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Preparing for Graduation 2017: A Doctoral Hooding How-To

First Things First: Time + Place


The 2017 December Commencement Ceremony is at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, December 21, 2017. Check in begins at 10:00 A.M. in the Pritchard Gymnasium. The arena doors open at the same time so, while you and your advisor line up, your guests can scope out seats in the arena.

If your family wants more information, see Appendix A.

Tickets Required


Tickets are required for the December Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, December 21, 2017. Attendance should be indicated on the Ceremony Registration Form, which is available on SOLAR through midnight on December 4, 2017.

A live webcast of the December Commencement Ceremony will be available at

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.

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