Preparing for Graduation 2016: A Doctoral Hooding How-To

First Things First: Time + Place

The December Commencement Ceremony is at 11:00 am on Thursday, December 22, 2016. Check in begins at 10:00 am in the Pritchard Gymnasium. The arena doors open at the same time so, while you and your adviser line up, your guests can scope out seats in the arena.

If your family wants more information, see Appendix A.

Tickets Required

On December 8th, registered candidates will receive an email invitation with instructions on how to access tickets. All registered candidates will receive (1) candidate ticket and (3) guest tickets for the ceremony.

Ticket holders must present either a printed ticket or the QR code on their mobile device to be scanned for entry. Tickets are unique by QR code and admit one guest each.

There will be a live webcast available for all guests who do not have tickets or unable to attend. Please visit:

Questions? Concerns? We’ll have volunteers on hand to answer questions.

Tassel on the Left

The tassel goes to the left of the mortarboard and stays there for the entire ceremony. Easy!

Hood on the Left, Too

For ease and elegance, ALSO drape the hood over your left arm until it’s time to hand it over to your adviser. In sum, hood on left arm, tassel on left side of head. Right hand: free for bulletin carrying, celebratory high-fives, and autograph signing.

The Hood Carry in Action

The Doctoral Hooding Stance

So there's technique involved in getting hooded. If you are taller than your adviser – or even about the same height – you must assume the proper doctoral hooding stance to ensure a quick, foible-free hooding: stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and bend your knees, keeping your back straight. The top of your head should be level with your adviser’s chin, or shoulders.

The Doctoral Hooding Stance, Continued

An example of perfect technique. Her mortarboard makes it through entirely unscathed.

The Doctoral Hooding Stance, in Conclusion

If it helps, simply imagine your adviser as Robby the Robot, or T-Rex.

Ad Finem

After you receive your hood and make it through the recessional, that’s it! You will be officially graduated -- and a doctor! (Disclaimer: Your diploma will be mailed to you 4-6 weeks after the Graduate School clears your record.)

Appendix A

Stony Brook University Commencement
If your family needs more information, send them to the SBU Commencement website.