The Doctoral Degree Ceremony held in September 2018 is the second such ceremony in the National Defence University. The degree ceremony is organised in honour of the Doctors of Military Sciences who have earned their doctorates since 2013 and also to confer 6 Doctors Honoris Causa.
The first doctoral decree ceremony was held in 1643, in what was then the Faculty of Philosophy in the Royal Academy of Turku, and the tradition has continued ever since. According to traditions, in the Doctoral Degree Ceremony those who will be conferred will receive the official right to carry the doctoral hat and sword.
The first doctoral degree ceremony of the National Defence University was held in 2013 to celebrate the very first Doctors of Military Sciences who had graduated after 2003 and to confer the first honorary doctorates.
The NDU's Doctoral Degree Ceremony will, to a large extent, follow Finnish academic traditions, but will also include some of its own long-standing traditions as Finland's only higher education institution in military sciences that enjoys the same status as universities.
The National Defence University’s Doctoral Degree Ceremony includes the sword ceremony in the eve of the actual degree ceremony, the conferment ceremony itself, the Doctoral Procession and a church service. The degree ceremony culminates in a formal dinner in the evening and the next day’s graduation cruise.
The National Defence University’s own traditions will also be visible during the events. Unlike in other universities, the doctoral swords of the Doctors of Military Sciences are swords of the Finnish Defence Forces.