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Preparing for Graduation: A Doctoral Hooding How-To

First Things First: Time + Place


For 2021, there will be 10 individual Commencement ceremonies taking place on Wednesday, May 19, through Friday, May 21. The ceremonies will be hosted by the individual schools and colleges. All of the ceremonies will be held outdoors at LaValle Stadium, rain or shine, and all ceremonies will be livestreamed and recorded. Parking is available outside of the LaValle Stadium.

Please proceed to the link below to see the full schedule of ceremonies:

Stony Brook University Commencement Schedule



Based on new guidance from the State of New York, you will be able to invite two guests to attend the May 2021 Commencement ceremonies. Tickets are required for entry into the LaValle Stadium. 

Please be sure to complete the Ceremony Registration Form to ensure that you receive ticket information and instructions. Beginning on Monday, May 10 , registered candidates may access two tickets through the online ticket portal on the Commencement website .

Please note that due to capacity restrictions and the graduating class size, there will be no extra tickets distributed. 

Please note - All Commencement ceremonies will be live streamed and accessed here -

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.

The Doctoral Hooding Stance


So there's technique involved in getting hooded. If you are taller than your advisor – 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 advisor’s chin, or shoulders. For a video of the 2019 Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony, please click here .

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.)


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

Closed captioning will be available during the ceremony and accessible from any smart device by accessing:

Questions? Concerns? Please visit the Conferences and Special Events Website.