The Hooding Ceremony

The hooding ceremony at Indiana University East signifies a scholarly and personal achievement. In a symbolic gesture of being tonsured, graduates remove their mortarboards just prior to being hooded. The dean of the academic school in which the student attains the degree places the hood on the student as a symbol of passage from student to "master.".

Hooding: What is it and why do we do it?

Hooding ceremonies are carried out by institutions of higher education to recognize students who have earned an advanced degree beyond the bachelor's degree. The ceremony is a time when individual schools and programs can recognize the individual accomplishments of their graduates in a more personal way than is permitted at the university’s general commencement.

During the ceremony each graduate comes forward and has their hood placed over their head by the academic dean as their names are read. The colorful hood of each university is reserved for those who satisfy the requirements or advanced degrees. It is a special part of academic regalia and denotes scholarly and professional achievements.

The pageantry of commencement has its roots in medieval times, dating to the early tradition of Europe's first universities. Origins of academic attire are obscured in history, but it is likely that the scholar's distinctive dress was based on modifications of ecclesiastical costumes of the times.

In 1895, the United States set for its universities a uniform academic costume code, which is reflected in most of the regalia worn today. Meanwhile, European universities maintained their right to variety. The vivid diversity of regalia for European degree holders brings to the American commencement such visual pleasures as sable berets, cardinal robes and other distinctive garb.

The cap, the hood, and the robe are the visual components of the academic costume. The mortarboard, as we see it now, comes from joining the elements of a square bonnet and a skull cap. As early as 1600, scholars at Oxford University began using lightweight boards to hold out the corners of the bonnet.

Gown designs represent the levels of academic degrees. The master's gown has sleeves with a slit to allow the arm to emerge at the elbow of the gown.

The tassel color for our master's degree students is black. The master’s hoods are actually not head covering, but stoles, edged in velvet and lined in satin which flows down the wearer’s back.

The color of the velvet edging reflects the academic discipline; the satin lining reflects the institution granting the degree. Thus, Indiana University hoods are lined in cream and crimson.

Hooding Ceremony FAQs

Q: What is a Hooding Ceremony?

A: The Indiana University East Hooding Ceremony (May 7) is a special recognition ceremony for Master degree candidates during which the dean of their academic school places the master’s hood over the head of the candidate, 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 Commencement at the Tiernan Center on Friday, May 10.

Q: Who participates in the Hooding Ceremony?

A: The hooding ceremony will honor graduate students from the IU East academic Schools: Business and Economics, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural Science and Mathematics, Nursing and Health Sciences and Social who are receiving Master’s degree a in the 2018-2019 academic year (December 2018 and May 2019).

Q: How do I participate in the Hooding Ceremony?

A: All candidates for Master’s degrees will be receive an invitation to participate in the Hooding ceremony with instructions including reserving tickets. In order to participate, candidates must have ordered regalia. You may still rent regalia from the IU East Bookstore after May 1 (a late fee will apply).

Q: Who is invited to attend?

A: This ceremony is a special honor for Master degree candidate, who may invite their friends and family. Because space, we must limit guests to six (6) per graduate.

Q: Who performs the hooding?

A: The Dean from the graduate’s academic school will perform the hooding. An academic advisor/mentor may congratulate the candidate as they are leaving the stage.

Q: Where is the ceremony?

A: The Hooding Ceremony is held in Vivian Auditorium on the Campus of Indiana University East: 2325 Chester Blvd, Richmond, IN.

Q: When is the ceremony?

A: The 2019 ceremony will be held at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Graduates should plan to arrive no later than 4:45 to robe and line-up.

Q: Are tickets required?

A: Yes. Tickets are required for all guests. Children who will be sitting on a lap do not need a ticket, but children who will occupy a seat will require a ticket. Students being hooded may receive no more than 6 tickets for their guests.

Tickets may be picked up in the Office of External Affairs, 103 Springwood Hall. Arrangement can be made to pick up tickets at prior to the ceremony at a “will call” table outside Vivian Auditorium. NOTE- Graduates must contact the Terry Wiesehan, 765-973-8221 to reserve tickets at “will call.”

Because of space limitations, there will be no entries without a ticket.

Tickets are not required for students who are being hooded or participating faculty.

Q: What about regalia (Cap and Gowns)?

A: You may pick up your regalia (cap, gown and hood) at the IU East Bookstore beginning May 2. It’s always a good idea to take it out of the bag and hang up to let the wrinkled fall out.

You will wear your regalia, including your hood at the commencement ceremony on May 10 at the Tiernan Center, where your degree will be officially conferred. Following the commencement ceremony, you will return your gown, and hood. You may keep your cap and tassel.

NOTE: The hoods are “rental” hoods. If you would like to order and purchase a permanent hood, please contact Terry Wiesehan, Director of Alumni Relations,

Q: When should student and faculty participants arrive at the ceremony?

A: Students and faculty who are participating in the hooding ceremony should plan to arrive at Whitewater Hall Room 132 by 4:45 PM for instructions

Q: Will photographs be available?

A: Professional photographers will take photos as degree recipients are hooded and as they shake hands with the Dean. Photographs will be made available online.

Friends and family should not leave their seats to take photographs.

We ask that all friends and family remain seated and not block the aisles while students are being hooded. This not only blocks the view of other guests, but is a fire hazard. There will be an opportunity for photos following the ceremony and during the reception.

Q: Where is the reception and who may attend?

A: There will be a reception in the lobby of Whitewater Hall following the ceremony. Light refreshments will be served.

Hooding Ceremony Instructions:

The processional:

  1. Candidates will process into the auditorium and be seated by the academic school in assigned rows.
  2. Invited Faculty will process and be seated in assigned rows.
  3. Campus Officials and Academic Deans will process and take seats on the stage.


Welcome and Remarks will be offered by Campus Officials.

Candidates will be individually introduced during the ceremony as they cross the stage.

During the processional, candidates should have their hoods unfolded and draped over the left arm.

Hooding instructions

When your school is called forward by the reader, follow the directions of the marshal, who will lead you toward the stage.

Students climb four steps to the stage. Please contact us if you have any difficulty climbing stairs.

Each candidate presents his or her name card to the reader who will introduce the candidate. Candidates then process across the stage, shaking hands with the Chancellor, Executive Vice Chancellor, and the Dean of the school from which the student has completed a degree.

For the hooding, candidates should remove their caps and face away from dean of the school who places the hood over the candidate’s head. Once hooding is complete, pause for a photograph.

Academic Advisors/Mentors of candidates may step forward (off the stage) to offer congratulations prior to the candidate returning their seats. There will be opportunities for photographs during the reception.


After candidates have been hooded and closing remarks are complete, those seated on the stage will recess out the auditorium, followed by the newly hooded recipients. Family and friends are asked to wait until exit the auditorium until the recessional is complete.

A congratulatory reception will be take place following the ceremony.