Hooding Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Q: What is the Hooding Ceremony? How is it different from Commencement?

A: The Hooding Ceremony is a special recognition for graduates receiving a final master’s degree or a Ph.D.  All candidates are individually recognized at the Hooding Ceremony, whereas at Commencement students cannot be recognized individually.  As with Commencement, all faculty and students wear academic regalia at Hooding.  Ph.D. candidates may receive their hood from a faculty member (usually their adviser), who participates in the ceremony with them, or from the chief marshal. Students receiving a master’s degree will be hooded by the chief marshal.  The Hooding Ceremony is for graduate students only and does not replace Commencement. The Commencement Ceremony, held the next day, includes graduate and undergraduate students and is the official conferring of degrees. The hooding of doctoral and master’s candidates prior to Commencement is an honored and special tradition at Princeton.  For many participants it symbolizes the culmination of graduate studies and the degree receipient's transition from student to colleague. 

Q: When and where does Hooding take place?

A: Hooding is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. on June 3, 2019, on Cannon Green, behind Nassau Hall on center campus, and lasts about 2 hours.  Hooding Ceremony Campus Map andParking & Transportation Map.

Q: What happens if it rains?

A: The weather in New Jersey in June can be unpredictable.  In the case of inclement weather, Hooding will take place in Jadwin Gymnasium. Should we need to use the rain location, an announcement via email will be sent to graduate students registered for Hooding and any participating faculty and staff members at the latest by 2 p.m. on the day of Hooding. Please check your email at 2 p.m. on June 3rd. It will also appear on the Graduate School website.   

Q: Are tickets required?

A: Tickets are not required for Hooding. Participating graduate students are encouraged to bring family and friends. For the Commencement ceremony, all registered participants will receive 5 tickets for 5 guests.

Q: Who is available to assist me on the day of the ceremony?

A: The Graduate School staff and University marshals will be on hand to assist guests and graduates.  They can be identified by orange hats and black robes (marshals) or orange polo shirts (Graduate School staff).  There is also an information desk at the back of the Hooding location for those looking for assistance.

Q: Can I take pictures?

A: Professional photographers will take pictures of all graduates as they receive their hoods.  These photos are provided free of charge and will be made available online.

While guests may take their own photos, we ask that they remain seated and do not block the aisles.  This is not only to keep the ceremony running on schedule, but is also for the safety and convenience of all attendees. The Graduate School will have professional photographers photograph the ceremony. Professional photographers will take pictures of each graduate being hooded. To view examples from the past Hooding Ceremonies and videos, go to: http://www.princeton.edu/pr/gradpics/. Photos can be downloaded for free, or print copies may be purchased on the website.  

Q: Can you accommodate mobility limitations?

A: There are a limited number of accessible seats at the Hooding Ceremony. Please inquire at the information booth to be directed to accessible seating. Indoor simulcast sites: Dillon Gym (not accessible and not air conditioned) and Betts Auditorium (accessible and air conditioned). If you or another member of your family needs accommodation for a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 609-258-8840 as soon as possible and no later than May 3 with information about your particular needs.

Q: Where can I find more information, such as restroom locations, notifications and alerts?

A: You can find this information on the app Tiger Safe.

Q: How can I download the Tiger Safe app?

A: You can download the Tiger Safe app here.

Questions for graduate students

Q: How do I register for Hooding?

Registration opens to degree recipients during the first week of April.  Graduate students who have appeared on the September, November, January, April and those expecting to appear on the June degree lists will receive an email that contains a unique log-in to our Hooding registration system.

All degree recipients who wish to participate in the Hooding Ceremony must register by May 3, 2019.  This deadline applies to all those wishing to participate in Hooding, including those defending between May 3 and May 21, 2019.

Q: When will I receive my ticket packet?

A: All ticket packets will be mailed out Friday, May 10, 2019.  If you opted to pick up your tickets, ticket packets will be available for pick up on Monday, May 13, 2019, in Clio Hall.  Office hours for ticket pick up are 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  All tickets must be picked up by Thursday, May 30, 2019, at 4:30 p.m.  For those students defending between May 3 and May 21, tickets will not be mailed and must be picked up.

Q: What happens if I register for Hooding, but don’t defend in time for the June degree list?

A: Unfortunately, you would not be considered eligible to participate in this year’s ceremony and will receive information to participate in next year’s event.

Q: Can I participate in Hooding if I have not yet completed all degree requirements?

A: Participation in the Hooding Ceremony is reserved only for those graduate students who have completed all degree requirements in time to appear on one of the five degree lists over the course of the academic year.  If you have not completed all degree requirements and submitted final paperwork to the Graduate School by May 21, 2019, you are not considered eligible to participate in Hooding or Commencement.

Q: Can my child sit with me and/or come on stage with me to be hooded?

A: Children are welcome to participate in the Hooding Ceremony with their parents.

Q: I am an international student and need a Hooding and Commencement invitation letter for my family to obtain a visa to travel.  How can I request this letter?

A: Please send your requests to registrar@princeton.edu

Q: Do I need to wear academic regalia and, if so, how do I order it?

A: In order to participate in Hooding and Commencement activities, you must be in full regalia.  Ph.D. candidates may choose to wear either faculty-quality regalia or standard regalia.  Master’s candidates may wear standard regalia.

Faculty-quality regalia is custom-made regalia manufactured specifically for you. This regalia is manufactured for long-term usage, and with proper care, could last your entire academic or teaching career. It adheres strictly to the requirements set down by the Intercollegiate Code. The cost of faculty-quality regalia is approximately $900. If you intend to purchase faculty-quality regalia, you must contact Harden & Associates at princeton.shopoakhalli.com before the Friday, April 19, 2019 deadline.

Standard regalia is manufactured for a one-time use and can be kept as a memento. If you intend to purchase standard regalia, you must do so through Harden & Associates at princeton.shopoakhalli.com by completing the application. The deadline for orders for standard regalia is Friday, May 3, 2019. In order to receive a standard hood, the complete set of regalia must be ordered.  The sustainable standard regalia is made from 23 recycled plastic bottles and can be recycled after graduation at designated sites on campus!  Look for the boxes marked with a Tiger Grad located in the Lakeside Common Building and OGC Common Room.

Q: What time should I arrive and where should I go when I arrive?

A: Faculty and students participating in the Hooding Ceremony should arrive between 3:30 and 4:00 p.m. on June 3, 2019.  Once you have arrived you will assemble on Chapel Drive in front of Whig Hall.  If you are Ph.D. student who has registered a faculty member to hood you, you will need to find that faculty member and assemble together. You will need to stand by the sign representing your academic division (for Ph.D. students) or your school and degree type (for master’s candidates).  If you would like to sit near a particular person, please make sure they are either in front or behind you.  If multiple people are being hooded by the same faculty member, we ask you all to sit together, with the faculty member taking the second position in the line.

Q: What time should my guests arrive, and where should they go?

A: Guests can arrive at the same time as participants, and are asked to go directly to their seats.  They are not permitted to be in the area where faculty and participating students are assembling.  Please advise your family and friends to arrive promptly, as arriving after 4:30 p.m. will be disruptive to others at the Hooding Ceremony.

Q: What should I bring with me?

A: You should come to the ceremony dressed in your regalia.  If you have purchased faculty-quality regalia, you will also need to bring your hood and carry it over your arm.  You will need to bring the name card that was in your packet.  The card must clearly list your name and, if you are concerned about pronunciation, its phonetic spelling.  If you are a doctoral candidate and a faculty member is hooding you, the card must also include the name (and phonetic spelling, if pronunication is a concern) of your faculty member.  Please do not bring any other items with you to Hooding as there is nowhere to store your belongings during the ceremony.

Q: What is the correct way for me to walk across stage and be hooded?

A: You will be sent to the stage by row to be hooded.  Please make sure you have removed your hat before leaving your seat.  When it is your turn to walk to the stage, the marshal will assist you.  Please follow the instructions of your marshal closely.  Once you are led to the stage, you will hand your card to the dean at the podium and walk to the center of the stage to receive your hood.  There is a large X indicating where you should stand.  Once you have been hooded, you will shake hands with the dean of the Graduate School and walk off the stage.  Please return to your seat, where you are asked to remain until the ceremony has ended.

Q: Will I receive my diploma on stage?

A: No. Advanced degree recipients (for the June degree period only) receive diplomas on Alexander Beach (in front of Alexander Hall) on Tuesday, June 4, after the Commencement ceremony. Representatives from the Graduate School will be handing out diplomas until about 1:15pm.  If you do not pick up your diploma on June 4, it will be mailed to you within the next several weeks.  September '18, November '18, January '19, and April '19 advanced degree recipients should have received their diploma by mail.

Questions for faculty

Q: I have received an invitation to participate in Hooding.  Am I required to attend?

A: While you are not required to attend, this is a celebration of our graduates and the work they have done to receive an advanced degree, we hope that you will join us to celebrate their accomplishments.

Q: I am not able to attend Hooding for my advisee, but would like them to participate. What can I do? 

A: While many Ph.D. students prefer to be hooded by their adviser, all faculty members are eligible to participate.  Often if an adviser cannot participate themselves, a member of the graduate student’s committee is asked to hood the candidate.  You may want to encourage a colleague to hood your advisee. Alternatively, the chief marshal will hood the student.

Q: If a student from my department is present at Hooding without a faculty member to hood them, am I allowed to hood the student myself?

A: Yes!  We understand that not all faculty members are able to come to the ceremony, and we encourage you to hood any student who asks you and whom you feel comfortable hooding.

Q: Do I need my own regalia?

A: Any faculty member or student participating in Hooding needs to wear academic regalia.  Faculty who do not have their own regalia may rent or buy regalia online through Harden and Associates.   All orders must be placed by May 10, 2019, to be received in time for the ceremony.  Faculty members have an extended deadline to place an order, as opposed to the student deadline.  Faculty members are expected to wear regalia from the institution from which they received their own advanced degree.

Q: What time do I need to arrive and what do I do once I get there?

A: We ask that faculty and students participating in Hooding arrive between 3:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.  Faculty are asked to arrive in their regalia and find their student(s) before assembling.  We ask faculty members to sit with their candidates.  If you are hooding multiple candidates, we ask that you all remain together and sit together during the ceremony.

Q: How do I hood a candidate?

A: When it is time to hood the candidates, the student and faculty member will walk together up to the stage.  Faculty members will ascend the stage first, walk across the platform, stop next to the Chief Marshal and face the audience.  Once your student’s name has been called, the student will stand on an X in front of you.  You will place the hood over their head from behind and straighten the tail of the hood.  You can find step-by-step instructions in our How to Hood a Doctoral Candidate Guide.

Q: I co-advise a student, and both advisers would like to participate.  Can this be done?

A: While both advisers can attend the Hooding ceremony, students are only permitted to have one faculty member hood them.

Q: I have been asked to hood multiple students.  What is the process for this?

A: You will process on stage in front of your first student and remain on stage next to the chief marshal until you have hooded the last candidate.