Difference of Honorary Doctoral Degree (H.C) and PhD

A heated debate has erupted on social media, especially in Tanzania after Geita Urban MP Joseph Kasheku Musukuma being  awarded  doctoral  Degree of Hon in Politics and Leadership by the American Academy of Universal  Global  Peace.

The debate has been sparked by arguments over whether Musukuma will use the ‘Dr.’ identity before his name or not. Before answering that question, it is important to note the differences between these two identities.

Through her Instagram page, Godlisten Malisa has described in detail the differences between the two. He explained that they are different as the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is studied in the classroom, is being researched, and the research is being defended by a panel of professors. But the Honorary Doctorate is awarded without being read to anyone who has done something great that has touched society.

The relevant college board sits down and watches over the person who has done something great for the community and they award him or her an Honorary Doctorate as a way to recognize his or her contribution. For example, the University of Dar es Salaam, Department of Arts (FPA) may award Diamond Platnumz an Honorary Doctorate as a way to recognize his contribution to the promotion of the arts through music.

There are many types of doctorates degrees. Just for few there  are , Bachelor of Medicine (MD), a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), a Doctor of Laws (LLD), and a Degree in Church Law (JCD) and a Doctor of Honor Degree.

Examples of such degrees can be distinguished by looking at these people and the degrees they have. Dr. Benson Bagonza (PhD), Dr. Chris Cyrilo (MD), Dr. Wilbroad Slaa (JCD), Dr. Seng’ondo Mvungi (LLD) and Dr. Jakaya Kikwete (Hon).

There is no law, regulation or guideline that prevents a person with an Honorary Doctorate degree from having an ‘Dr.’ identity prior to his or her name, although some do not, and those who receive a doctorate by reading, some do not like to see those who are given respectable use of that identity.

Examples of recipients but do not use them include Bill Clinton who has been awarded three times, Mwl. Julius Nyerere has been awarded eight times by various prestigious colleges and most recently Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Manchester University, one of the largest in the world, but does not call himself Dr. Rashford.

Thus, the issue of whether or not to use that identity is often a personal one.

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