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The following criteria are used to select honorary degree candidates:

1. Nominees should be distinguished individuals who have reached preeminent levels of distinction in their fields and made extraordinary contributions to society.

2. Nominees should represent prominent fields and values of Carnegie Mellon, particularly those that support the arts, humanities, and science and technology.

3. Nominees should have connections to the university (i.e. alumni, former faculty, friends or collaborators) and represent diversity and the university culture.