The tradition of awarding honorary degrees at AUB began in 1890 when the university was known as the Syrian Protestant College (SPC). Honorary degrees were awarded irregularly between 1890 and 2003, with a total of twelve people being honored during that period.
In 2003, the tradition of awarding honorary degrees resumed after a long hiatus. Since then, honorary doctorates of humane letters have been awarded each year to individuals who are distinguished in specific fields and whose achievements reflect the ideals and mission of this university.
The president of the university, trustees, faculty members (individually or jointly), and other members of the university community can nominate candidates to receive honorary doctoral degrees from AUB.