Whether they completed their Master’s or they’re a newly hooded MD or PhD, show some love to the folks out to change the world with a gift they’ll adore (and actually use).
Graduations are exciting, for the graduate and those who have been cheering them on along the way. While there are plenty of guides out there for recent high school and college grads, the guidance around gifts for graduate and post-graduate degrees isn’t as easy to come by.
They worked hard, and now you get to celebrate with them. So what is the appropriate gift? IS there an appropriate gift?
We’re of the mind that gifts should be useful and thoughtful, not perfunctory. Instead of looking to buy the ‘traditional’ gift for the event, think of the person you’re buying for first. If you wouldn’t buy them the item you’re considering for their birthday, why buy it for a different occasion?
Our list below is divided by category so you can zero in on the type of gift your friend or loved one really wants and needs. If you’re looking for a gift related to a specific field, we’ve always found Geek Wrapped to be an excellent source of themed gifts.
It may not be a universal truth, but it’s certainly close. Unless they won a MacArthur Grant or were born into that trust fund life, the post-grads and fellows in your life would probably enjoy the cash in your wallet just as much as the gift you would spend it on. In fact, they might need it.
Cash with a thoughtful card and some words of wisdom are always a welcome gift. If you simply must give them something to unwrap, stow the bills away in a small yet smart gift they’ll appreciate, such as this Schrodinger’s Cat mug.
A cryptex is also a fun, nerdy option if you want to make them work a little for it.
This is a gift you can’t give, but you can certainly help them take advantage of their post-dissertation freedom with a gift to help them relax or take up a new hobby.
When was the last time they had time to go to the spa for a facial or to get a massage? A spa gift certificate is perfect for someone who hasn’t had time to pamper themselves. Perhaps a gift certificate to a local Float Spa, which will have any stressed non-claustrophobe singing your praises.
Is there anything better than a lazy Sunday with a book and a cup of tea? Or just a lazy Sunday with nothing to do at all? Throw together a Do Whatever You Want gift basket filled with their favorite lazy day activities and a pair of science leggings.
Sure, they’ve been learning non-stop, but now they have some time to learn something frivolous or to take up an old hobby again.
These embroidery kits from My Modern Met are perfect for an easy-to-learn option.
If your graduate is hitting the road after commencement, whether for work or pleasure, consider a gift they can bring along for the trip.
A field journal cover or traveler’s notebook is the gift that keeps on giving. Both offer wallet-replacing potential, but a traveler’s notebook provides customization beyond what a cover can provide. It’s possible that one Shenova scribe, who shall remain nameless, is downright agog with her traveler's notebook and has to be told, at times, to shut up about her traveler's notebook already.
Give them something to read while they’re on the road or in the air. The Art of Tinkering (see a demo here) and Cajal's Butterflies of the Soul come highly recommended for their examination of science meeting art.
For those settling down in one place, consider items that will help them spruce up their space or which will come in handy in their work.
No matter what they studied, these Star Chart Stemless Wine Glasses are sure to delight, but we think they’ll be especially appreciated by those who studied to put in the groundwork so humans can reach the stars.
There’s nothing more exciting than seeing those newly earned letters after your name on your letterhead. You’ll find no shortage of places to buy personalized stationery, but Crane is the most well-known name in the game for good reason.
An elegant writing instrument is the type of extravagance that many will scoff at, but only until they are the owner of an elegant writing instrument. Mont Blanc has all but cornered the market here. This white and rose gold option is neither the most nor the least expensive item available, though it may be the most swoon-worthy.
If Mont Blanc money isn’t in your budget (we get it, we’d have that pen in our hand right now if it were in ours) consider a tote bag -- you’ll never meet a professor who couldn’t use one more tote bag. We love this Field Guide Canvas Tote from United by Blue and --bonus-- for every product sold, United by Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways, so your gift goes beyond the bag.
Check out our Zazzle site for more science-themed tote bags.
If you know the grad well enough to know their style, go forth and buy them some science jewelry.
Options abound, from whimsical to elegant, and with a little digging you can find something for just about every discipline -- somersault18:24 and My Modern Met have gorgeous selections in genetics, anatomy, and more.
If you know their style AND their size, clothes that they can wear to interviews and events are a perfect choice. Remember to allow time for both production and shipping when you shop the Women in STEM Collection. Above is the 'Hello World' and 'Red Blood Cell Dress'. Our made-to-order STEM-inspired dresses require 2-3 weeks to make, and domestic shipping adds an additional week (add 3-4 weeks for international orders.)
Need it faster and don't know your recipients size? Try Shenova STEM Skirts. Designs cover fields as diverse as neuroscience to rocket engineering to computer code.
We want to know about your graduation—what was the most useful or thoughtful gift that you received? If you’re graduating, what are you secretly hoping you’ll get?
If a Shenova dress is on your wish list, remember to start dropping hints 6-8 weeks in advance to allow time for production and shipping. If you haven’t done so yet, click the envelope icon below and sign up for our newsletter, and be the first to know about new releases and designs.