Honorary Degree

Who can be nominated

The Faculty Committee on Honorary Degrees is in the continuing process of developing a list of outstanding nominees to receive honorary degrees. The award of an honorary degree is a chance to bring attention to deserving individuals.

Nominees should meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Distinguished graduate of MSU (any field)
  • Distinguished scientist, humanist, scholar of the arts, or distinguished member of one of the professions (law, medicine, etc.)
  • Distinguished person in public life or business

Please note...

  • It has been the practice not to nominate members of our own faculty.
  • Self-nominations are not accepted.
  • Nominees do not need to have a connection with MSU, but should exemplify the values inherent in MSU's mission and values.
  • Nominations may be submitted by individual faculty (active or retired), a group of individuals with at least one MSU faculty member, or an academic unit at any time.

Invitations to nominees are issued only by the president of Michigan State University. In addition, the president retains the option of designating speakers for the commencement ceremonies to receive honorary degrees.


Submit a nomination

The committee typically meets near the beginning of fall and spring semesters. Next nomination deadline: September 4, 2018.

The nomination packet:

Information should be as complete as possible so that the committee will be able to arrive at a decision based on the material submitted. Each nomination must include the following documentation, assembled in this order:

  1. Honorary Degree Nomination Form (PDF). Note: The form now requires a dean’s signature.
  2. Nomination Statement (two-three pages) explaining why the nominee should be considered for an honorary degree from MSU.
  3. Supporting Letters (at least two) from qualified recommenders who are familiar with the professional accomplishments and achievements of the nominee. Must be SIGNED.
  4. Resume or Vita
  5. Other supporting materials as deemed necessary by the nominator.

Please note:

  • Incomplete nominations cannot be reviewed by the committee. 
  • Care should be taken so that candidates are not aware of their nomination.

Completed packets can be submitted electronically via a .pdf file to research@msu.edu or in hard copy form to the Faculty Committee on Honorary Degrees, c/o the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, 249 Administration Building, 426 Auditorium Rd., East Lansing, MI 48824-1046

Please call (517) 432-4499 with any questions.

Past honorary degrees awarded

Information for Honorary Degree Holders: How to Refer to Your Honorary Degree