In the course of its more than 50 years of existence, the Department of Physics has awarded the honorary doctorate (Dr. rer. nat. h.c.) to several scientists in recognition of outstanding activities in science and services to the Faculty of Physics.
- Prof. Dr. Jack Steinberger, CERN, for his pioneering scientific work in the field of elementary particle physics, in particular the weak interaction, and for his services to the establishment and support of experimental elementary particle physics at the University of Dortmund. April 1991.
- Prof. Dr. Werner Martienssen, Goethe University Frankfurt, for an outstanding scientific achievement in the field of solid state physics and quantum optics, his services as a university teacher, his selfless commitment in university politics and in committees of research funding, as well as for his manifold support and promotion of physics at the University of Dortmund. April 1991.
- Ministerialdirektor (ret.) Dr. Hermann Schunck, BMBF, for his outstanding commitment to supporting basic research in the natural sciences. July 2006.