Academic insignia

Each person participating in the Conferment Ceremony is responsible for obtaining their own master’s ring or doctor’s hat and sword. Doctor promovendi can not take part in the Conferment Act without a doctoral hat and sword, nor can a Master promovendus do so without a master’s ring. It is not compulsory to purchase them, as they can also be borrowed. Only masters and doctors who have had their academic rank conferred upon them are allowed to use the academic insignia.

Information on other accessories and insignia worn during the Conferment Ceremony may be found under Dress codes.

Doctoral hat

The Finnish doctoral hat resembles an old-fashioned top hat. The hat is decorated with a golden insignia in the velvet ribbon and is custom-made by a milliner. Traditionally the colour of the hat has been black, green, red or violet, but different academic disciplines may have their own colours. At the Faculty of Social Sciences the hat is black.

In the Conferment Act, also doctors participating as guests will wear their doctoral hats. The hat is carried into the hall on the left hand with the insignia pointing forward, and it is put on and taken off simultaneously with the Conferrer. The newly conferred doctor promovendi will wear their hats during the luncheons, dinners and ball; other doctors may use the hat in these event if they wish. As a general rule for participants carrying a doctoral hat, it should be worn whenever the Conferrer is wearing their hat.

N.B. The companions of the promovendi (namely the wreathweavers and the swordwhetters) may not wear the doctoral hat in any of the events of the Ceremonial Conferment. By doing so they allow their promovendi’s newly acquired academic insignia the attention they deserve.

Doctoral sword

The doctoral sword used in Finland is the State’s official civilian sword, designed by Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Its accessories include a sheath and a black or a golden holder. The sword can additionally be adorned with the university’s golden insignia. The promovendi carry to sword on their waist on the left side.

Men carry their swords on their belt in the holder, for which a link may be sewn into the trousers.

Women may need to get creative in designing how to attach the holder onto their dresses, since dress materials often will not withstand the weight of a sheathed sword if attached directly onto the fabric. Instead, the holder can be attached e.g. to a black silk ribbon worn over the shoulder, to the belt of the skirt or, in case of a two-piece dress, the suspension can be hidden beneath the upper portion. The sword may also be carried in hand.

The sword may also be borrowed, however a doctor promovendus may not take part in the Conferment Act without a sword. If you wish to borrow a sword, another Faculty’s or another Finnish university’s doctoral sword is acceptable, as long as it is an official civilian sword. Military swords, foreign doctoral swords or swords made for other purposes may not be used.

Finally, a doctor’s degree graduate may acquire a doctoral sword also without participating to the Ceremonial Conferment. The sword is engraved with the bearer’s name and the date of their thesis defense.

Master’s ring

A golden ring has been an insignia of academic status since the 19th century. In the Ceremonial Conferment, master promovendi will wear the ring on top of their gloves, however in all other academic events the ring is worn under the glove similarly to other rings. The master’s ring is worn on the index finger of the left hand. In the Conferment Act the ring need not be an official master’s ring, one can also substitute a plain gold ring without gemstones, engravings on the outside, or other embellishments. The ring can also be borrowed, and it can be worn above the knuckle so that the glove does not have to be considered in its measurement.

Master’s wreath

The master’s wreath is made by the promovendi’s companion, the wreathweaver, at the wreathweaving ceremony. The promovendi participating solo (without a companion) will have a wreath made for them by the official wreathweaver and their assistants. The Conferment Committee will supply the materials for the wreaths. As the wreaths are constructed on a ribbon base, the promovendi are asked to inform the Conferment Committee of their hat size in the registration form. Especially ladies’ hairstyles may require a slightly larger hat size than they would usually wear, to avoid the wreath being too tight or uncomfortable.

After the Conferment Act, the wreath is worn in the dinner and in the ball, but not on the picnic.

The wreath is best kept fresh by spraying it in water and wrapped in a damp cloth or a towel and storing it in the fridge. Once the festivities are over, the wreath can be dried and stored in a similar manner to e.g. a wedding flower bouquet. In earlier days, the wreath was often pressed.

Doctoral hats available at:

E.R. Wahlman Oy
Bespoke doctoral hats handmade in Finland since 1901. Price €745 including box and lyra cockade, -10% discount for honorary doctors. Doctoral swords also available. Head measurements available without appointment at the shop during opening hours: Mon-Fri 10-17, Sat 10-14.

Sofiankatu 5,
00170 Helsinki
Tel. 09 634 313

Melanders Hattfabrik
Doctoral hat €629. Head measurements take place at the office in Vallila on 29.2.2016 and on 17.3.2016. If the order is placed at the measurement event the price is €599.

Enquiries and bookings:
0400 485 536
Nilsiänkatu 10–14 B
00510 Helsinki

Ateljee Lyolène
Master milliner Kirsti Valtonen

Doctoral hat: €560 inc. VAT.

Enquiries and bookings:
Tel. 040 532 4883
Alkutie 24–26 b 13
00550 Helsinki

Hattuateljee Memmu Lankila
Master milliner Memmu Lankila

Doctoral hat €585 inc. lyre cockade, case and VAT.

Enquiries and bookings:
Tel. 0400 633 799
Itäinen Teatterikuja 5
00100 Helsinki

Hattuliike Kristiina Kivelä
Master milliner Kristiina Kivelä

Doctoral hat €560.

Enquiries and bookings:
Tel. 050 550 1103
Rauhankatu 12 a C
20100 Turku

Tohtorinhatut Harvest EB
Doctoral hat €570 or €545 if ordered before 31 March. The price includes the hat with a lyre cockade, case, delivery, measurements and VAT. Delivery time 5-8 weeks, express delivery 4 weeks. Doctoral swords available as well.
Head measurements in downtown Helsinki:
Suomen Pukuvuokraamo Oy
Fredrikinkatu 57
00100 Helsinki
Bookings tel. 010 440 1900

The shop also offers quality outfits for sale and for rent for ladies and gentlemen. Doctoral hats are also available for rent, please enquire above. Partner shops for head measurements can be found elsewhere in Finland as well, please see Harvest EB’s website for further information.

Doctoral swords and master’s rings available at

Oy A. Tillander Ab
Doctoral sword €360 (normal price €495). Engraving is included in the price. Delivery time circa 3 weeks.

Enquiries and bookings:
Tel. 020 7000 620
Aleksanterinkatu 17
00100 Helsinki

Au-Holmberg Oy

Doctoral swords: The price is 225 € for promovendi and 205 € for honorary doctors (inc. VAT). The price includes a sword (85 cm or 95 cm) with engravings, University of Helsinki’s emblem wth 24 carat gilding, a belt clip and a fabric pouch. Delivery options include collection in person from the shop in Turku, postage (15 €) or a joint delivery to the University in May 2016. All orders should be placed in the online store at by 31 March 2016.

Master’s ring from 14-carat gold, hand engraving and a case

  • Sizes 18 and below: 330 € + delivery 10 €
  • Sizes 18.5–20: + 20€.
  • Sizes 20.5–22: + 40€.

All orders should be placed in the online store at The ring will be delivered by mail in a registered letter to the recipient. Orders should be placed by 10 May 2016.

02 231 6419
Itäinen Rantakatu 64,
20810 Turku

Oy A. Tillander Ab
Doctoral sword 360 € (normal price 495 €) inc. engraving. Delivery time circa three weeks. Master’s rings also available, please enquire below.

020 7000 620
Aleksanterinkatu 17
00100 Helsinki

Oy Tillander Ab
The Faculty of Social Science’s Master’s rings are available on order, please enquire further below.

044 740 3385
Keskuskatu 4,
00100 Helsinki

W.K.C. Stahl- und Metallwarenfabrik
German manufacturer with history going back to the middle ages. Manufactures some 25000 swords annually for military, police academies and universities worldwide. Experience in producing Finnish doctoral swords for many years. The Finnish doctoral sword is equipped with the university crest and comes with a scabbard, a protective cloth case, a cleaning cloth and a certificate of origin. The price, 280 € includes a name engraving as well as VAT and shipping costs. Orders and further information at

W.K.C. Stahl- und Metallwarenfabrik
Attn. Mr. André Willms
Managing Director
Hans Kolping GmbH & Co. KG
Wittkullerstr. 140-144
42719 Solingen
Tel.: +49 (0)212 2338090