Nominations for Honorary Degrees

TO: Members of Council and Court, Heads of Academic Departments and Centres (who may wish to raise the subject within their Department or Centre), all members of staff and students, alumni (via York Alumni Association).

The Honorary Associations Committee is seeking nominations for honorary degrees. These awards are presented at Graduation ceremonies in January and July. They seek to recognise extraordinary individuals who represent the University’s vision, values and excellence and will inspire our graduating students.

The Committee welcomes nominations which fulfil one or more of the following criteria:

  • distinction achieved by our own alumni
  • academic or professional distinction in a field of specific interest to a department or to the University
  • distinction achieved by people associated with the city of York and the wider region
  • distinction in a field consistent with the general ethos of universities as a place of education, learning, achievement and free enquiry
  • distinction as an innovator or entrepreneur.

Nominations should:

  • be for individuals who show distinction beyond their paid role
  • represent and reflect the diverse communities and cultures within the University, the city of York and beyond
  • reflect the international outlook and ambitions of the University
  • reflect the interdisciplinary approach of the University
  • demonstrate a link to the University or the opportunity to forge a new relationship of mutual benefit.

The Committee considers all nominations in accordance with the University’s Equal Opportunities policies and in the context of:

  • broad academic areas, eg sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities
  • an international perspective.

Please note that the University does not award honorary degrees to current members of staff or serving politicians.

The nomination schedule and deadlines will be announced each year to members of the University, members of Council, students and alumni. Proposers should complete the Honorary Graduate nomination form 2019 (MS Word , 31kb) and return to Judy Selman (, External Relations by the stated deadline.

At least one nomination from each department and research unit would be welcomed for consideration by the Committee. Such nominations would be additional to and equally weighted with those from individual members of the University.

The Honorary Associations Committee will meet to consider nominations for 2020/21 in December 2019. Nominations should therefore reach by 11 November 2019, at the latest. 

Joan Concannon

Director of External Relations

October 2019

You can see the list of previous honorary graduates on our past ceremonies page.