The conferment of doctoral degrees is the most important and most traditionalized of the academic ceremonies. The Swedish word promovera comes from the Latin word promovere and means moving forward; promote. Only the ones that have a degree of Doctor of Philosophy can be conferred.

The Swedish term for the inauguration act, installation, comes from the ritual of introducing a newly appointed canon (cathedral clergyman) to his place in the choir, stallum, in Latin.

The ceremony in the Stockholm City Hall begins with massed standards – the Swedish flag, the Stockholm University standard and different student standards and flags – carried by students.

After the Vice-Chancellor's welcoming speech the ceremony continues with the inauguration of new professors. While the conferment is related to the individual faculties, with a particular conferrer appointed by the faculty, the inauguration is an activity common to the entire university. Hence it is the Vice-Chancellor who installs the newly appointed professors.

The use of an inaugural lecture in the academic ceremony probably comes from the turn of the twentieth century. The idea was that the ceremony should have some elements of instruction.

The conferment of new doctors follows the inauguration. The main idea is that the new doctor, promovendi, should go up one side of the stairs and then down the other side. This symbolizes a transition from one stage of the educational career to the next. The conferrer (who provides the promovendi with their credentials through the insignia, also a doctor and appointed by the faculty) and the promovendi meet on the rostrum, and various insignia are handed over. This is repeated for honorary doctors, jubilee doctors and new doctors four times, one for each faculty. The conferrer decides whether (s)he wants to confer the degrees in Latin or Swedish.

Insignia

presented at the conferment ceremony: The doctoral cap is the symbol of freedom and power, and is given only to honorary doctors and new doctors at the Faculty of Law, while the crown of laurels – also a symbol of freedom – is given to honorary doctors and new doctors at the faculties of Philosophy (Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Science). The diploma – the written evidence of graduation – is given to all doctors, including the ‘jubilee’ doctors. It is written in Latin. The ring symbolizes the loyalty to the science and is given only to the honorary doctors.

Student marshals

are present to assist during the ceremony. They are active in student unions and faculty associations at Stockholm University.

Photographs and live broadcast

taken during the ceremony can be found under "Previous ceremonies".

The ceremony is broadcast live on su.se/play and can also be viewed afterwards on the same page.