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Tohtorinhatun mittalaite.

Doctoral hats are custom-made – no two are alike

This January has witnessed the taking of measurements for doctoral hats at the Kuopio Campus. In the doctoral conferment ceremony, young doctors will be given the right to use the insignia associated with the doctoral status, including a hand-made, custom fitted doctoral hat. As is traditional, the hatmakers E.R. Wahlman and Melanders Hattfabrik have organised measurement days on campus.

“I’m sure it will be a wonderful and dignified feeling to put on my very own doctoral hat,” said University Lecturer Virpi Jylhä at Melanders Hattfabrik’s measurement desk.

From the upcoming doctoral conferment ceremony, Jylhä is looking forward to festive academic traditions and happy reunions. “I’m sure there will be many memorable moments. I know that several people who have defended their dissertation in my own field in recent years will also be attending,” said Jylhä, who defended hers in health and human services informatics in 2017.

As a member of the Young Doctors’ Committee that helps with the arrangements, Jylhä is already tuned in to the conferment ceremony atmosphere.

“The honorary doctorates to be conferred in the ceremony also leave an important imprint on the event.”

The doctoral hat doesn’t lose its form

The doctoral hat is stiff and, unless made according to personal measurements, it won’t fit.  “No two heads are alike. A hat made for someone else rarely fits, even if the head circumference is the same,” said Lea and Christer Melander from Melanders Hattfabrik while taking measurements at the Kuopio Campus.

Using a conformateur, a device patented already in the 1850s, it takes just a few minutes from the Melanders to take the measurements. The hat is then made and ready for delivery in a couple of weeks’ time.

“This year, many large universities are holding a doctoral conferment ceremony, so we’ll be busy,” Christer Melander said.

In Kuopio, too, many came by to have their measurements taken. “People are pleased when they can have their measurements taken on their own campus.”

The Melanders noted that nowadays, many doctors have long hair. The hat, however, takes precedence over the hairdo.

“A bun hairdo works well when fixed with some hair spray. One can still fluff out the hair despite having worn the hat all day,” Lea Melander said.

According to her, the Savo region is traditionally where the largest heads are measured, although not this time.

“There is variation in head sizes and shapes across Finland. We have so much material on heads that someone could even do research on the topic.”

According to Christer Melander, the size and shape of a person’s head remains relatively unchanged throughout adulthood.

“The doctoral hat will fit for the rest the life.”

The doctoral conferment ceremonies are held every five years

Doctoral conferment ceremonies are held on both campuses of the University of Eastern Finland every five years. Doctoral degree holders who have graduated from the Faculty of Science and Forestry, the Faculty of Health Sciences or the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies of the University of Eastern by 29 February 2020 are welcome to participate in the doctoral conferment ceremony in Kuopio this summer. In addition, doctoral degree holders who have graduated from the University of Kuopio earlier are also welcome to attend.

Conferment ceremony website and registration:

For further information, please contact:

Conferment Ceremony Coordinator Kirsi Bykachev, kirsi.bykachev (a), tel. +358503634819

Tohtorinhattua sovitetaan Kirsi Jylhälle.
Christer and Lea Melander taking Virpi Jylhä’s head measurements for the doctoral hat.