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TGS June 2022 PhD and MFA Hooding Ceremony FAQs

Ceremony Venue and Schedule

When is The Graduate School’s PhD and MFA hooding ceremony?

Saturday, June 11, 2022, at 2:00 PM.

What time will the ceremony finish?

Past hooding ceremonies hosted have lasted about two hours. Since this year's ceremony starts at 2:00 PM, we estimate it will end around 4:00 PM.

Where will the PhD and MFA hooding ceremony take place?

Ryan Fieldhouse
2333 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL 60208

Important Note: Ryan Fieldhouse is located on the north end of the Evanston campus to the east of Lincoln Street and Sheridan Road. It is NOT connected to or located near Ryan Field, which is on Central Street.

Is there parking nearby?

There is a parking garage attached to Ryan Fieldhouse that may be used free of charge on the day of the ceremony. It is Lot 105 on the Evanston campus parking map.

Parking regulations for Northwestern University parking fees are waived during commencement ceremonies. In addition to the adjacent parking garage, students and guests may park in any non-restricted parking lot on campus. Visitors with handicapped license plates or placards from a government agency may park in designated handicapped spaces or at parking meters. 

When will the doors to the venue open for guests?

The doors will open one hour prior to the ceremony at 1:00 PM. Please note there is a flight of stairs or elevator access to the ceremony space.

Is food or drink permitted inside Ryan Fieldhouse?

Only water is permitted. No other food or drink is allowed.

Is Ryan Fieldhouse climate-controlled?

Yes, it is an indoor football field that is temperature controlled.

Is there a dress code for the ceremony?

No, but all graduates are required to wear regalia in order to participate. Most guests wear semi-formal or business casual attire. Graduates, faculty members, and guests will be walking on an artificial grass football field and we recommend comfortable footwear. High heels are permitted but, if worn, you may find it difficult to navigate the artificial grass.

Can guests bring noisemakers, glitter, or confetti?

Noisemakers, glitter, and confetti are prohibited in Ryan Fieldhouse during the ceremony. Noisemakers will disrupt the recognition of other graduates. Confetti and glitter will ruin the artificial grass football field.

What other items are prohibited in Ryan Fieldhouse?

Umbrellas, large items that would obstruct the view of other audience members, and weapons are prohibited in Ryan Fieldhouse.

Will there be a reception following the ceremony?

There is no formal reception but graduates and guests will receive grab-and-go snacks when exiting the venue to reunite with others outside.

Graduates will recess directly out of the building after the ceremony. After the ceremony, guests should proceed immediately outside of the venue, where they can reunite with graduates. 

Can I bring a stroller onto the field in Ryan Fieldhouse?

Yes, you may drop off your stroller at the east end of the North Hall. Staff will direct you to the drop-off location. Strollers are not allowed on the field where the ceremony will occur in Ryan Fieldhouse.


How can I access the professional photographs taken of me during the hooding ceremony?

A photography vendor named Dynamic Photo Solutions (DPS) has been hired by the University to take official ceremony photos of all graduates while onstage during the hooding ceremony. DPS will contact graduates directly via email and/or text message following the hooding ceremony to share a link to a photo gallery and an option to purchase the photos. 

Additionally, The Graduate School will hire a photographer to take candid photos during and after the ceremony. TGS will share an email link to these photos with participating graduates. Graduates who participated in the ceremony may view and/or download these photos to share with family and friends.

Guest Tickets

How many guest tickets is each graduate allowed?

Each participating graduate will receive 10 guest tickets to the hooding ceremony. The link to request tickets will be sent to those graduates who express their intent to participate through our Intent to Participate Form. Guests without tickets will not be permitted to enter the ceremony venue. 

How do guests receive their tickets?

Guest tickets will be emailed directly to the graduate two weeks prior to the ceremony

It will then be the graduate's responsibility to forward these electronic tickets to their guests. Please check your inbox (including your spam folder) for your guest tickets. 

For instructions on how to download or transfer your tickets, visit To transfer tickets, you will need to login to your account here.

Are there any extra guest tickets or exceptions?

No, unfortunately the guest limit must be strictly enforced and there are no exceptions. A ticket will be required to enter the ceremony.

Is there assigned seating at this year's ceremony?

Graduates will be in assigned seating and guests may sit where they would like within the general admission seating area.

If I am eligible to attend the ceremony but am not going, can I request guest tickets and give them to a graduate who is attending?

No, only participating graduates are eligible to request guest tickets. All other ticket requests will be canceled and not issued.

Do children need a ticket to attend if they can sit on a lap?

Children under the age of 3 who can sit on a lap do not require a ticket.

Please note, children are not permitted to join the processional, recessional, or a parent on stage when they are hooded. 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 limit children to the guest seating section. 

Will the ceremony be livestreamed for guests who cannot attend in person?

Yes, we will provide a livestream link closer to the ceremony.

Ceremony Eligibility

Who is eligible to participate in The Graduate School’s PhD and MFA hooding ceremony?

The Graduate School’s hooding ceremony is open to PhD and MFA graduates of TGS programs in the following schools and programs: 

  • Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • Kellogg School of Management
  • School of Communication
  • Feinberg School of Medicine 
  • TGS Interdisciplinary Programs

Our ceremony invites graduates from Summer (September) 2021 through Spring (June) 2022 to participate. Summer (September) 2022 graduates will be invited to participate in the 2023 TGS Hooding Ceremony next June. 

All other PhD graduates, along with TGS master of arts (MA), master of science (MS), and master of public health (MPH) graduates, are included in the ceremonies of their home program schools.

What is the deadline to complete my degree in order to participate?

  • The deadline for TGS to receive program approval of PhD Final Exam forms via GSTS, Dissertations via ProQuest, and change of grade forms for any outstanding Y/K/X/NR grades is Friday, May 6, 2022. For additional information about PhD completion, click here.
  • The deadline for TGS to receive program approval of Master’s Degree Completion forms via GSTS and change of grade forms for any outstanding Y/K/X/NR grades is Friday, May 13, 2022. For additional information about Master’s completion, click here.

I will complete my degree in Summer (September) 2022. Can I participate in the June 2022 hooding ceremony?

No, Summer (September) 2022 graduates and beyond will be invited to participate in next year’s hooding ceremony in June 2023.

How do I sign up to participate in the hooding ceremony?

All eligible graduates will receive an Intent to Participate Form from The Graduate School. The deadline to complete this form is Friday, May 6 if you would like to participate in the hooding ceremony in person on Saturday, June 11.

If you believe you are eligible to participate and did not receive the form, please email TGS Events & Engagement Manager Anthony Mangini at anthony.mangini@northwestern.eduLate submissions cannot be considered.

Regalia and Hooding Experience

What happens during a hooding ceremony?

A hooding ceremony is similar to a graduation in that faculty and graduates are dressed in academic attire (regalia) and graduates will individually walk across the stage after their name is announced. While on stage, a Northwestern graduate faculty member places the regalia hood that denotes the graduate’s field of study over the head of the graduate, signifying their success in completing the graduate program.

The hooding ceremony is in addition to the University Commencement, which honors all Northwestern graduates.

Who performs the hooding?

Pending any changes in public health guidance, we plan to return to our traditional hooding format this year. Each participating PhD and MFA graduate will invite a current Northwestern graduate faculty member to perform their hooding. This may be your adviser, another faculty member from your program, or a TGS associate dean. You may designate one faculty member to hood you. (The only exception is for students who have two equal co-chairs presiding over their dissertation committee.) 

Please be sure to confirm the availability of your preferred faculty hooder(s) before you submit the Intent to Participate Form. 

What is the deadline to order regalia?

The deadline to order regalia is Wednesday, May 4. Please click here to learn more about ordering your regalia.

What does the regalia include?

Regalia includes your robe, cap/tam, tassel, and hood. Everything except the hood is worn at the start of the ceremony. You will carry your hood and hand it to a faculty member when you walk across the stage and then leave it on for the remainder of the ceremony. You also will remove your tam before walking across the stage so it does not interfere with the hooding process.

All doctoral rental regalia must be returned following the ceremony except for the tassel.

I ordered my regalia for pick up at Norris Bookstore. When can I pick it up?

Student regalia has arrived at the Norris Bookstore. See here for pickup times.

Regalia arrives folded and it benefits from being steamed before wearing.

Please note: TGS does not manage the regalia ordering or delivery process. The relationship with the regalia vendor Oak Hall is managed by Norris Bookstore. Please direct questions about your regalia order to Steve Hannen, the manager of Norris Bookstore, or call 847.491.3992.

Do we flip our tassel from one side of the cap/tam to the other during the ceremony?

No, you will wear your tassel on the left side of your cap/tam during the entire ceremony. Flipping the tassel denotes the achievement of an undergraduate degree.

What is the correct way to be hooded?

Please see this diagram for some helpful tips.

Do I have to remove my cap/tam before walking across the stage?

Yes, you will remove your cap/tam while lining up next to the stage so it does not interfere with the hooding process. You may place your cap/tam back on your head after you are hooded or when you return to your seat.

What if I am not comfortable being hooded by a faculty member on stage?

We understand everyone may have a different comfort level with an in-person ceremony taking place during a pandemic. If you do not wish to be hooded on stage, please wear your hood over your gown when you walk across the stage instead of carrying it in your hand to denote you do not wish to be hooded. You may still stop on stage for a photo, if you wish.

Will there be a photographer onsite?

Yes, a photography vendor hired by the University will take photos of all graduates while onstage and contact them directly following the June ceremonies if you wish to purchase photos.

Guests are respectfully requested not to take flash photographs and not to stand in the aisles at any time during the event.

COVID-19 Precautions

Are vaccinations required to attend the ceremony?

A COVID-19 vaccination is recommended but not required to participate in or attend the hooding ceremony. Disclosure of vaccination status is not required. 

Last Updated: June 2, 2022