Honorary Degrees at USC

Since Commencement 1912, the University of Southern California has awarded honorary degrees, presently the highest award the university confers. Honorary degrees are given:

  • To honor individuals who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary achievements in scholarship, the professions or other creative activities, whether or not they are widely known by the general public;
  • To honor alumni and other individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the welfare and development of USC or the communities of which they are a part;
  • To recognize exceptional acts of philanthropy to the university and/or on the nation or world scene; and
  • To elevate the university in the eyes of the world by honoring individuals who are widely known and highly regarded for achievements in their respective fields of endeavor.

The honorary degree process is managed in the Office of the Provost. The Chair of the Honorary Degrees Committee is Margo Apostolos, Associate Professor of Dance, USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Any faculty, staff, student, alumni member or USC Trustee is invited to nominate a potential candidate.

President C. L. Max Nikias with 2016 honorary degree recipient Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

President C. L. Max Nikias with 2016 honorary degree recipient Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

  • Honorary Degrees

    Office of the Provost, ADM 204
    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA 90089-4019
    Telephone: (213) 740-6715
    E-mail: laux@provost.usc.edu