Ceremonial Vocabulary

Absens meaning absent. Some jubilee doctors are unable to take part in the Conferment Ceremony but are nevertheless celebrated in their absence.

The conferment language is either Swedish or Latin, as the promoter chooses.

Conferment resister is the term for a PhD recipient who refuses to take part in the Conferment Ceremony. S/he is not included in the conferment program. The act is entirely voluntary.

Diploma, originally a written confirmation of the rights accruing to those who are being awarded their PhD degrees, nowadays given to everyone having a degree conferred. 

Doctor on the basis of completed examinations is the gist of the official Swedish term for Latin doctor iuvenis, pl doctores iuvenes, which is also often used.

Doctoral hat symbolises freedom but also power. It is black and pleated. The hat is given out at the Conferment Ceremony in the so-called higher faculties, that is, theology, law, medicine, and pharmacy.

Honorary doctorate or doctorate honoris causa is a distinction that the respective faculties bestow upon individuals they wish to honor and incorporate into their research community. 

Jubilee doctor is a title earned by individuals who received their doctoral degrees fifty years earlier at Uppsala University. 

Laurel wreath. The laurel was the tree of Apollo. The wreath is bestowed by the promoters at the so-called philosophical faculties. The tradition of crowning promovendi with laurel is only observed in Sweden and Finland.

The podium in the conferment context is called Parnassus, since it is not merely a lectern but also symbolises the sacred mountain of the Greek gods. When a provendus/provenda is guided by the promotor across Parnassus, the impression is that, from that moment, s/he is endowed with the right to be an academic teacher.

Promotor is the Latin term used in Swedish for the person conferring the doctoral degree; s/he is appointed by the relevant faculty and must be a professor and hold a doctorate.

Promovendus/a is the Latin term used in Swedish for the person about to be ‘promoted’, as it is termed in Swedish, that is, to have a doctoral degree conferred, pl promovendi; promotus/a is the term used for the person after the degree has been conferred, pl promoti.

The ring is of gold and symbolises fidelity to science/scholarship; the various faculties have different symbols to adorn the ring. At the ceremony it is bestowed only on the honorary doctors; doctors on the basis of completed examinations decide for themselves whether they wish to purchase a ring.

Last modified: 2024-01-19