Degree Conferral | Doctoral Brunch

All doctoral degree candidates are invited to a brunch following commencement in the Rice Memorial Center's Grand Hall. This brunch is a celebration to honor those students who have earned the premier degree offered by Rice University and includes a full meal as well as entertainment.

There will be no doctoral brunch in spring 2021. Information on the spring 2022 brunch will be published here as it becomes available.

A formal invitation and links to reserve your brunch ticket will be sent to your Rice email address as well as the email address provided when you submitted your thesis. Request or purchase tickets for the Doctoral Brunch via the signup form HERE.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Doctoral Commencement Brunch

When and where will the Doctoral Brunch take place?

The Doctoral Commencement Brunch is traditionally held directly following the Saturday plenary commencement. It usually begins around 10:30 a.m. in the Rice Memorial Center's Grand Hall. Food service typically ends at 12:00 pm. To direct your guests, please note this is Building 21 on the campus map.

I have special dietary concerns. Will I be able to eat?

A sample menu from the 2018 brunch is available. We ask our caterers to eliminate the use of pork products in preparation of the menu items; any pork served will be served as an optional topping. Additionally, we have asked our caterers for several gluten free and vegetarian menu selections. These are clearly marked. If you have additional dietary concerns, please feel free to contact us.

What is the menu?

A sample menu from the 2018 brunch is available here.

How much are the brunch tickets?

Doctoral graduates are eligible for a complimentary ticket for the graduate. The doctoral student may purchase two additional guest tickets for $5.00 each (not transferable to other graduates). All additional tickets may be purchased through the signup site for $15 each (2019 rate). Please make all brunch reservations and ticket purchases before the end of the business day on May 1.

What about tickets for children?

For children aged 3 - 9, a free child ticket is required for entry. Each graduate may request up to three free child tickets. A ticket is not required for “lap babies” who will not require a chair.

How can I reserve my tickets and purchase extra tickets?

An email regarding Doctoral Convocation registration is typically sent in mid-March. You will be directed to the registration website. There you can reserve your Doctoral Convocation tickets and also have an opportunity to reserve your free doctoral brunch tickets. If you need more than the free brunch ticket, then you will be directed to the Doctoral Brunch Signup Site which will allow you to purchase extra tickets online using Visa or Mastercard. All lunch reservations must be made before the end of the business day on May 1.

When and how will I get the tickets?

Please pick them up in the office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Allen Center, Suite 323) between May 1-8.

What if I can't pick them up during those weeks?

Please make advance arrangements by emailing for one of three options:

  • Tickets to be mailed. The doctoral graduate must request this no later than Friday, April 20. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope and send to our mailing address.
  • You may authorize a friend to pick them up for you. We cannot release tickets to anyone other than the graduate without written approval (such as an email) from the graduate. We will ask to see the IDs of anyone picking up the tickets.
  • The doctoral graduate may claim their tickets at the door of the Doctoral Brunch.
What will happen if I don't pick up my tickets between May 1-8, and I don't make prior alternative arrangements?

Your free, reserved tickets will be considered unclaimed, we will not include your attendance in our catering and seating arrangements. We will not issue you a new ticket once we have finalized our attendee count. All purchased tickets will still be available for pick-up during business hours.

I did not receive an e-mailed invitation by the end of February, why not?

Commencement weekend invitations are based upon applications for doctoral degree. Please submit an application for your degree (found in your Esther account) to the Office of the Registrar and contact the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at with your name, department, netID, and student ID number.