Students graduating

Commencement and Hooding

Degrees are awarded in December, March, June and August. The University Commencement Ceremony and school hooding ceremonies take place only in June. December, March and August graduates are encouraged to participate in the June ceremonies.

The University Commencement is open to all Northwestern graduate students.

Those receiving the MFA or PhD degree in fall, winter or spring are invited to participate in a hooding ceremony that formally recognizes them as members of the academic community. Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Public Health students should check with their departments for details on department convocations.

Students wishing to participate in either the commencement or hooding ceremony (or both) should pay careful attention to deadline announcements they receive, both from their program advisers and from The Graduate School (TGS). In addition to academic submissions, students must also be sure to rent academic regalia in time to participate.

Hooding Ceremonies for PhD and MFA Graduates 

This year’s PhD and MFA Hooding Ceremony will take place on June 21, 2018 at Cahn Auditorium. See the Hooding Ceremony Campus Map for more information. This annual ceremony is for all of TGS’s PhD and MFA programs in partnership with the following schools:

Students in TGS programs in partnership with the School of Education and Social Policy, the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music are invited to participate in the respective partner school's ceremony:

  • Students in the School of Education & Social Policy, please see the SESP website.
  • Students in McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, please see the McCormick instructions.
  • Students in the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, please check with the Office of Graduate Studies, Room 7 MAB, for information about the Hooding Ceremonies.