Doctoral award ceremony

Last changed: 27 May 2024

The doctoral award ceremony at SLU is our largest academic ceremony. It is celebrated each year, usually at the beginning of October.

In 2025-2027, the ceremony will take place the following dates: 

  • 4 October 2025
  • 3 October 2026
  • 9 October 2027

The following awards are conferred at the ceremony: 

Doctors by examination, promovendi (doctores iuvenes)

Doctors who have defended their theses since the last doctoral award ceremony and who have received their doctor’s degree by 31 August the same year are entitled to participate in the award ceremony of that year. In April/early May, an enquiry is sent out to those registered to become new doctors asking if they wish to take part in that year’s doctoral award ceremony. It is possible to postpone participation in the award ceremony for up to three years. 

Practical information to promovendi about the doctoral award ceremony

Honorary doctors (doctores honoris causa)

The dignity of doctor honoris causa is awarded by the faculties to those they particularly want to honour, and tie to their research fellowship.  

Read more about honorary doctors at SLU  

Jubilee doctors (doctores jubilaris)

Jubilee doctors are those who were awarded their doctoral degree fifty years ago. Jubilee doctors are invited by their former faculty to celebrate this as a tribute of gratitude.  

Doctoral award ceremony

SLU's Doctoral award ceremony was held on 5 October 2019 in Uppsala. 1 jubilee doctor, 7 hoonorary doctors and 38 new doctors by examination were awarded their degrees and received the symbols of their doctoral dignity.


The doctoral award ceremony is the most important and most traditional of the academic ceremonies. The Swedish word “promovera” originates from the Latin promovere, which means bring forward, to promote. The tradition has its roots in the European Middle Ages and its universities, and it emphasises the transition from one stage of the educational career to the next. The tradition has gone through many changes during time, but the content and the symbolism of the ceremony remain more or less the same as 100 years ago.

During the doctoral award ceremony, certain insignias are handed out, i.e. objects that symbolise the dignity of the doctors.

  • Doctoral hat – symbolises freedom and power
  • Laurel wreath – a symbol of honour
  • Ring – symbolises fidelity to science
  • Diploma – the written proof of doctoral dignity

Read more about Swedish academic ceremonies and traditions (pdf)