Guests | Doctoral Ceremony

Doctoral Ceremony

Please join us for the Investiture of Doctoral Hoods and Degree Conferral on Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Killian Court (morning time TBA). All families, friends, and mentors of Doctoral candidates are invited; no tickets are required.


We recommend reviewing all arrangements and security measures with your party in advance so everyone knows what to expect. Security details will be finalized and made available on this website the week prior to the event.

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 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.


The Doctoral Ceremony will take place on May 28, 2020 in Killian Court (morning time TBA).

Tickets and seating

Tickets are not required for the Doctoral Ceremony and seating is unassigned.


Limited on-campus parking will be available and locations will be listed on these pages in May. While there is no cost to Doctoral Ceremony guests to park in MIT-owned lots or garages, space is limited. You may find that these spaces are already full by the time you arrive on campus and that you will need to park in a public lot. MIT parking locations

Parking spaces for carriers of a state-issued disability parking placard will be available for Doctoral Ceremony guests on Memorial Drive. Please note that you must have a state-issued (any state) placard to use this reserved parking. Guests may be dropped off at the entrance to Killian Court on Memorial Drive (recommended for those who are unable to walk from either an MIT or public parking garage, as most parking is more than a block away).

Guests with disabilities

Please contact Student Disabilities Services in advance so that we know that you are attending the Doctoral Ceremony.

Staff with wheelchairs will be on hand to assist you and your party. Assistance will be offered after the ceremony, as well. Please call us at 617-253-1674, TTY 617-253-3194, or email

Assistive listening devices will be available.

Photographs from the Doctoral Ceremony

There is no designated area from which guests may take photographs or videotape during the Doctoral Ceremony. Guests are requested to keep in mind the experience of all the families present and to remain seated until the conclusion of the ceremony so as not to block the view of others. There is no standing on seats or blocking of aisles permitted at any time. For 1 hour following the ceremony, photographs may be taken in front of the stage; after this point, the court will close in preparation for the next day’s events.

Professional photographers (Commencement Photos, Inc.) will photograph each candidate at the time of hooding and diploma presentation and again when leaving the stage. Details are available online and information are mailed directly to advanced degree candidates from Commencement Photos, Inc. in early May. If you have questions about the photography, please contact the company by phone 978-851-5924 or email


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 presentation of diplomas, 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.


We are always delighted to see children at the Doctoral Ceremony. To make sure that everyone enjoys the day, please keep these things in mind:

  • The ceremony is ~2 hours long. Children may become bored or hungry. Feel free to bring quiet toys and snacks for them.
  • Children are not permitted to join the Procession or a parent on stage. We acknowledge the concessions made by family members in the years preceding this day, but we must consider the experience of all degree candidates and restrict children to the guest seating section.

Thank you.

After the ceremony

Individual department receptions are held after the Doctoral Ceremony. Please coordinate attendance with your Doctoral candidate.

Doctoral candidates on Hooding Day

Guests at Hooding 2018

Graduate's guest adjusts his hood

Child hugs graduate