College of Medicine and Life Sciences - Commencement

Information for Family & Friends

2019 Commencement information coming soon

All guests should enter the Stranahan Theater through the main lobby. The estimated time for doors to open to the auditorium for seating is 1 p.m. Guests may wait in the outdoor area or Stranahan lobby until doors to the auditorium open. Guests are not permitted in the graduate line-up area in the Great Hall.

Admission to the ceremony does not require a ticket; however, seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis.  In consideration of all guests, saving of seats for family and friends is discouraged.

Format of Ceremony

Though specific details vary from year to year, the Commencement Ceremony follows a standard general format:

  • Graduates process into the auditorium in assigned order within their degree groups.
  • Graduates are seated in rows of assigned seats on the stage of the Stranahan auditorium, facing the audience. There will be a printed program on each graduate's chair.
  • Ceremony includes various welcome addresses by distinguished University administrators, awarding of one or more honorary degrees, Commencement addresses by one or more invited speakers (e.g., the honorary degree recipient), student-led speeches (most often one M.D. and one graduate student speaker), and the recitation of an oath by the M.D. recipients.
  • Each graduate's name is read aloud during the ceremony.
  • At the end of the ceremony, graduates recess out of the auditorium and back into the Great Hall. Guests can meet their graduates in the Stranahan lobby after the entire Commencement party has recessed out of the auditorium.


Graduates receiving a doctoral-level degree (e.g., M.D., Ph.D., or international equivalent) may request to have a "Special Hooder" place their hoods on them during the ceremony. Special Hooders must themselves hold doctoral-level degrees.

All Special Hooders require advance approval from the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) to participate. Students may make these requests on the College of Medicine and Life Sciences Commencement Registration form.

Special Hooders are required to wear academic regalia in order to participate in the commencement ceremony. If Special Hooders do not already have their own regalia, regalia may be ordered (see flyer link below). Hooders are responsible for returning rented regalia to the designated location in the Stranahan immediately following the ceremony.

2018 Regalia Informational Flyer (PDF)

Special Hooders should arrive no later than 1 p.m. to receive training and other important instructions. Hooders should enter through the main doors of the Great Hall, adjacent to the Stranahan Theater, and will be directed by staff to the appropriate line-up location. Special Hooders will be seated in a designated area of the audience, in assigned seats according to the marching order of their graduate(s).

If a Special Hooder requires special accommodations due to a disability please contact the Office of Student Affairs at


A professional photograph is taken of each candidate as he/she proceeds across the stage.

To purchase: Navigate to the event page for commencement at
Search for photos under UTCOM GRADUATION.

For more information contact:
Kurt Nielsen Photography
5431 Schultz Drive
Sylvania, OH  43560
(419) 885-7153

Last Updated: 8/16/18