Graduate School

Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony

will be held on

Friday, December 13, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Belknap Campus, Student Activities Center Ballroom

Reception immediately following

The Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony is a very special ceremony held to recognize those students in receipt of an MFA (Master of Fine Arts), Au.D. (Doctor of Audiology), DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice), Ed.D. (Doctor of Education) or Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy).  Each candidate is announced individually, processes on-stage and is joined by their faculty mentor(s). The President, Provost, Dean DeMarco and the Unit Dean join the candidate and their mentor(s) at center stage for the formal vesting ceremony. The President confers all doctoral and MFA degrees and diplomas are presented during the ceremony.

To be eligible to participate in the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony, one must have completed all requirements in August 2019 or will complete by December 2019 or one must have completed the requirements for their doctoral degree in a previous semester. A student’s eligibility to participate will be determined by the Graduate School office.

Please contact Courtney Kerr (502) 852-6497 for approval of Ed.D. capstone projects/theses/dissertations, questions related to the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony or nomination for Graduate School Awards for Commencement.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is the location of the December Commencement Ceremony?

A:  The December 2019 Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony will be conducted at the Belknap Campus, Student Activities Center Ballroom.

Q: What is the difference between the Main Commencement Ceremony and the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony?

A: Masters and graduate certificate degree candidates attend the university’s Main Commencement Ceremony only. Doctoral and MFA degree candidates attend the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony only. These are two separate commencement events. The Doctoral and MFA degree candidates are hooded by their mentor at the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony.

Q:  Who may participate in the December Main Commencement and Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony?

A:   Students who will graduated by the end of the August 2019 and will complete December 2019 semester or have graduated in an earlier term.  Student name listing in the program book is generated from the approved degree list. Your degree name is generated from the cap and gown online order list and is verified against the degree list.

Q:  Is attendance at the Main Commencement rehearsal required?

A: YES! Masters and graduate certificate students attending the University-wide ceremony on December 13th are required to attend the commencement rehearsal. The rehearsal will cover the processional and other student concerns, and will confirm your name call card and your place in the line-up.  There is not a rehearsal for the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony for the doctoral and MFA degree candidates. As mentioned, Doctoral degree candidates attend the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony only.

Q:  Are tickets required to attend the ceremony?

A:   No. Tickets are not issued for the ceremony and you may invite as many guests as you wish.

Q:  How do I receive my cap and gown?

A:  For Masters and graduate certificate students,who placed an online order before the October 31 deadline, your order will be ready for pick-up in the Student Activities Center Multi-purpose room on the published distribution dates.  See Cap and Gown Distribution at: for a schedule of dates and times. MFA, AuD, DNP, EdD, and PhD student rental apparel will be picked up by the Graduate School staff and delivered to the Student Activities Center Ballroom.

Q:  Do I have to pick up my apparel in person or can someone pick it up for me?

A:   When Masters and graduate certificate students pick up their cap and gown, they are encouraged to check their order for correct contents and size. Be sure to have your confirmation order number with you. If someone else picks up your apparel, that person must assume the responsibility for you. All student classkeeper apparel must be picked up during distribution. Unclaimed apparel will not be refunded, credited or stored for later pick up.

Q:  How do I buy souvenir tassels?

A:You may purchase souvenir tassels online when you place an order for your cap and gown or you may purchase a souvenir tassel at the Student Activities Center Multi-purpose room during apparel distribution. Souvenir tassels are Red and Black and display the University's Minerva Seal. The souvenir tassel is not worn during the ceremony. The color tassel packaged with your apparel is worn during the ceremony and depicts your degree. Degree color tassels do not carry a year tag.

Q:  What about Honor cords?

A:Graduate students are nominated by a faculty member and Chair for the Graduate Dean’s Citation as well as five special awards. Out of the five special awards, there are two for Master’s level students and three for Doctoral level students. Masters and doctoral students are eligible for the Graduate Dean’s Citations. Those receiving a Graduate Dean’s Citation will be notified by the Graduate School and will receive instructions on how they will receive their honor cords.

Q:  Where can I buy a Commencement video?

A:   For Masters and graduate certificate students, the University’s information technology staff will provide video services at each ceremony. For Doctoral and MFA degree candidates, you may find the video on our commencement web-site after the ceremony.

Q:  Diploma questions?

A:   If you have a question regarding your degree application or diploma, visit the Registrar's website or contact the Office of the Registrar at 502-852-6522.  You may also send an e-mail to Diplomas usually arrive in the Registrar's Office 6 to 8 weeks after commencement. Doctoral and MFA students attending the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony, your diploma is in the tube you will receive at the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony. If you are a doctoral student who graduated in a previous semester and have picked up your diploma, your tube will not contain a duplicate diploma.

Q:  When will my degree be posted on my transcript?

A:   Most degrees are posted on transcripts one month after commencement. You can check your unofficial transcript from the U of L website:  Unofficial Transcript This service provides unofficial transcripts of course work between Fall 1982 to the present. For doctoral and MFA students, your degree must be posted before you can participate in the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony.

Q:  Can I purchase or order apparel from any vendor?

A:   Student apparel is custom and must be paid by the student at the time of ordering. Apparel must be ordered from the ordering page on the commencement website. By contract, only approved University of Louisville custom apparel, available from Jostens, is permitted for participation in the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony.  You may not use apparel purchased from another vendor and you will be required to buy from the official University vendor. If you are interested in purchasing custom apparel, please select  Faculty Apparel Purchase in the left menu. Custom purchased apparel will not be available until Spring 2020.

Q:  Where can I watch or download previous commencement videos or photos?

A: You can on the following link to look at past Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremonies.