2024 Wharton PhD Hooding Ceremony

Friday, May 17, 2024 from 9:30 AM to 12 PM (EDT)
Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center


8:45AM PhD students arrive at Annenberg Center no later than 8:45AM.  Your guests will not be permitted into Annenberg until 9AM
Mandatory Graduation Rehearsal in Annenberg Center. We will be instructing you on procession as well as hooding.
9:20AM Line up and procession to Zellerbach Theatre
9:25AM Dean, Deputy Dean, and Vice Dean will lead the student procession into the Auditorium. A tent card with your name will be on a seat within the reserved seating section at the front of the theater.
Ph.D Hooding Ceremony
10:30AM-12:00PM Brunch Reception

*Only Ph.D. students who have officially deposited the dissertation or have submitted the August Graduates Approval Form for May Commencement Participation (submitted by April 15th) are eligible to participate in the Wharton Graduation Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony.  August grads must still order regalia by the regalia order deadlines

Dissertation Process & Deadlines

Here are the University deadlines for the May 2024 degree:

  • Graduation Application is now open
  • Provost’s Office begins accepting dissertations January 25
  • *Tuition waiver – defend by date February 29
  • *Tuition waiver – deposit by date March 29
  • Defend by April 24
  • Last day to sign-up for Graduation Application and deposit appointment – April 24
  • Peak deposit window *special rules apply – April 15-May 6
  • Deposit by May 6
  • Degree Awarded May 20**

** Degrees are posted after Commencement. It may take approximately 6 weeks or longer for degrees to be posted on transcripts.

Final Defense Stage

  1. Apply for the degree: https://srfs.upenn.edu/student-records/GradApp and sign up for a deposit appointment: Appointments are available for scheduling in Calendly. The scheduling link is: https://calendly.com/penngraddegree/deposit. To ensure availability of appointments, students who need an appointment after April 14th may email grad-degree@provost.upenn.edu with their defense date to sign up.
    • When scheduling your deposit appointment via Calendly, please be sure to enter Gidget Murray’s contact under “coordinator” NOT your PhD Faculty Coordinator. gmurray@wharton.upenn.edu
  2. Schedule Your Final Defense
    1. Continued Special Deposit and Defense Procedures
      • Dissertation defenses may be in-person or presented via remote conferencing. All forms required for depositing will besubmitted electronically, and title page signatures are not required. A printed copy of the dissertation will not be required, and the dissertation must be submitted electronically via ETD Administrator.
    2. Once you have coordinated a time with your committee,
      1. Inform your department administrator so they may help with scheduling
      2. Email the final defense notification form to the Doctoral Programs Office at least 2 weeks before your final defense
  3. All dissertations must follow the formatting outlined in the Formatting Guide; see the PhD Dissertation Formatting Checklist and Sample Dissertation Title Pages for help.
    • Nancy Zhang should be listed as “Graduate Group Chairperson”: Nancy Zhang, Ge Li and Ning Zhao Professor, Professor of Statistics
  4. After your Final Defense, submit the Final Oral Defense Form through Penn Graduate Forms: https://upenn.bplogix.net/workspace.aspx
    • Click Available Forms
    • Then, Penn Graduate Forms
    • Then, Load Milestones
    • Then, Final Oral Defense
    • Select the date of your final defense
    • Enter your dissertation title
    • Confirm your dissertation Committee Members and make any edits as needed
    • Click Submit Form
  5. Complete Job Placement survey
  6. Deposit dissertation with the Graduate Division via your deposit appointment

Helpful Links and Reminders:

  • Dissertation defenses may be conducted in-person or remotely
  • All required forms for depositing are submitted virtually in Penn Graduate Forms
  • Title page signatures are optional, and electronic signatures are accepted
    • Nancy Zhang should be listed as Graduate Group Chairperson as follows:
      Nancy Zhang, Ge Li and Ning Zhao Professor, Professor of Statistics
  • A printed copy of the dissertation is not required for deposit
  • The dissertation must be submitted electronically in ETD Administrator

Graduation Calendar:


Review the Doctoral Dissertation Formatting: https://provost.upenn.edu/sites/default/files/users/user3179/PhD%20Candidate%20Formatting%20Checklist_0.pdf

Survey of Earned Doctorates  https://sed-ncses.org

​PhD Exit survey   https://upennira.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4IoCqf6NaKkFt53

​If you have technical difficulties accessing the PhD Exit Survey, please contact surveys@pobox.upenn.edu

PhD candidates must forward completion verifications of both surveys to  grad-degree@provost.upenn.edu

Graduation Fair and Regalia Order Information

All graduating students attending the hooding ceremony must be in academic regalia.  You can purchase your regalia from the bookstore.

You have two options for regalia: Traditional and Custom. Traditional regalia is in black and custom regalia is in Penn colors. Both options can be seen in the photo at the top of this webpage. Details for each are on the Penn Bookstore website.

The Graduation Fair at the Penn Bookstore will be held March 20-22 where you will be able to order your regalia in person. Otherwise, you are able to order your regalia online.

Custom regalia must be ordered by March 4th.

Hooding Process

During the ceremony, your names will be called one by one.  The Vice Dean will say your name, title of your dissertation, and name of your Dissertation Supervisor, and name of who will be hooding you if your Dissertation Supervisor is unable to attend.

  • You will enter the stage using the stairs to the left of the stage, carrying our hood on your LEFT ARM
  • You will meet your Supervisor(s) at the center of the stage and shake hands
  • You will stand on the X in the center of the stage, hand your hood to your Supervisor, then face towards the audience
  • Your Supervisor will place the hood over your head
  • You will shake hands with the Dean and Deputy Dean and receive your certificate from the Deputy Dean
  • You, your Supervisor, Dean and Deputy Dean will stand on the marked X’s on the stage, and face forward for a picture
  • You will exit the stage on the right with your Supervisor

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need tickets? There are no tickets required for this event but all students will be limited to 10 guests each (including children).

What should I wear? We ask that graduates wear an academic cap and gown and those graduates who received or are receiving the PhD degree carry the hood for the ceremony. Please see the “Graduation Fair and Regalia Order” section of this page for more information.

What should my guests wear? As this is a semi-formal event, we recommend business attire. (suits or sport jackets for men and tailored dresses or tailored suits or pantsuits for women).

How many guests can I invite?  You may invite a total of 10 guests, but please keep keep these to immediately family members. This does not include your dissertation advisor or PhD coordinator.

Should I invite my advisor? You can definitely extend a personal invitation to your advisor. Faculty advisors will also receive an invitation from the Wharton Doctoral Programs office. You will not need to include your advisor in your guest count.

What if my supervisor is unable to attend? Can someone else hood me? Yes, you can have another committee member or faculty person hood you if your supervisor is not able to attend the ceremony.  Please email Gidget Murray (gmurray@wharton.upenn.edu) with the name of the faculty person who you plan to have hood you so that an invitation is sent to them.

Where can my guests and I park? The closest parking lot is 38th & Walnut lot. Guests can enter either on Walnut Street or off of 38th Street (in between Walnut and Sansom). Since there are several events occurring on campus the same day, it is suggested to arrive early as the parking lot may fill up.

Penn University Commencement

The Penn University Commencement will be held on Monday, May 20, 2024 at Franklin Field. More info here. 

Have questions about Wharton Doctoral Programs Graduation 2024? Contact Gidget Murray: gmurray@wharton.upenn.edu or Britton Helmuth: helmuth@wharton.upenn.edu