The Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony is the only USC Dornsife event exclusively for Ph.D. recipients. Ph.D. candidates who defended in 2023 or who will defend in May or August 2023 are eligible to participate. Participation in the ceremony is subject to the dissertation chair’s approval. Participation in the hooding ceremony does not confirm your graduation.

The event will be held on Wednesday, May 10, 2023 on The Allyson Felix Field at 11:00 AM. Line-up begins at 10:00 A.M.  In order to participate in the ceremony, candidates must register. Eligible candidates received an email from Dornsife Events prompting you to register for your in-person Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony. Registration is now closed.

During the ceremony, the candidate’s dissertation committee chair will present the hood, a symbol of the Ph.D. degree, to the student. If the dissertation chair is unable to attend, and you would like an alternate to present the hood at the ceremony, please provide us with their name and email at time of registration. The Dean’s designee will present hoods to candidates if no alternate is provided.

Ph.D. Ceremony Information


  • Ph.D. candidates are required to register for the Hooding Ceremony. All eligible candidates are subject to the dissertation chair’s approval.
  • Ph.D. candidates are required to wear academic regalia (cap and gown) and must bring their hood. Please visit the USC Bookstore for graduation regalia and more.
  • Ph.D. candidate line-up begins at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, May 10, 2023 and will be located behind the stage on the Allyson Felix Field, by department.
  • Before getting into line, please check in at registration then proceed to line up in position.
  • Once all Ph.D. candidates have processed and are seated, the ceremony will begin. Each Ph.D. candidate will proceed to the stage by department to have their name announced and be hooded.
  • Four professional pictures will be taken: one before you are hooded, two while you are being hooded and one after you are hooded. Professional photography is provided by Grad Images. Click HERE for more information from Grad Images. If you have questions, please call Grad Images Customer Service at 1-800-261-2576.
  • After you are hooded, all Ph.D. candidates must return to their seats until the conclusion of the ceremony.
  • A reception, hosted by USC Dornsife, will immediately follow the ceremony on the Allyson Felix Field.
  • All Ph.D. candidates are welcome to participate in the main ceremony held on Friday, May 12, 2023 starting at 8:30 A.M. in Alumni Park. The Ph.D. candidate column will be led by Graduate Student Marshals, Flag Bearers and the Vice Provost for Graduate Programs. For more information on the main ceremony HERE.

Guest Information


Disability Services

  • Wheelchair seating is provided at the Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony. Due to space limitations, only one family member may join the disabled guest in the wheelchair seating area.  Additionally, by request, USC Dornsife will make arrangements for sign language interpreters and captionists.
  • Please complete the following form: Special Seating Request
  • Deadline to submit a disability request is Friday, May 5, 2023.
  • Please note you will receive a confirmation email with further day of instructions one week prior to the event.
  • Click HERE for information regarding disability services at the Main Ceremony. Wheelchair seating at the Main Ceremony is on a first come, first served basis.


  • USC Dornsife’s Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony does not require tickets.


  • Parking on the day of USC Dornsife’s Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony is complimentary for candidates and their guests. Please inform the parking attendant at the Downey Way Entrance/Downey Way Parking Structure that you are here to attend the Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony on the Allyson Felix Field.
  • To locate the Allyson Felix Field and the Downey Way Entrance/Downey Way Parking Structure on a campus map, please click HERE.
  • For driving directions, please HERE.