FAQ | Professors


Have there been changes to this year’s ceremonies?
Yes! In previous years, Doctoral candidates received their diplomas with all other graduates during Friday’s Commencement Ceremony. In 2019, Doctoral candidates will receive both their diplomas and their hoods during a stand-alone ceremony on Thursday (i.e., the Investiture of Doctoral Hoods ceremony becomes the Investiture of Doctoral Hoods and Degree Conferral ceremony).

The new Thursday format will take place in Killian Court. Doctoral candidates and their guests are still invited to attend Commencement on Friday, but their degrees will not be conferred on stage that day.

How do I register to participate in Commencement and/or the Hooding/Degree Conferral ceremony?
The online form to register to march and to order regalia is now closed—please contact Kimberly Nelson directly.

Is there someone with whom I can talk about participation and my roles those days? I’d like to learn more and/or have specific questions.
Leslie Kolodziejski, Faculty Marshal, is available to address any questions you may have. Kindly send her an email. If you have general questions about Commencement and Hooding/Degree Conferral logistics or arrangements, please direct them to Gayle Gallagher, Executive Officer for Commencement.

I’m new to all of this and have never participated before. Is it appropriate for me to sign up?
Absolutely! Whether this is your first Commencement or your twentieth, we welcome faculty members at all levels of appointment—as well as emeriti colleagues who wish to join us.  

Where do I pick up and return my rented regalia?
Information about regalia rental may be found on the regalia and tickets page.

Where is assembly for faculty on Commencement morning?

Arrival and assembly details were emailed to participants on May 31 by Leslie Kolodziejski, Faculty Marshal: if you did not receive this message, please ping us to request a copy.

Faculty are asked to report to the assembly tent on Kresge Oval on Friday, June 7, by 9:15 am for robing and assembly; the procession departs at 9:45 am. Continental breakfast will be available at 8:30 am.

How long are the Commencement Exercises?
The Commencement Exercises, which officially begin as the Academic Procession enters Killian Court at 10 am, conclude at approximately 2 pm. The names of graduates are read in alternating order between undergraduates and Master’s students.

Do I need a ticket to participate in Commencement?
If you are marching in the Commencement procession, you do not need a ticket. Due to the increase over recent years in the number of graduates and their guests at the Exercises, faculty guest tickets are no longer offered as a matter of course. However, individual faculty requests will be reviewed by Chancellor Eric Grimson—kindly send a note with the pertinent details.

Can I greet a special graduating student at Commencement?
There is limited space for moving on stage during the ceremony, but our faculty marshals work to allow faculty to find a way to greet special students.

Can I leave the stage and return during Commencement?
Faculty are an important part of the greeting during Commencement and are therefore asked to remain on stage. However, if you need to leave, there are stairs off the back of the stage and the faculty marshals can help you leave and return to stage once the actual awarding of degrees begins.

What happens after Commencement?
Graduates, guests, and faculty are invited to the individual School and department receptions held across campus. 

Where do I go to assemble for the Doctoral Ceremony?
Arrival and assembly details were emailed to participants on May 31 by Leslie Kolodziejski, Faculty Marshal: if you did not receive this message, please ping us to request a copy.

Who invests the hoods of candidates at the Doctoral Ceremony?
Either the department head or the department’s representative invests the hoods.

Do I need a ticket for the Doctoral Ceremony?
Tickets are not required for the Doctoral Ceremony.

Further questions? Please send a note to commencement@mit.edu.

Killian Court before Commencement begins

Faculty member hugs a graduate

Stacked dipomas

Faculty in procession