Doctoral Hooding

The Doctoral Commencement and Hooding Ceremony is the official University graduation ceremony for doctoral students. Traditionally held in the Koger Center for the Arts, the ceremony is attended by most recipients of the doctoral degree. To be eligible to participate, you must have completed the degree requirements, submitted an application for graduation for the term in which the commencement ceremony will be held, have an approved dissertation on file with the Graduate School and submitted the online Survey of Earned Doctorates.

To access the gallery of photos from the December 2018 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony and for instructions, click here. If you have any questions, please contact Victoria White in the Graduate School at

» Registrar's Graduation and Commencement Information/Calendar

Things to do before the Ceremony

Obtain your cap, gown, and hood

The University Bookstore has these items for sale. The appropriate gown for your doctorate is black and the tassel for your cap should be gold. The hood is discipline-specific. Personalized announcements, if desired, may be ordered through the University Bookstore (allow two weeks for printing). The Bookstore does not carry pre-printed announcements for the doctoral ceremony..

Arrange for your dissertation director to escort you during the hooding ceremony

Your director will accompany you onto the stage and assist with your hooding. If that person cannot be present at the ceremony, consult with your Graduate Director to arrange for another member of your committee or a faculty member of your choice to accompany you. Be certain to remind your dissertation director or faculty escort that they will need to bring their own cap, gown, and hood to the ceremony.

Things to do on the day of the ceremony

Please come to the large rehersal hall of the Koger Center no later than one hour before the ceremony begins. Racks are provided for hanging coats and other clothing, and, for security purposes, our staff will be present in this room during the exercise. Candidates and their presenters are not given seat assignments in advance. Guests are welcome. Seating tickets are not required. You will need to be robed and have your cap and hood with you when we begin the organizing process.

Ceremony Procedures

  1. Assemble by colleges. Signs indicating assembly points for each college will be posted around the periphery of the large rehearsal hall, and we will have staff members to assist you.
  2. The staff member organizing your college will give you line up instructions. You will then receive a name card, which you will later hand to the marshal as you step onto the stage for hooding, so that the announcer can present you. Please do not misplace this card. If the pronunciation of your name or your director’s name is not obvious, please print a phonetic spelling on the card.
  3. Faculty who will assist with the hooding of one or more candidates will be asked to join the college line behind the first student to be hooded. Any other candidate who is to be hooded by that faculty member will line up behind the faculty member. Once onstage, the professor will remain to hood all students in that cluster, in succession, regardless of their degree or alphabetic order. If you do not have a professor present to hood you, another professor in your department or college must assume that responsibility. If the director listed on your name card is not the one who will assist in your hooding, use a marker (we will distribute them) to print the correct professor's name, including a phonetic spelling, if necessary.
  4. When all colleges have been organized, you will be seated in the order in which you will process. Please fill each row completely before starting the next row.
  5. We will demonstrate the correct way to fold and carry your hood and explain the procedures that will take place during the procession and the hooding ceremony. They are not complicated, but your attention is requested to ensure that the ceremony proceeds gracefully. Ten minutes before the scheduled ceremony time, we will leave the room in procession order and follow the University Mace Party on stage when the signal is given.

Schedule (times are approximate)

  • One hour before the scheduled ceremony time: Candidates and faculty escorts should arrive at the Koger Center. Proceed to the large rehersal hall, where students and faculty will organize by college.
  • Thirty minutes before scheduled ceremony time: You will be seated in procession order.
  • Twenty minutes before scheduled ceremony time: Faculty who wish to be a part of the ceremony, but who are not hooding candidates, should arrive.
  • Five minutes before scheduled ceremony time: Procession begins.
  • One hour after scheduled ceremony time: The Hooding Ceremony ends. You will process out of the Koger Center after the Platform Party leaves the stage.

Photographers (professional and personal) may take pictures from an assigned area in front of the stage at stage right (audience-left). These photos must be taken without interrupting the ceremony.  Please do not pause or pose while on stage.  Advise your photographer(s) in advance that they must take candid shots. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. A reception for you, your guests, and the faculty will be held in the lobby after the exercises conclude. We look forward to celebrating with you.