Honorary Degrees Granted by the College

Harvey Mudd College awards honorary doctoral degrees in engineering, science, and humane letters (all honoris causa). Names of candidates may be submitted by anyone to the president by January 1. If the president supports the nomination, it must be brought to the faculty Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure (RPT) Committee by February 1 to be considered for the following commencement. The selection criteria state that the recipient:

  • Must have made extraordinarily distinguished contribution to the advancement of engineering, science, or a related field; or
  • Must have a record of extraordinary contributions to society consonant with the ideal embodied in a Harvey Mudd College education; or
  • Must have made extraordinary contributions of some form to Harvey Mudd College.

Honorary degrees are considered precious by the college community and are awarded with great selectivity.

The RPT Committee screens all nominations for honorary degrees, serving as the President’s Advisory Committee on Honorary Degrees. The committee advises the president of those candidates who, in its opinion, meet the qualifications for an honorary degree at the College. If the president chooses to recommend one or more of these candidates for an honorary degree, their names are given to an appropriate committee of the board of trustees following confirmation by the faculty. Thus, no name is presented to the full board without screening by the RPT Committee and approval by the faculty, the president, and a committee of the board of trustees.

RecipientYear Awarded
Terence Tao2022
Fei Fei Li2022
Richard Tapia2017
Barbara Patocka P002017
Malcom Lewis ’672012
R. Michael Shanahan2011
Freeman A. Hrabowski2010
Mae C. Jemison2007
Henry E. Riggs2006
E. H. Clark2006
Trude Taylor2002
Joseph J. Jacobs1993
J. Arthur Campbell1987
Henry T. Mudd1982
Joseph B. Platt1981
John Lee Atwood1979
Raymond A. Hill1973
Ralph M. Parsons1971
Honorary Degree Recipients