Honorary Degrees

Illinois Honorary Degrees are awarded to individuals who have made a distinguished contribution to knowledge and creativity in a relevant field of endeavor, or have shown sustained activity of uncommon merit. The following inexhaustive list provides an example of activities from which such contributions may have been made:

  • Scholarship – major breakthroughs in knowledge in fields of scholarly work;
  • Creative Arts (literature, music, architecture, engineering, etc.) – the development of new frontiers of creativity;
  • Professions – distinguished contributions, innovative work of distinction;
  • Public Service – outstanding achievement in statesmanship, administration, legislative activity, the judiciary, non-governmental civic activity; or
  • Business, Industry, Labor – outstanding, innovative activity.

See current and past Honorary Degree recipients on the Commencement at Illinois website.

To learn more about the criteria and nomination process for Honorary Degrees, visit the Senate of the Urbana-Champaign Campus website.