The Ordre des Palmes académiques (Order of Academic Palms) is an Order of Chivalry of France to academics and educators. The order was originally created by Napoleon to honour eminent members of the University of Paris. It was re-established on October 4, 1955 by President René Coty and is one of the world's oldest civil awards.
Originally, the palmes académiques were only given to teachers or professors. In 1866, the scope of the award was widened to include major contributions to French national education made by anybody, including foreigners. It was also made available to French nationals outside of France who had made major contributions to the expansion of French culture in the rest of the world.
|Rank name||English translation||Insignia|
|Commandeur||Commander||Medallion worn necklet|
|Officier||Officer||Medallion worn on ribbon with rosette on left breast|
|Chevalier||Knight||Medallion worn on ribbon on left breast|
Decisions on nomination and promotion are made by the Minister of Education. For those not connected to state-sponsored public education or the Ministry of National Education, these decisions are made on January 1. For all others, they are made on July 14, which is Bastille Day.