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UPPS 02.03.01 - Honorary Doctoral Degrees

Honorary Doctoral Degrees

UPPS No. 02.03.01
Issue No. 3
Effective Date: 1/09/2020
Next Review Date: 10/01/2025 (E5Y)
Sr. Reviewer: Dean, Graduate College


    1. Texas State University selectively awards honorary doctorates to individuals who exemplify excellence in academic or philanthropic endeavors. Honorary doctorates may also be awarded to individuals who distinguish themselves through nationally or internationally significant achievements.

    1. This policy establishes a process for awarding honorary doctoral degrees to recognize excellence in public affairs, humanities, the arts, education, business, and the sciences.

    2. Honorary degrees at Texas State are awarded in accordance with guidelines of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which recognizes that honorary degrees may be appropriately awarded for scholarly achievement, attainments that demonstrate exceptional creativity, or distinguished service. The integrity of earned degrees, however, should be protected; therefore, SACSCOC discourages the awarding of earned degrees as honorary degrees or the use of terminology that implies such.


    1. The president appoints an Honorary Doctoral Degree Committee, upon receipt of a nomination, comprised of the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs (VPAA), who chairs the Committee, the dean of The Graduate College, one senior administrator, and two distinguished faculty members recommended by the Faculty Senate.

    2. The provost and VPAA will consider nominations submitted by members of the university community and friends of the university. The Committee reviews nominations for the following:

      1. evidence of extraordinary accomplishments in specified fields; and

      2. evidence of meritorious and outstanding contributions to the university, the state, the nation, internationally, or of distinguished contributions to humanity.

    3. The provost and VPAA calls a meeting of the Committee to determine if files should go forward to the president for consideration. The Committee and the provost and VPAA also recommend the specific honorary doctoral degree to be awarded from the listings below, as defined in The Handbook of College and University Administration:

      1. Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) – given to persons who have distinguished themselves in the humanities;

      2. Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) – given to a person distinguished in general service to the state, to learning, and to humankind;

      3. Doctor of Letters (Litt.D.) – given to scholars in particular disciplines; and

      4. Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) – given to persons who have made distinguished contributions and performed services in the sciences.

    4. The president, in consultation with the provost and VPAA, will determine the names and the degree titles that the university will recommend to the Board of Regents for honorary degrees. After review and approval by the Board of Regents, the president invites the individual who will be recognized to accept the honorary doctoral degree.

    5. The provost and VPAA and the dean of The Graduate College will coordinate the presentation of honorary doctoral degrees.


    1. Reviewers of this UPPS include the following:

      Position Date
      Dean, The Graduate College October 1 E5Y
      Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs October 1 E5Y
      Chair, Faculty Senate October 1 E5Y

    This UPPS has been approved by the following individuals in their official capacities and represents Texas State policy and procedure from the date of this document until superseded.

    Dean of The Graduate College; senior reviewer of this UPPS

    Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs