Doctoral Hooding Information

Prior to the Ceremony

  • Faculty and doctoral students should arrive at the Breslin Center one hour before the ceremony.
  • Faculty and doctoral students should bring all necessary academic regalia. Faculty can find information on renting or purchasing regalia at: http://commencement.msu.edu/faculty. Student information on renting or purchasing can be found at: https://spartanspiritshop.msu.edu/graduation.html.
  • Colleges will assemble at their designated areas in the Auxiliary Gym, Mezzanine Level. College signs will be in place on the walls of the gym. A card with the name of the college printed on it will be made available to the associate dean to provide to the first student crossing the ramp. This will allow the College Dean to congratulate students at the end of the ramp after their names are read and the President has presented them with the token diploma.
  • Hooders (led by the Associate Dean) will line up the college's participants. The line-up order will be:
    1. Associate Dean
    2. Doctoral students and their selected hooders (Faculty members should walk behind their students)
    3. Doctoral students without accompanying hooders.

Doctoral students should carry their hoods over their right arms. Tassels are worn, and remain, on the left.

For the safety and security of all of our participants and guests, please be aware:
ALL bags are subject to search. To avoid delays, it is strongly recommended that bags are NOT brought to the Breslin Center.
NO food or beverages or other liquids are to be brought into Breslin Center. Please leave these items in your vehicle or discard before entering the facility.
For your family and guests, concession stands will open one hour prior to the start of the ceremony and remain open through the first hour of the ceremony. A limited menu will include hot and cold beverages and some snack items.

During the Ceremony

  • The Provost will ask the Dean of the Graduate School (referred to as Graduate Dean in the remainder of this document) to direct the hooding of all doctoral students and will then present them to the President for conferral of their degrees. The hooding will proceed as follows:
    1. The Graduate Dean will ask all doctoral students to stand and turn around to face the audience. The Graduate Dean will instruct doctoral students to remain standing. The Graduate Dean will then instruct the Associate Deans of all colleges and other faculty who are hooding to rise and proceed to hood their students. All colleges will simultaneously hood their students in the seating areas. Note to DMA students in the band: step out from your seating area. Faculty will come to you for hooding. Join the Arts & Letters graduates as the Associate Dean leads group to the stage.
    2. After all doctoral students have been hooded, faculty should be seated and candidates should remain standing. The Graduate Dean will then ask doctoral students to turn around and face the stage, and present the students for their respective degrees.
  • The President will confer the degrees, and announce that the Associate Deans will lead the graduates to the stage. A commencement escort will lead the Associate Deans to the platform.
  • The first student of the college to cross the ramp will present the name-card reader with a card having the name of the college printed on it. The Associate Dean will have been given the college name card at assembly. Students will cross the ramp and have their names read and the President will present the token diploma. Students should return to their seats.
  • College Deans should look for the Associate Dean, appropriate hood color and/or listen as the name of the college is read. Please keep in mind that colleges will be arranged alphabetically. Upon identifying that the college's doctoral students are crossing the ramp, the Dean proceeds to the opposite end of the ramp to congratulate students (similar to the Dean's congratulation of master's degree students).
  • Associate Deans should return to their seats once all students from the college have been sent across the ramp.

Doctoral Hooding Instructions

  • Students will hand the hoods to a hooder.
  • With the hooding strings ("loopcord" on the velvet portion of the hood, see image at right and above) DOWN, two faculty members will carefully place the hoods over the student's head, being careful not to dislodge caps.
  • Next, the faculty members will quickly fluff out the colors on the back of the hood (see image below), and congratulate the student.
  • Faculty members should be seated when all students have been hooded.
  • For students attending without a faculty member: Hand your hood to one of the College Hooders who will place it over your head, fluff out the colors, and congratulate you.

Hooding StringHood showing fluffed colorsHooding string is located at the narrowest part of the velvet portion of the hood