those who have proven themselves worthy of such recognition without officially enrolling them in the academic community.

  • However, some universities do have regulations that allow honorary degree recipients to join the faculty or other official bodies at their institutions.

  • These individuals would be considered full members with all rights and privileges as any other faculty member at that university.

  • Honorary doctorates should not be confused with titles that individuals sometimes give themselves in order to seem more important than they really are—for example, "Dr." before the name.


Honorary Doctorates with the changes in the Educational Sector:

It's no secret that the traditional role of universities and colleges today is changing. As the modern world continues to evolve, so do the institutions that educate us.

More and more people are finding themselves with a desire to seek out knowledge and education, whether it be by taking classes at a community college or university, attending a lecture series, or even just watching educational videos on YouTube.

In order to meet these needs, some universities have taken it upon themselves to offer honorary doctorates to certain individuals who have made significant contributions in their fields:

  • People like Bill Nye for his work educating the public about science and technology;

  • Carl Sagan for his work as an astronomer and astrophysicist;

  • Jenny McCarthy for her efforts in championing scientific research into the causes and prevention of autism;

  • Dr. Oz for his work as a cardiothoracic surgeon and media personality;

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson for his work in popularizing science through various mediums;

  • Adam Savage for his work as co-host and co-creator of the Discovery Channel series "MythBusters";

  • Rebecca Skloot for her efforts in raising awareness about medical ethics;

  • Terry Pratchett for his works of fantasy fiction (he has been awarded an honorary doctorate of literature by the University of Warwick)


Facts about an Honorary Doctorate

There are plenty of reasons to get a degree and become a doctor: it's an incredibly fulfilling and lucrative career, you get to help people, and the list goes on. But nowadays, there's another reason that's just as important: the honorary PhD.

  • This degree isn't in the field of medicine or any other science field—it's in the field of being awesome. It doesn't take any tests, it doesn't take any studying, and it doesn't even have to be associated with an actual school.

  • The honorary degree of a contribution is earned simply by doing something epic and inspirational and then letting everyone know about it.

  • Getting your honorary doctorate is easy. All you have to do is set out to do something that seems impossible and then achieve it—and let the world know about it.

  • Pulling off a feat like this requires great skill and determination, and that's why it makes sense for you to be rewarded with a college degree in awesomeness for your hard work.

Some important information about an Honorary doctorate degree:

The honor associated with receiving an honorary doctorate is one of the highest honors a university or college can bestow upon a person.

  • A doctorate typically takes seven to eight years to earn, and it is usually reserved for individuals who have made significant contributions to the academic field.

  • Such individuals are often referred to as “Dr.” before their name, and most universities award these individuals with a doctorate whose title carries the same first name as theirs.

  • In some countries, honorary doctorates are not considered degrees at all (e.g., in the United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa).

  • In other countries, such as Canada, honorary degrees may be awarded by one university but accepted by others.

  • In some cases, such as in the United States and many European countries, universities will award an honorary degree based on a shortlist of criteria that were decided on by that university's governing board of directors.

  • This may include a length of service to the institution or the region of the world that the university serves, number or merit of published works, contributions to society, and so forth.


An honorary doctorate is a high-level academic recognition granted by a university to a recipient without completion of the normal requirements for that degree. Schools grant them to honor the recipient, while also benefiting the university by association.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page