Doctoral Candidates

Students graduating with a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree have additional pre-ceremony procedures to follow if planning to attend the University Commencement ceremony at PNC Arena.

Doctoral Graduation Attendance Notification (DGAN)

As part of completing your degree, Doctoral students will submit a Doctoral Graduation Attendance Notification (DGAN), which requires you to RSVP for the University Commencement ceremony, select your faculty sponsor, and provide other general information. The second part of the DGAN is a name recording; students will enter your phone number into the system, at which point the system calls and prompts you to record your name. You should record your name exactly as you would like it to be pronounced at the commencement ceremony. The ceremony announcers will use these recordings as a model for properly pronouncing students’ names. For the form to be completed, you must follow through to the end of this process, until the system loads your audio recording and confirms that you can close the page.

Pre-Ceremony Communication

The Graduate School will email all graduating Doctoral candidates approximately one month before Commencement to confirm your RSVP and specified faculty sponsor. Ceremony planning is unavoidably abbreviated by end-of-semester deadlines, so a timely response to this email is crucial.

Approximately one week before the Commencement ceremony, the Graduate School will send confirmed attendees a final email with specific information about the ceremony’s day-of procedures, including the student’s walk-order number.

Ceremony Procedure

On the morning of the ceremony, Doctoral graduates will receive a card that includes your walk-list number and a phonetic transcription of your name, as specified by the commencement announcers. Students will hand this card to the announcer before you walk across the stage, so you must keep this card until that momentCommencement announcers will read students’ names directly from the cards.

After you receive your card, you should line up according to your walk-list number, beside your faculty sponsor. Your faculty sponsor will sit directly behind you during the ceremony, so you must sit in the assigned seating order.

For more information about Commencement protocol, including assembly times and general information, see the Protocol page.

For more information regarding Doctoral graduate procedures, contact the Graduate School.