Honorary Doctorate


The honorary doctorate is the highest honor the University of Montana can confer upon an individual. Anyone affiliated with the University of Montana may submit a nomination for an honorary doctorate. Nominations can be submitted throughout the year using the nomination form. Consideration of nominations takes place during fall semester.

Selection Criteria

  • Honorary doctorates are awarded to individuals who have achieved a level of distinction which would merit comparable recognition in their profession or area of expertise.
  • Honorary doctorate nominees should have a connection to Montana by birth, residence, education, or service. Those nominees lacking a direct connection but whose extraordinary accomplishments have either benefited Montanans directly, or whose stature will serve as an outstanding role model to young people, may be considered and require special justification.
  • Current employees of the Montana University System are not eligible to be nominated for an honorary doctorate.

Nomination Process

  • Following initial review, nominators of qualified nominees will be invited to submit a full nomination consisting of the nominee’s CV and letters of support.
  • Full nominations will be reviewed by the department and school/college that would confer the honorary degree, followed by the UM Provost, President, and Faculty Senate.
  • Nominations are submitted to the Board of Regents for consideration in executive session in January, and for public approval in March.


  • All involved in the nomination of an individual for an honorary doctorate must maintain complete confidentiality at every step of the nomination and approval process.
  • More individuals are nominated for honorary doctorate degrees than can be awarded. Confidentiality about nominations is critical for this reason.

For more information, please see UM policy 340.