University of Iowa

Graduate College Doctoral Commencement Ceremony

Friday, May 10, 2019 - 9:00am Hancher Auditorium
Doctoral Stage and Crowd
Friday, May 10, 2019 - 9:00am
141 Park Road
Iowa City, IA 52242

Doors will open to the venue one hour prior to the start of the ceremony.

Tickets will be required, more information will be available after the first of the year.

Kathy Gerling
(319) 335-3492

Can't attend the ceremony? The University of Iowa livestreams all ceremonies!

Watch Live

Ceremony Information


To participate in the ceremony, you must register via the links provided below before the deadline. Late registration will not be considered.


Doctoral candidates must register online to participate in the Graduate College commencement ceremony. Doctoral students graduating in the fall semester are not eligible to participate in the spring ceremony. The spring ceremony has a limited number of guest tickets available for each doctoral graduate (no more than 6). You should plan accordingly. Tickets are required for entry for every person regardless of age due to fire code. The deadline to register for the spring ceremony is April 10, 2019 by 5 p.m. To register, you must fill out a form via workflow.

For family members and friends who do not have tickets, we have reserved the Iowa Theater in the Iowa Memorial Union for viewing the event on a large screen. This is a more relaxed and kid-friendly environment. Cheering and clapping are encouraged. Light refreshments will be provided. Alternatively, the event is live web-streamed and available world-wide.

Doctoral candidates should check with their advisors to be sure they are available to attend the ceremony to participate in the hooding exercise. If your advisor/dissertation chair is unavailable, you may ask someone else on your committee to be your faculty hooder, but you are not allowed to select more than one faculty hooder. If you do not have a faculty hooder, someone on the platform (e.g., a dean) will assist.

Doctoral candidates must wear the University of Iowa custom doctoral apparel, available online from Herff Jones. If degree candidates need assistance on how to order, they may contact Herff Jones (,  952-447-4449).

Apparel consists of tam with/tassel, doctoral gown, and doctoral hood and will be shipped to the doctoral candidate's home. The total cost is $99.90 plus tax. Students ordering after Wednesday, April 10, 2019 will be charged a late fee. Candidates who have not registered to participate by the deadline noted will not be able to rent apparel or participate in the ceremony.

All rental apparel must be returned to Herff Jones representatives following the ceremony in the Strauss Recital Hall. If apparel is not returned following the ceremony, a prepaid return shipping label is included in the packaging when apparel was received. Please return the apparel as soon as possible to avoid incurring a charge for non-return of apparel.

We suggest business attire and you may want to consider a top/shirt with buttons to help secure the hood. Flowers are not worn on gowns, nor are they carried in hand. Caps or gowns decorated with inappropriate messages will not be permitted. We also caution graduates regarding their choice of footwear, as the stairs and floor may be difficult to navigate. Wearing high-heeled footwear is not advised. Bags or purses may not be carried; plan to leave them with friends or relatives.

Caps are to be worn with the tams or mortar boards horizontal and the tassel on the left. Tams/mortar boards should be worn during the Processional, Recessional, and while degrees are being conferred. However, they may be removed at other times.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If the graduate or a guest has a disability that requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Kathy Gerling in advance at or 319-335-3492.