Skip to main content

Doctoral Hooding Celebration

Doctoral Hooding Celebration Graphic'

may 2024 Ceremony

Friday, May 10 at 10:00 a.m.
State Farm Center

Find more information about the ceremony, including tickets, on the May 2024 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony event details page.

If you have difficulty viewing this embedded livestream, visit this link.

A Message from the Dean

Dean Wojtek Chodzko-ZajkoWe are immensely proud to celebrate our graduates who have earned the highest degree, the doctorate, along with their faculty mentors.

Doctoral hooding is a symbolic gesture that represents the culmination of scholarly and personal achievement. During the ceremony, the hood is placed over a student’s head by a mentor or senior scholar, marking the transition from learner to producer or contributor in one’s field. It recognizes their academic achievements and welcomes them into the community of scholars.

Illinois has a rich tradition in doctoral education. Our first two doctor of philosophy degrees were awarded in 1903, one in Chemistry and one in Mathematics. That was over 100 years ago. The graduates celebrated this term join generations of distinguished alumni who are leaders and innovators, impacting the lives of people around the world. I am confident that these graduates, with their commitment and perseverance, will use their knowledge and expertise to shape our future in profound ways.

If you are a graduate, we hope that you’ll join us for the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony to celebrate all you have accomplished, surrounded by the family, friends, mentors and colleagues who helped you succeed.


Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko
Dean of the Graduate College

May 2024 Speaker

Dr. Madak-Erdogan HeadshotDr. Zeynep Madak-Erdogan is Sylvia D. Stroup Scholar of Nutrition and Cancer, Associate Dean of the Graduate College, and Associate Director of Cancer Research Education and Training Coordination at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has been a faculty member in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition since 2014. Her lab uses advanced computational analysis of OMICs data from patient samples and in vivo and in vitro models to understand how hormones and the environment impact disparities associated with metabolic health and cancer outcomes. She has built a strong and diverse laboratory and mentors high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral associates, and early career faculty.

Dr. Madak-Erdogan teaches courses in Health Disparities, Cancer Metabolism, Basic Toxicology, Diet, Nutrition and Cancer, and Women's Health. She delivers workshops for faculty focusing on equitable graduate education and mentoring. She has received several awards, including a Postdoctoral Fellowship from a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Training Grant in Endocrine Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology, a fellowship from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the Women in Endocrinology Young Investigator Award from the Endocrine Society, the Mary Swartz Rose Young Investigator Award, the Bio-Serv Experimental Nutrition Award from the American Society for Nutrition, Michael B. Kastan Award for Research Excellence from American Association of Cancer Research and she was named a Future Research Leader and a Health Disparities Research Institute Scholar by NIH. Dr. Madak-Erdogan is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Endocrine Society and a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science Magazine.

Order of Ceremony


Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Dean of the Graduate College


Robert J. Jones, Chancellor


John Coleman, Provost


Zeynep Madak-Erdogan, Associate Dean in the Graduate College and Associate Professor in Food Science & Human Nutrition


Each graduate will be called individually and hooded by a member of the graduate faculty.
Graduates will be recognized by college in the following order:

  • College of Agriculture, Consumer & Environmental Sciences
  • College of Applied Health Sciences
  • Gies College of Business
  • College of Education
  • Grainger College of Engineering
  • College of Fine & Applied Arts
  • School of Information Sciences
  • School of Labor & Employment Relations
  • College of Law
  • College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • College of Media
  • School of Social Work
  • College of Veterinary Medicine

Ritual and Tradition of Academic Dress

The history of academic dress begins around the twelfth century when the earliest universities were forming in Europe. At that time, the dress of a scholar—whether student or teacher—was that of a cleric. Typically, a medieval scholar would have taken ecclesiastical vows and would have been tonsured. The long gowns were worn primarily for warmth and hoods would have covered the heads of the scholars who spent many hours in unheated monasteries where ancient texts were maintained.

Subsequently, the material of the gown and lining, and the shape of the hood, represented the economic, social, and academic status of the wearer. The wearing of distinctive regalia for universities emerged in England in the second half of the fourteenth century.

In the United States, the tradition of academic dress dates to the 1880s, when different institutions established their own academic dress codes. Black is the traditional color for gowns, although at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, academic dress has been designed specifically for the Institution—blue gowns with orange accents and blue mortarboards.

Doctoral Regalia

Today the doctoral gown is faced down the front with velvet and has bell-shaped sleeves with three bars of velvet across each sleeve, differentiating it from the bachelor’s and master’s gowns. The facing and bars may be black or blue, as is the case at Illinois, or may be the color of the subject to which the degree pertains. Doctoral gowns may be worn open or closed.
Another distinction of the doctoral gown is its longer hood, which measures 4 feet. Hoods are lined with the official color or colors of the college or university conferring the degree. At Illinois, the lining is orange and blue.

The five-inch, colored, velvet border of the hood identifies different doctoral degrees as follows:

  • Dark Blue – Doctor of Philosophy / PhD
  • Light Blue – Doctor of Education / EdD
  • Pink – Doctor of Musical Arts / DMA
  • Purple – Doctor of the Science of Law / JSD
  • Medium Blue – Doctor of Audiology / DAud

See MORE Recordings of Past Ceremonies