Ordre des Palmes Académiques

Ordre des Palmes académiques

Insignia of Commandeur
Awarded by  France
Type Order of Merit with 3 degrees:
Awarded for Distinguished contributions to education or culture
Status Active
Established Decoration: 1808
Order: 1955
Next (higher) Resistance Medal
Next (lower) Order of Agricultural Merit



Ribbon bars of the Order

The Ordre des Palmes académiques (Order of Academic Palms) is a national order of France for distinguished academics and figures in the world of culture and education. Originally a decoration founded by Emperor Napoléon to honour eminent members of the University of Paris, it was changed into its current form as an Order on 4 October 1955 by President René Coty.

The early Palmes académiques was instituted on 17 March 1808 and was bestowed only upon teachers or professors. In 1850 the decoration was divided into two known classes:[1]

In 1866, the scope of the award was widened to include major contributions to French national education and culture made by anyone, including foreigners. It was also made available to any French expatriates making major contributions to the expansion of French culture throughout the rest of the world.

Since 1955 the Ordre des Palmes académiques has comprised three grades, each grade having a fixed number of recipients:

Decisions on nominations and promotions are decided by the Minister of Education. For those not connected to state-sponsored public education, or the Ministry of National Education, these honours are announced on 1 January, New Year's Day. For all others, they are made on 14 July, which is French National Day.

Notable recipients

French recipients

Foreign recipients

See the List of Foreign recipients of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques.


Chevalier Officier Commandeur


  1. Paul Hieronymussen, Orders, Medals and Decorations of Britain and Europe in colour (2nd ed.), London: Blandford Press, 1970, p.162.
  2. Lawrence, Francis L. Leadership in Higher Education: Views from the Presidency (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2006), 345.
  3. Javad Tatabai, Institut d'études avancées de Paris
  4. "Former deputy minister Wentworth dies". The Namibian. 5 June 2014.
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