Commencement Events

While the Graduate School confers degrees after each term (Spring, 1st Summer, 2nd Summer, and Fall), commencement at UNC Charlotte is held just twice annually, once in May and once in December. The Doctoral Hooding Ceremony typically is the day prior to Commencement.  Students who graduate in either summer term participate in the December commencement ceremony.  


In order to participate or "walk" in the commencement or hooding ceremony, a student must have successfully completed all degree requirements and have submitted all required forms by the published deadlines, including the Online Graduation Application (please refer to the Academic Calendar for these deadlines). All students will be asked to provide a phonetic spelling of their name for their commencement ceremony. Please note that Master’s diplomas and graduate certificates are not distributed at commencement; students should expect to receive the diploma or certificate 6-8 weeks after commencement. Be sure to update your email and mailing address through in order to receive important information updates as well as the diploma/certificate.

  • Detailed instructions on the line-up, procession, and ceremony can be found on the University's Commencement website.
  • Graduate caps and gowns are available at the Campus Bookstore several months prior to commencement. UNC Charlotte also offers custom doctoral regalia.  


The Doctoral Hooding Ceremony is a time-honored tradition of individually recognizing graduating doctoral students a separate hooding ceremony, usually the Thursday prior to the University Commencement ceremony. Students are required to wear regalia. Each student is hooded by the Dean of the Graduate School, Dr. Tom Reynolds, and the student’s dissertation advisor. At the end of the ceremony, students will receive their diploma and will be invited, along with their guests to attend a reception. Tickets are required for all guests. Students will receive information via email about how to RSVP, request tickets, and order regalia. 

  • Graduating students may also choose to participate in the Commencement Ceremony associated with their college.
  • Doctoral students and their advisor are invited to the ceremony via NinerNet email account.  Graduates should look for that invitation about one-month prior to Commencement dates.
  • Graduating doctoral students and their advisor also are invited to dinner hosted by the Graduate School.  Typically, the event is held immediately following the Hooding Ceremony rehearsal.  Look for that invitation via NinerNet email account the month prior to Commencement. 

More information on the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony and related events will be published to the our Events Calendar in advance of Commencement.  You can watch the Fall 2018 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony here.

For questions about the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, please email Aura Young, Doctoral Student Services Specialist, the Graduate School.