The Truth About Taylor Swift Getting Her Doctorate

Swifties will remember this moment all too well. New York University is giving singer-songwriter extraordinaire Taylor Swift an honorary doctorate degree in fine arts at the May 2022 commencement ceremony, per the university's March 28 press release — but what does that mean exactly? Colleges and universities have been known for bestowing those who have made significant contributions to the arts the honor. Celebrity recipients in the past have ranged from Kanye "Ye" West, whose honoris causa doctorate came from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, to J.K. Rowling, who received honorary doctorates on two separate continents, per Insider. In fact, the award-prone Meryl Streep has received four total honorary doctorates, three of which are from Ivy League schools.

Higher education institutions have faced much criticism for handing out such degrees, as these celebs haven't earned them in the traditional sense. If they wish to symbolically honor accomplishments in arts and other fields, "there must be thousands of unsung heroes and heroines in dozens of unknown workplaces who would provide better role models," education reform activist Nick Seaton wrote in a blog entry for The Guardian

However, given Swift's long discography of self-written songs and her equally long list of accolades, it's hard to argue that the "Carolina" singer has not earned her honorary degree. Here's what we know about the honor.

Dr. Taylor Swift becomes official on May 18

Taylor Swift might not have a high school or college diploma, but New York University has declared her a doctor. An NYU press release stated on March 28 that the singer-songwriter "will receive a Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, at the morning ceremony" on May 18, where she will also address the graduating class of 2022.

Swift, whose mom is a mutual fund marketing executive and dad is a stockbroker, according to The Netline, always believed she would join higher education. As we all know, things worked out differently for the 11-time Grammy-winner. "Both my parents went to college, so I thought that's what I was going to do, but life took a different turn," Swift told MTV in 2008, adding that college is "a wonderful tool to make you well rounded and get all these social networking skills."

Clearly, Swift's fans deemed her skills well-acquired already. As one tweeted, "It's about time Dr. Taylor Swift becomes a thing. I've been going to her for therapy for years." Another enumerated several of Swift's mighty accomplishments as justification, writing, "a singer, actress, grammy winner, artist of the decade, and now doctor of fine arts... there's nothing taylor swift can't do." Now, cue Swift's own lyrics from "Sweeter Than Fiction": "And there you'll stand, ten feet tall / I will say, I knew it all along." *Sniffle.*