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Graduate Hooding Ceremony

For many, a major highlight of the completion of a graduate or professional program is the recognition of the hard work that goes into the achievement of a Master’s, Specialist in Education, or Doctoral Degree. The Graduate School, along with the entire UT community, looks forward to helping you celebrate your success with your friends and family.

The Graduate Hooding Ceremony is designed to ensure a safe and enjoyable ceremony for all. It may look a little different this year, but one thing that remains the same is that the Graduate School is proud of all the graduate and professional students who have demonstrated the resilience, diligence, and persistence to succeed.

The ceremony will take place on Thursday, December 9 at 4:30pm in Thompson-Boling Arena. Please RSVP for the Graduate Hooding Ceremony by December 1 to let us know you’re coming!

Guide for Participants

The following is a guide for participating students with respect to arrival, checking in, photography, and the processional.


All participants (doctoral students, master’s students, educational specialist students) are to enter Thompson-Boling Arena at the lower level media entrance (near the G10 parking garage), arriving at the following times:

  • 3–3:15 p.m.—Herbert College of Agriculture; Tickle College of Engineering
  • 3:15–3:30 p.m.—Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education; College of Architecture and Design; College of Arts and Sciences
  • 3:30–3:45 p.m.—College of Communication and Information; College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences
  • 3:45–4:00 p.m.—College of Nursing, Comparative and Experimental Medicine, Haslam College of Business

Participants should arrive wearing regalia, but leaving it unzipped, to expedite the security lines. Metal detectors will be in use.

  • Masters graduates will wear their hoods. Consult this guide for instructions on how to put it on.
  • Doctoral graduate will carry their hoods.
  • Tassels are worn on the left side.

Please do not bring any items into the arena with you that will not fit into your pockets. Once you cross the stage, you may not return to your exact seat on the floor.

Check-in and Photos

Once participants have entered, they will be directed to the check-in tables, where name cards will be placed alphabetically by last name. Participants will get two copies of the name card—one to present when photos are taken and one to present before crossing the stage.

Upon receiving their name card, participants should proceed to the Ray Mears Room to have a photo taken by Big Orange Professional Photography. Doctoral graduates wishing a photo with their hooder should arrange to meet them at the Ray Mears Room.

All photos must be completed by 4:10 p.m.


After the photographs are taken, participants will return to the media entrance and find the designated area by college and degree level to line up for the processional.

When directed, all participants will then process onto the arena floor, where they will be guided to seats by ceremony staff. Master’s students will be seated on the left side of the arena floor and doctoral students will be seated on the right side. Participants will remain standing until the stage party (deans, provost and chancellor) have processed in.

Ceremony staff will direct participants by college during the conferring of degrees, to prepare to cross the stage and be recognized. After being greeted by the Chancellor and college dean (and hooded, in the case of doctoral students), participants will be directed to return to their seats.


In order to participate in the ceremony, you must be dressed in the proper academic regalia. It is your responsibility to order your regalia through the VolShop at the Student Union. If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate Counter at the VolShop at the Student Union (865-974-3459).

You must pick up your regalia from the bookstore prior to arriving at the ceremony. It will not be available for pickup at the event.