The Doctoral Sword

Anyone considering furthering their education to the PhD level really needs to take their degree in Finland. Why? Because when you receive your PhD there, you are presented with both a doctoral hat and a doctoral sword. Even their hats are awesome, but a sword? Wow.

The hats are hand-made top hats with different badges to denote your school and field of study. Here are some examples from the University of Jyväskylä:

Doctoral hat for the Doctors of Philosophy and Psychology

Doctoral hat for the Doctors of Health Sciences

Hat and Sword from the University of Oulu

Hat and Sword, University of Oulu

Why a sword?

The Doctor’s Sword is a symbol for the scientist’s fight for what he or she, in rigorous research, has found to be good, right and true.

In Finland, the only sort of sword allowed in conferment ceremonies is the officially certified civilian sword of the independent republic of Finland. It comes with a black or golden clip and a scabbard with a golden University Emblem.

Both male and female doctors are required to wear a sword in the conferment ceremony of the University of Oulu. The sword is worn on the left side; men wear the sword in a clip, for which a sturdy loop needs to be sown in the trousers. The sword is held firmly in place by a clasp in the scabbard. Women have to carry the sword in a manner suitable for their outfit because the material of the evening gowns cannot support the scabbard. If a female doctor does not want to carry the sword attached to their outfit, it can be carried in hand.

Seriously, is there a better reason for choosing a school?

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