Candidates | Doctoral Hooding

Doctoral candidates


The Investiture of Doctoral Hoods and Degree Conferral Ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Killian Court (morning time TBA). Please be sure that your guests know the Thursday ceremony is your graduation: your name will be read and you will receive both the diploma and the academic hood. You (and your family) are invited to attend the Commencement Exercises on Friday if you wish, however, Thursday is the day you will be recognized on stage.

There are no tickets required for the Doctoral Ceremony—seating is open and all family, friends, and mentors are welcome to attend. If your guests do wish to attend Commencement, please read more about tickets.

Security and arrival

A note about security for guests
Security arrangements are finalized in the days leading up to graduation: we recommend that guests visit these pages again the week prior to the events. Thank you.

Guests are asked to consider the appearance of some objects and leave anything that could be perceived as dangerous at home or in their hotel rooms. Large bags, large objects, selfie sticks, wrapped gifts, pocketknives or similar sharp objects, and glass bottles or containers are prohibited. Diaper bags and purses are permitted, but please note that all items taken into the event venue are subject to search, and that MIT will not accept responsibility for storing items that are not permitted inside the venue.

Guests are advised to carry government-issued photo ID with them to campus. Acceptable forms of ID are driver’s licenses, state ID cards, or passports.

Reporting for the Doctoral Ceremony

All degree candidates must report to their station numbers according to reporting time. Instructions will be emailed to all degree candidates in the weeks leading up to the ceremony and will also be published on these pages.

The registrar reminds all degree candidates to check WebSIS for any outstanding grades or financial charges that would prevent you from being invested with your Doctoral hood and receiving your diploma on May 28. Visit the Registrar’s website for additional information, including student deadlines.

Robing and assembly

The robing and assembly areas are for graduates only: please ask your family and friends to proceed to the event venue. Further guest information is available in the Doctoral Ceremony guests section.


Please pick up your regalia earlier in the week and be sure to check that you have received the correct gown. There will not be extra regalia available at the ceremony; please come prepared. More information on regalia is available in the graduates section.

You are not responsible for ordering or picking up your new hood; it will be presented to you on stage during the ceremony.

Graduates with disabilities or special needs

Please email Traci Swartz, Doctoral Ceremony Coordinator, by May 1 so that we can plan the best accommodation for you.

Procession, hood investiture, and recession

Degree candidates follow faculty in the procession. You will receive your diploma from the chancellor and the hood from your department head or designate. The faculty recesses after the ceremony, but the candidates do not. You are free to join your guests in the audience once the faculty have recessed.

There are no children or other family or friends allowed on the stage or in the procession. We must require guests to stay in the seating area.

Photographs and Doctoral Ceremony webcast

You will receive a mailing from Commencement Photos, Inc. The company will photograph each candidate twice while on stage. Please note: there is no designated area for guests to take photographs during the ceremony.  Because of the distance from the stage, guests will not be able to get close enough to the stage to take good photos. The best way to get a good photograph is to order the professional one. See the photos page for more.

For one hour after the Doctoral Ceremony is over, you will be able to take photographs in front of the stage. Please discuss this with your guests beforehand so they know that they will have this option. Note: Killian Court will close one hour following the ceremony.

MIT Video Productions provides a live webcast of the 2020 Investiture of Doctoral Hoods and Degree Conferral ceremony, which will be made available on the morning of May 28. The webcast will include the Procession, speaker remarks, the name of each candidate being read, the conferral of degrees, and the investiture of Doctoral hoods to the candidates. On-demand viewing of the event will be made available online following the ceremony. Guests will not be permitted to set up video cameras in the aisles—the best way to see video is to view online.

After the ceremony

Individual department receptions are held after the Doctoral Ceremony; please coordinate attendance with your family and friends.

Hooding 2018

Hooding at MIT

MIT Hooding ceremony - candidate waves

Graduate adjusts cap in mirror