Degree Conferral | Spring Doctoral Convocation

Doctoral Convocation

The Rice University Doctoral Convocation is an occasion of special recognition for doctoral candidates to share with their family and friends. During the ceremony, each candidate's thesis director is announced, and the faculty member of the student's choice places the doctoral hood over the head of the doctoral candidate, signifying successful completion of the doctoral degree and full membership in the community of scholars.

On this page you will find a list of important dates, registration instructions for students, and information for guests.

Tentative: 2021 Doctoral Convocation
Friday, May 14, 2021, from 2:00 - 3:00 P.M.
Stude Concert Hall, Alice Pratt Brown Hall (Building 44 on Campus Map)
Reception to follow in the foyer of the Alice Pratt Brown Hall. Please enter through the EAST LOBBY near the Turrell Skyspace

Information for Students

Important Dates for Students
  • Make note of all deadlines.
  • Mid-February – April 16: Register for the Doctoral Convocation.
  • April TBD: Deadline to reserve doctoral regalia. More information here. Regalia orders can be placed April 6-27; however, prices will increase.
  • April 16: Last day to update your registration status for the Doctoral Convocation and make changes to your dissertation information, select hooding faculty, and request convocation tickets.
  • April 30 - May 7: Pick-up Doctoral Convocation and Doctoral Brunch tickets in the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, 323 Allen Center. Office hours are 8:00 A.M. - noon & 1:00 - 4:00 P.M..
  • April 30: Deadline to purchase Doctoral Brunch tickets.
  • May 7: All Doctoral Convocation tickets not picked up, or have had prior arrangements made for delivery, will be released to the waitlist. This does not affect Doctoral Brunch tickets, which are available for pick up through May 10.
  • May 14, 2:00 P.M.: Doctoral Convocation. Doors open at 1:00 P.M. Participants are asked to arrive at 1:00 P.M. Procession begins promptly at 2:00 P.M.
  • May 15, 8:30 A.M.: Commencement. Candidates line up at 7:30 A.M.
  • May 15, 10:30 A.M.: Doctoral Brunch. Brunch starts immediately after Commencement ends.
Doctoral Graduation Checklist

Are you ready for graduation? Find out here.

Registration Details
  • Potential doctoral candidates will receive an email by the end of February detailing how to:

  • Register for this special ceremony by April 16.

  • Provide thesis information for the program brochure.

  • Provide the name of the faculty advisor.

  • Select the hooding faculty member.

  • Reserve tickets for Doctoral Convocation guests.

  • Request special accommodations for guests.

  • Reserve tickets to the Doctoral Commencement Brunch, which will be held following commencement on Saturday.

Ticketing & Registration for Convocation
  • Go to https://gradconvocation.rice.edu, log in using your Rice net ID and password. Please read each screen of the registration site carefully.
  • Indicate whether or not you will attend Commencement. Indicate whether or not you will participate in the Advanced Degrees Convocation.
  • Enter information on how to correctly pronounce your name. Phoenetic pronunciations of American English can be found here, however we encourage you to write out your name as you've explained it to others.
  • Indicate how many guests you expect to attend the Advanced Degrees Convocation and request special accommodations for yourself or your guests if needed for the ceremony. After you register you will receive email confirmations regarding Commencement and the Advanced Degrees Convocation.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Guests will need tickets to attend the Doctoral Convocation. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and guests are advised to arrive early. Students can register themselves for Friday's Doctoral Convocation, indicate attendance for the Saturday commencement ceremony, and request convocation tickets for their guests here.
  • After you register, you will receive an email confirmation regarding Commencement and the Advanced Degrees Convocation.
  • If you have any registration questions or concerns, please email gradconvocation@rice.edu or call the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at 713-348-4002.
Ticket Pickup

Tickets are REQUIRED for Doctoral Convocation guests. Each graduating doctoral student is guaranteed up to three guest tickets. If additional tickets are needed, doctoral graduates may request to be added to the wait list when registering for the Doctoral Convocation. The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will contact the doctoral graduate by email should tickets become available. Tickets can be picked up from the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies between May 1-8.

Regalia

Full regalia is required for participants in the Doctoral Convocation (doctoral graduates and faculty). For best size selection, regalia should be ordered from the Rice Campus Store by the end of March. For more information, please call the bookstore at 713-348-2039. Doctoral graduates can read the convocation logistical instructions prior to the ceremony.

Logistics

Please see full instructions here. Doctoral candidates and faculty hooders are asked to arrive in the Shepherd School main hallway at 1:00 p.m. in their regalia. Graduates and faculty will need to have a cap, gown and hood when you arrive for the ceremony. Marshals and staff will be available to assist you in preparation and with the marching order. Faculty hooders will march with and sit next to their first student to be hooded.

Doctoral Convocation Reception

There will be a reception for students, friends and families in the foyer immediately following the Friday Doctoral Convocation.

Plenary Commencement

See the University website regarding plenary commencement. Participation in either the Doctoral Convocation or Plenary Commencement is optional.

Ceremony Text Updates

A special Commencement communication system has been set-up to provide students, families, faculty and staff with the most up-to-date information (including Inclement Weather updates). To opt in to this system, please text 2019RICEGRAD to 888-777. You may opt out at any time by replying STOP. For help, reply HELP. Standard messaging and data rates may apply.

Questions?

Please email gradconvocation@rice.edu.

Information for Guests

Timeline of Events
  • Tickets ARE required for guests at the Doctoral Convocation.
  • Doors will open at 1 p.m., and guests should be seated no later than 1:50 p.m.
  • Seating is on a first-come, first serve basis and guests are advised to arrive early.
Tickets

Tickets ARE required for guests at the Doctoral Convocation. Each graduating doctoral student is guaranteed up to three guest tickets. If additional tickets are needed, doctoral graduates may request to be added to the wait list when registering for the Doctoral Convocation. The Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will contact the doctoral graduate by email should tickets become available. Tickets can be picked up from the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies in early May.

Special Needs Seating

Guests with special seating needs will be accommodated with prior arrangements. Due to limited space in these sections, only one family member or guest may be allowed to join the guest requiring the special seating. There will be an overflow area in the foyer with a simulcast video of the ceremony. This may be a good option for parents with restless children. Please, indicate any special accommodations when you register on the Doctoral Convocation Registration website.

Special Needs Seating

Degree candidates should indicate any special accommodations when registering for the Advanced Degrees Convocation.

Parking

Free parking is available in West Lots 2, 3, 4, and 5, adjacent to the Alice Pratt Brown building. The closest accessible parking is available in West Lot 4. (see campus map).

Strollers

Because there will be processions up and down all the aisles, strollers will not be allowed in the downstairs auditorium. They may be parked in the foyer before entering or may be taken by elevator to the balcony seating area.

Watch Online

The Doctoral Convocation will be available to watch live at https://commencement.rice.edu/video/doctoral. The ceremony will also be professionally recorded. After commencement, the videographer will contact each graduate at their permanent address on file with the registrar with information about purchasing a recording of the ceremony.

Professional Photographer

A photographer will take still photographs of each graduate being hooded. After commencement, the photographer will contact each graduate at the address on file with the Registrar’s Office with information about how you may purchase photographs. To learn more about purchasing professional photographs and videotapes of the ceremony, visit the Rice University Commencement website.

Ceremony Translations

Translations are available in several languages for the families and friends of our doctoral graduates. Additional languages may be requested before April 13th.

Ceremony Text Updates

A special Commencement communication system has been set-up to provide students, families, faculty and staff with the most up-to-date information (including Inclement Weather updates). To opt in to this system, please text 2019RICEGRAD to 888-777. You may opt out at any time by replying STOP. For help, reply HELP. Standard messaging and data rates may apply.

Plenary Commencement

See the University website regarding plenary commencement. Participation in either the Doctoral Convocation or Plenary Commencement is optional.