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Finding Graduation Gifts for PhD and Doctoral Students This Graduation Season

Northcentral University, NCU, Graduation

What graduation gift might be right for a PhD or doctoral student? Graduate students spend years of their lives working toward this momentous achievement. Here are some ways to honor those graduating with a higher degree.

Give the Gift of Relaxation

After many years of hard work, offer your graduate the gift of relaxation. A wonderful graduation gift for a PhD or doctoral student might be sending them off for a day at the spa. You can opt for one of the many reputable day spas available nationally, or pick a local favorite wherever your graduate lives.

Money is an Evergreen Graduation Gift

Although some might worry that money may seem to be impersonal graduation gifts for PhD and doctoral students, many graduates would welcome financial gifts. For those who want to personalize a monetary gift, jot down a few memories in a card.

Get Creative with Gift Certificates

There are a variety of gift certificates available to give as graduation gifts for PhD and doctoral students. These can range from those you will find at the grocery store—gift cards for major chain restaurants, department stores, and retailers—to gift certificates you can purchase at local businesses or restaurants.

If your graduate has a favorite shop, ask if you can purchase a gift certificate. Even if they don't have formal certificates, most shop owners can create something for you to give as special graduation gifts for doctoral students in your life.

Splurge on Electronic Gadgets

If you are looking for a bit of a splurge for graduation gifts for PhD and doctoral students, consider electronic gifts. These can vary from a set of noise-cancelling headphones or a tablet to a computer, table or smartphone case.

Again, don't worry about the amount. Do what feels comfortable for your budget and your graduate will appreciate the time and thought you put into it.

Invest in a Personal Accessory

Nothing says congratulations more than a personal accessory. For example, you might want to purchase a colorful scarf, a leather portfolio, briefcase, ink pen or wallet.

You can even customize the leather items with a name or initials, making them ideal graduation gifts for PhD students.

Book a Vacation for Your Graduate

After years of focusing on a single subject, often at personal sacrifice, one of the best graduation gifts for PhD and doctoral students can be a vacation.

While you may not be able to splurge on an all-expense paid getaway to Europe, you can book a quiet retreat in the country or a couple of nights at the beach. For a graduate who has spent the past few years staying up late to study and work on a dissertation, even a gourmet meal for two at a special restaurant would be a treat to remember.

Other getaway ideas include booking a rental car for a cross-country drive, a ride on a vintage railroad, a stay in a B&B, or a wine country escape.

Give a Liquid Gift

Popular graduation gifts for PhD and doctoral students are bottles of wine, champagne or spirits.

If you know your graduate enjoys a particular mixed drink, you might want to provide that spirit, all the mixings and a sampling of popular drink recipes they can try. If you aren't sure exactly which wines or spirits to purchase, you can ask a local wine shop owner for a recommendation.

Find an Online Creative Shop

If you want to find something unique and creative as graduation gifts for PhD students, check out the custom shops online at Etsy’s PhD marketplace. This online website is a place for artisans to display their wares and you can find a selection of graduation gifts designed with graduates in mind.

Gifts vary from cups emblazoned with the definition of a PhD to t-shirts that brag "dangerously overeducated" and "Ph.inisheD". There are also shops offering custom jewelry and items with the graduate’s name.

Give a Homemade Gift or Throw a Graduation Party

High demand graduation gifts for PhD and doctoral students are home baked goodies. These are fun ways to say congratulations. If you find yourself wanting to throw a party or get-together for the graduate, you can find inspiration—along with links to recipes and fun photos—on Pinterest.

With so many great ideas for graduation gifts for PhD and doctoral students, you can find an appropriate one to celebrate their significant achievement!  

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