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Duke University Graduate School
2127 Campus Drive
Box 90065
Durham, NC 27708 USA

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Graduate Student Affairs

2014 Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony

When & Where

Date: Saturday, May 10, 2014

Location: Durham Convention Center, 301 W. Morgan Street, Durham. N.C. 27701

Time: 5:30 p.m.; Ceremony (reception to follow immediately)


For a list of parking garages in close proximity to the Convention Center, click here.

For a map of parking garages in close proximity to the Convention Center, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a Hooding Ceremony?

The Hooding Ceremony is a special recognition ceremony for doctoral degree candidates during which a faculty advisor and the Dean of the Graduate School place the doctoral hood over the head of the graduate, signifying his or her success in completing the graduate program. The ceremony is similar to a graduation in that faculty and students are dressed in academic attire. The Hooding Ceremony is in addition to and does not replace the Wallace Wade Graduation Exercises.

Who is invited to attend?

This ceremony is tailored as a special honor for graduating doctoral students, who may invite their friends and family. Tickets are required for the ceremony and reception. The Graduate School sends information about ticket distribution to graduates early in the Spring term.

Who performs the hooding?

Each doctoral candidate is asked to invite a Duke faculty member to assist the Dean of the Graduate School in the hooding. The faculty member may be the candidate's advisor or another faculty member of the candidate's choice. If a faculty member is not available, an Associate Dean will be available to assist the Dean.

What occurs during the ceremony?

During the ceremony, the Dean of the Graduate School will make brief remarks and then will call the names of each candidate and faculty member. They will go to the stage where the hooding will take place.

Academic Regalia

Today's academic dress has its origins in the clerical dress that medieval scholars used for warmth in unheated buildings. The tradition of special academic dress seems to have entered this country through King's College (now Columbia) in colonial New York. The custom grew so rapidly that in 1894, an American Intercollegiate Commission standardized the style and color of robes and hoods. The commission decided all robes would be black, which is not the standard for schools today. Bachelor's robes have open, pointed sleeves; master's gowns have sleeves that close at the wrist; and the doctoral gown has bell-shaped sleeves, velvet trim down the front, and three velvet strips across the sleeves.

The hood that forms part of today's academic dress was originally a head covering for bad weather. Later it was dropped to the shoulders in the form of a small cape. Eventually, the hood became a separate piece of apparel bearing even more symbolism than the gown. The hood's facing is colored velvet trimming denoting the wearer's discipline (e.g., Arts and Letters, white; Engineering, orange; Law, purple). The width of the velvet trimming designates the level of the degree. The lining of the hood identifies the institution that granted the degree, dark blue with a white chevron for Duke.

The cap or square has come to be symbolic of academia. It has evolved from a tufted, square cap called a pileus quadralus worn by medieval laity to a rigid, square academic cap, commonly called a "mortarboard." The velvet tam is commonly worn by doctorate-holders. A tassel is attached to the center of the cap. Tradition dictates that doctoral and master's graduates flick the tassel on the cap from left to right when the degree is conferred.