Graduation gift ideas? Yes please.

Enough of photo-frames and university memorabilia.

This a list of graduation gifts ideas those completing their PhDs will actually love, USE, and be GRATEFUL for.

#1 An all-expense-paid Spa treatment

There are certain experiences needed but hard to justify on one’s wallet.

After a long stretch (years) of sleeping and waking up with one thing on your mind – the thesis – a relaxing spa treatment is the perfect therapy to wrap up this chapter of “life”.

#2 Clothes shopping voucher

Life is about to change – no more getting away with jammies in the “home office” as such.

A new wardrobe for the world out there is in order, and every little help counts.

#3 A “professorial” handbag

“I would have loved a gorgeous professorial bag as a doctoral gift…”

The 15-inch classic batchel from the Cambridge Satchel company comes highly recommended by the Stylish Academic Community (Facebook group).

We also hear The Leather Satchel Company (LSC) in Liverpool, UK, are better for customising satchels if you need that.

Here’s a review:

I’ve got 3 gorgeous LSC bags with extended straps. I bought a Cambridge Satchel bag first – that’s nice, but too short so got donated to my Mum 🙂 I’m 6ft 2, so longer body needs a longer shoulder strap or it looks ridiculous. Cambridge couldn’t extend the strap. 

One of my LSC bags even has customised secret pockets for 2 x sanitary towels! Now that’s stylish 🥂

Click to join the Stylish Academic Community on Facebook

#4 A Masterclass voucher

You can never learn too many skills, especially when you can select from an array of options to find the best fit for you.

From photography to cooking, or even writing (non-academic for public engagement?) – there’s something new to pick up.

If not Masterclass, there are other online learning options – PluralSight (for those interesting in tech skills), Lynda etc.

#5  A Fountain Pen

Pens are an iconic representation of knowledge.

No other gift could be more apt for the occasion.

Stylish Academic Community:

“My family gave me a beautiful fountain pen, and a book with my initials embossed in the cover.”

” I’d love to upgrade my fountain pen to a Mont Blanc… with a beautiful leather case to match… Maybe Dr C… will earn one in the future…!”

#6 Cover the cost of the graduation robe (or a fraction of it)

We are talking about practical gifts here.

Rather than buy the graduating student something they’ll chuck in the basement, contribute towards something they will always remember you for – the regal robes.

Stylish Academic Community:

“My parents paid for my doctoral robes when I finished my PhD. I remember that every May when I break them out for graduation. 😀…”

#7 Stylish Footwear

Truth be told, you can never have too many pairs of Black shoes.

Stylish Academic Community:

“I’d get myself a fancy pair of low block heels or flats which are my fave (probably Manolos, or the Valentino studs ones or the Ferragamo signorina ones), partially as a memory/treat/investment for myself for the occasion.

For my BA graduation my parents got me a set of necklace+bracelet+earrings to wear on the day of and every time I wear them I remember the occasion.”

#8 A Stylish Leather laptop bag

Stylish Academic Community:

“I got myself a leather laptop bag 💼 would have been thrilled receiving it as a gift.”

#9 A set of lovely business cards

“A set of lovely business cards – something with a research-related design perhaps. So much nicer than giving out scraps of paper with hastily scribbled email addresses.”

#10 Help with moving expenses…

Believe it or not – this is a gift the graduate will forever be grateful to you for.

Here are some comments from the Stylish Academic Community:

“There is the boring but extremely practical gift of ‘help with moving expenses’.

Post-Ph.D jobs differ wildly in the amount and structure of their moving allowances, can easily need to float a few $K to move across the country.”

And this gift idea is seconded:

“My grandma did that when I started my PhD (Canada to UK move) it helped so damn much. Paying for my move back right now and it’s costing me about $1k canadian when all is said and done. Ouch!”


Do you have anymore gift ideas? Drop us a line here!