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Honorary Degrees

Overview and Nomination Process

The University of Houston System seeks to honor outstanding individuals in fields such as public service, the arts and sciences, the professions, business, religion, and philanthropy. Nominations are invited for individuals of true distinction and/or who have made exceptional contributions to the University of Houston.  An honorary degree should honor the recipient, the University, and the System.

According to University of Houston System Board of Regents Policy 21.02 "Employees and regents of the system and officials currently holding elective offices are ineligible to receive honorary degrees; however, persons of national prominence in their field are excepted from this restriction."

The selection process consists of the following:

  1. Nominations are accepted at any time, with a formal request for nominations distributed to key support groups each year.
  2. An internal advisory committee will review nominations.
  3. The names of the candidates identified as acceptable by the advisory committee will be given to the Chancellor with appropriate documentation.
  4. From that list, the Chancellor will recommend who should be awarded an honorary degree during either fall or spring commencement.
  5. The Board will provide guidance to the Chancellor in the final selection process.

To assist the advisory committee in its deliberations, please include the following items for consideration:

  • A letter of nomination describing the nominee's qualifications relative to the criteria given above;
  • Curriculum vitae or professional resume of the nominee;
  • A completed UHS Honorary Degree Nomination Form. Feel free to reproduce the form and vary the length of sections, but the document should be limited to two pages;
  • Other supporting letters, pertinent data, or additional relevant information that may be deemed appropriate.

Please refrain from contacting the nominee. The advisory committee will be required to preserve the confidentiality of the nominations as well.

As you are no doubt aware, it is required that honorary degree recipients attend the award ceremony. In order to enhance the likelihood that those selected to receive honorary degrees, who are typically very busy people, will be able to schedule participation in award related events. Accordingly, please submit nominations and supporting information on or before Friday, September 27, 2019. Please submit nominations to facultyaffairs@uh.edu or to the below address:

University of Houston
204 E. Cullen Building
Houston, Texas 77204-2019
Attn: Faculty Affairs

For your convenience, a listing of the past University of Houston System honorary doctoral degree recipients are also located on this site and biographies for past recipients can be found here.

Thank you for your interest and participation in this process.