Around Campus

Doctoral Hooding and Commencement information

From parking to weather plans, we have you covered for all things Commencement weekend.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will celebrate more than 6,000 graduates this weekend during the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony on May 11 and Spring Commencement on May 12.

Nearly 250 of Carolina’s doctoral candidates will be recognized at the hooding ceremony at 9 a.m. at the Dean E. Smith Center. Graduate students who earned their Ph.D.’s in the past academic year will have the hood of their Commencement regalia conferred by their advisors or dissertation committee chairs.

Ramesh Raskar, a UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus and inventor with 90 patents to his name, will deliver the keynote speech. Raskar researched at the Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab, where he invented new forms of augmented reality using projectors and spawned work in the new field of computational photography. He then joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he founded the Camera Culture research group at the MIT Media Lab, where he is an associate professor within the Media Arts and Sciences graduate program.

Guests attending the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony should arrive between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. and can park at the Manning Lot (on Bowles Drive between the Smith Center and Family Practice), the Bowles Lot (on Bowles Drive behind Craige Dorm), and the UNC Kenan Flagler Business School Deck.

Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz will preside over Spring Commencement the following day at 9 a.m. in Kenan Stadium. Gates open at 7 a.m.

Jonathan Reckford, a Carolina alumnus and CEO of Habitat for Humanity, will deliver the Commencement address.

Commencement parking information can be found at maps.unc.edu. A shuttle service will provide transportation for guests parking in various lots on campus. Locations and schedule of those shuttles can be found here. South Road, Raleigh Street, Stadium Drive and Ridge Road will be closed near Kenan Stadium on the morning of May 12.

Accessibility information for the events can be found on commencement.unc.edu.

Both events are open to the public and do not require tickets. The ceremonies will also be livestreamed at UNC.edu, with a closed captioning version at commencement.unc.edu/livestream

Weather: If severe weather is expected Commencement morning, the University may postpone the ceremony to allow the threat to pass. Check UNC.edu, University social media channels and local television and radio stations. If there are weather-related delays, the latest possible start time for Commencement would be 11 a.m.

  • If it rains during Commencement, organizers may shorten the ceremony, but it will not be relocated.
  • If severe weather threatens while the ceremony is in progress and attendees’ safety is at risk, the ceremony would be canceled and guests will be advised to seek shelter. The ceremony would not resume.
  • Umbrellas will be permitted, but guests should use caution when opening umbrellas and be mindful of those seated around them.