Only staff (and retired staff) of the University and its Colleges, students and alumni of the University of Cambridge may nominate persons for consideration by the University Council’s Honorary Degree Committee.

Before making proposals, qualified nominators are asked to bear in mind the high standard indicated by previous recipients.

Make a nomination

Nominations can only be made by completing the nomination form [Word document] and returning it to the Secretary of the Honorary Degree Committee using the contact details on the form.

A nomination may remain under consideration for several years, and accordingly feedback on the progress of nominations, other than the acknowledgement of receipt, is not given.

There is no deadline for nominations for honorary degrees as we consider them on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Please note that the following will not be considered:

  1. Existing holders of honorary degrees of the University.
  2. Nominations from those who are neither staff (including retired staff) of the University or its Colleges, nor students, nor alumni of the University of Cambridge.
  3. Self-nominations or proposals where there is any reason to believe that the intended recipient has encouraged or been actively involved in the nomination.
  4. Nominations of active employees of the University or the Colleges are not usually considered and an exceptionally high standard will be applied in such cases. Active Assistant Staff cannot be considered.
  5. Nominations of serving political figures.

Approval process

All proposals are considered first by the Committee, and if supported by the Committee go on to the full Council. Only then, if also agreed by the Council, do they go before the Regent House, the University’s governing body, for final and public approval. Strict confidentiality must be observed until a proposal is published and submitted to the Regent House for approval at a Congregation.

By regulation, honorary degrees cannot be conferred in absence. If a proposal succeeds and an offer is made, the inability or unwillingness of the intended recipient to attend a Congregation for admission may prevent conferral.