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.

Details on spring 2021 commencement for the classes of 2020 and 2021 can be found here. A PDF of information for degree candidates can be found here. For questions regarding commencement, please contact the Office of Development here.

Saturday, May 15, 2021
Rice Stadium

As announced in the April 12 message from President Leebron, the doctoral and advanced degree convocations for both 2020 and 2021 will join together into a single on-campus Saturday morning commencement on May 15. This event will include all graduate students (including Bachelor of Architecture and Artist Diploma students) except those earning the MBA, who will instead participate in the Jones Graduate School of Business commencement ceremony on Friday morning. Participation in plenary commencement is optional.

Doctoral hooding will be done either in departmental or school receptions, or in less formal individual ceremonies.

The Saturday morning doctoral and advanced degree commencement ceremony will include commencement speaker Nicholas Kristof and livestreamed for all audiences, but only advanced degree and PhD candidates and their guests may attend in person.

Information for future ceremonies will be listed below as it becomes available.

Information for Students

2021 Information

Details for the 2021 plenary commencement ceremony can be found at Information for degree candidates can be found in the PDF here.

Important Dates for Students
  • April 25: Deadline to rent regalia. More information here.
  • Doctoral and Advanced Degrees Convocation for Class of 2020 and 2021 Advanced Degrees and Doctoral Students. (August 2019 & 2020, December 2019 & 2020 and May 2020 & 2021). Morning Ceremony.
Doctoral Graduation Checklist

Are you ready for graduation? Find out here.

Ticketing & Registration for Convocation

Each graduating student will receive four guest tickets for the ceremony they are participating in, which will be electronically distributed to students approximately one (1) week prior to commencement. All guests who attend commencement must abide by university safety policies, including strict rules on seating location and mask usage compliance. While the university is pleased to provide the opportunity for loved ones to celebrate commencement in person with their graduate, adherence to safety protocols is nonnegotiable and will be strictly enforced.

Information for Class of 2020

The RSVP deadline for class of 2020 students is Friday, April 23. Please click here if you intend to participate.


Full regalia is required for participants in the Doctoral Convocation (doctoral graduates and faculty). Regalia should be ordered (for rental) from the Rice Campus Store by April 25. The deadline to purchase regalia and have it arrive on time for the ceremony was March 30.

For more information, please call the bookstore at 713-348-2039. Doctoral graduates can read the convocation logistical instructions prior to the ceremony.


Please see full instructions here. Please note this information will change to stay in keeping with COVID-19 restrictions and policies. 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.


Please email

Additional Information

Timeline of Events

Specific details about the program for each event are still being worked out and will be communicated to graduates as needed.

Special Needs Seating

Information is forthcoming.

Watch Online

The Doctoral Convocation will be available to watch live at 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 typically 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.

Text Updates

A special Commencement communication system has been set-up to provide students, families, and guests with the most up-to-date information (including Inclement Weather updates). To opt in to this system, please text 2021RICEGRAD to 888-777. You may opt out at any time by replying STOP. For help, reply HELP. Standard messaging and data rates may apply.