Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Outline of CUNY Criteria for Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees are intended to serve as a means by which the University can recognize the achievements of persons who have made significant contributions to the progress of the University, or its colleges, and to the principles for which the institutions stand or to their academic or professional disciplines. It is anticipated that honorary degrees will be proposed only for persons who clearly merit such consideration. In general, candidates for honorary degrees should fall in one or more of the following categories:

  • Persons of national or international reputation in an academic disciple that holds a significant place in the curriculum of the awarding college;

  • Persons who have made significant contributions in either thought or action to American higher education or in a professional field closely related to an academic interest of the University or the awarding college;

  • Persons who have made significant contributions over a sustained period of time to the development of major programs at the University or at one of its colleges;

  • Persons who have given long and distinguished service to the University or one of its colleges but who were not in its employ;

  • Persons who have made major contributions to furthering principles that are at the center of the University’s purpose and mission.

For purposes of considering candidates for honorary degrees, elected officials representing the State or City of New York shall not be eligible for consideration during their terms of office.