Doctoral Degree Candidate Information

Date, Time, and Location:

  • Thursday, May 11, 2023, at 7:00 P.M. in Hilton Coliseum
  • Doors will open for guests at 5:30 p.m.
  • It is anticipated that the ceremony will last no longer than two hours.         


  • On-stage handshakes with the President or Provost are optional. 
  • If you prefer not to shake hands, please fold hands together to indicate you do not wish to be offered a handshake.


  • Due to the construction of CyTown, certain parking lots located between Hilton Coliseum and Jack Trice Stadium will be blocked off the day of commencement. Additional parking has been identified around Jack Trice Stadium and Maple Willow Larch (see parking maps).
  • We are asking students and their guests to arrive early enough to find parking and walk to the check-in location (for graduating students) or guest seating in Hilton Coliseum. We encourage carpooling if possible.
  • Handicap parking is available in lot C2.
  • If you or your guests park in the Maple Willow Larch parking lot, please cross at the light and follow all traffic laws.

Tickets and Guests:

  • Tickets are not required.
  • Guest seating is unlimited – please invite everyone who wishes to celebrate your significant achievement!


  • You may begin arriving for check-in at 5:30 p.m., but plan to arrive by no later than 6:20 p.m.
  • Your assigned check-in location will be in the Scheman Building (located to the north and west of Hilton) on the 100-level, which is the middle-level of the building, in Benton Auditorium.

Academic Attire (e.g., Caps, Tassels, and Gowns):

  • Doctoral graduates are required to wear: The official Iowa State University doctorate regalia (i.e., Doctoral gown, Doctoral hood, and Doctoral tam).
  • Hoods:
    • The Office of the Registrar will provide each doctoral candidate with a Doctoral hood to use during the ceremony.
      • If you use one of the Doctoral hoods provided by the Office of the Registrar during the ceremony, you will need to return the hood to the Office of the Registrar staff on stage immediately after the ceremony. Failure to do so will result in a charge to your U-Bill of $175.00 for the replacement costs of the hood and a hold will be placed on your university record.
      • If you will be bringing your own Doctoral hood or would like to borrow your hood after the ceremony, please contact Abbie Suntken in the Office of the Registrar via e-mail at before 4:30 P.M. on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.


  • Graduates needing special assistance (e.g., wheelchair seating, sign language interpreter, captioning services, service animals, etc.) prior to, or during, the ceremony should contact Amber Tiarks,, by May 8th.
  • Special accommodation seating will be available on a first come, first served basis.
  • Handicap parking is available in lot B2.
  • Guests needing a handicap accessible entrance and/or elevator should utilize Hilton Coliseum’s west entrance, located under the catwalk between Scheman and Hilton.
  • A sign language interpreter will be available.

Ceremony Process:

  • After check-in, graduates will proceed to the line-up area.
  • Please complete the photography portion of the card you were given at check-in prior to the start of the ceremony. 
  • During the ceremony, graduates will be led to the photography area and then led across the stage by a Faculty Marshal. Photographers will use a flash when taking photos
  • Handshakes with the President or Provost are optional. Please approach the stage with hands folded if you do not wish to be offered a handshake.
  • After crossing the stage, graduates will be led back to their original seats. 

Diploma Tubes:

  • The President and/or Provost will hand you a diploma tube on stage during the ceremony.