Frequently asked questions

Do I have the right to take part in the conferment ceremony? 

The conferment ceremony to be held in the summer of 2023 is open to all who have completed a doctoral degree in either theology or philosophy at the Faculty of Theology after the previous doctoral conferment ceremony held in June 2017. The last meeting of the Faculty Council where doctoral theses providing eligibility for conferment participation can be approved will take place on 18 April 2023. This means that the public examination of the thesis must be held by 15 March 2023 at the latest.  


Can I attend the conferment ceremony without a hat? 

Doctoral graduands cannot take part in the conferment ceremony without a doctoral hat, as the conferrer places the hat on the head of each graduand as insignia of the degree and title of doctor. The audience and invited guests do not have to wear a doctoral hat, but any doctors among them must carry their hats with them and put them on when the conferrer gives the sign. 


Where can I acquire a doctoral hat? 

Doctoral hats are sold by several hat makers. For further information, see the Doctoral hats page. However, the hat does not have to be your own, as it can also be borrowed. Nevertheless, the hat must be the purple doctoral hat of the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki. 


Can I take part in another conferment ceremony if I am unable to attend this one? 

Unfortunately, you cannot, if you do not complete another degree. Academic titles are conferred at a conferment ceremony only once. If you are unable to attend, the title will be conferred in absentia, and you will not have the opportunity to attend another conferment ceremony. 


I have participated in a conferment ceremony before, and it was fun. Can I attend another ceremony? 

Unfortunately, that is impossible. Academic titles are conferred at a conferment ceremony only once. 


Do I have to attend all of the various conferment festivities?  

The conferment festivities include a number of events held from 8 to 10 June 2023: a rehearsal of the conferment ceremony, a rector’s reception, the conferment ceremony, a conferment dinner and an excursion. If you take part in the conferment ceremony, participation in the rehearsal is compulsory. The other events are voluntary, but everyone participating in the conferment ceremony is welcome to all of them. 


On what basis do newly conferred doctors and guests go to the church service or the secular event?  

At their own discretion, newly conferred doctors and guests will attend either a church service or a secular event. The conferment participants move to these events in a joint procession, which splits into those attending the service at the Helsinki Cathedral and those attending the secular event at the National Library of Finland. The Master of Ceremonies and the Head Marshal will guide the processions. 


Who can I choose as my companion? I don’t have a companion, is that a problem?  

You can choose anyone as your companion, such as a friend, partner or family member. However, they must be at least 18 years of age. You can register for the conferment ceremony without a companion. 


Are the events associated with the conferment ceremony accessible? 

The locations for the conferment festivities have been chosen with accessibility in mind. The events will be held in a number of locations indoors and outdoors. Detailed accessibility information will be announced as part of the programme. If you have questions about accessibility, please contact the conferment committee. 


What is the dress code for the conferment festivities? 

Specific dress codes apply to the events included in the conferment festivities. For instructions, see the Dress code and etiquette page. 


I have the formal clerical robe known as ‘Vuokko’. Can I wear it at the conferment ceremony? What about the clerical robe known as ‘Valonsäde’? 

Yes, both robes can be worn. However, a long skirt must be worn with the Valonsäde robe. 


Can I attend conferment festivities in a national costume? 

No, you cannot, since national costumes are not considered formal academic attire. 


I will attend the conferment dinner as an invited guest, and I wish to wear a black evening gown. Is that okay? 

You can wear a black gown, accessorising it with, for example, a colourful scarf and a small bag.  


Can family members attend the conferment ceremony? 

The conferment ceremony will take place in the Great Hall of the University of Helsinki, where space is limited. In addition to their companion, each graduand may invite up to three individuals to the conferment ceremony.  


Is photography and video recording permitted? 

The conferment committee is responsible for capturing all conferment events by organising their photography. Graduands will be notified of the distribution and sale of photographs and the conferment ceremony booklet after the conferment ceremony. During the conferment ceremony, photography and video recording in the Great Hall are strictly prohibited due to the dignified nature of the event. Graduands are also expected to notify their companions and other guests attending the events of these photography and video-recording restrictions. Attendees of the church service, the secular event and the related processions are also asked not to take photographs at the time.