Graduation Ceremony Policy

Graduating candidates have two opportunities to celebrate degree completion: University of Arizona Commencement & College of Nursing Convocation.

University of Arizona Commencement

The University of Arizona’s Commencement Ceremony occurs annually in May and celebrates candidates from all disciplines. Candidates are not recognized individually at this ceremony. The ceremony occurs in the evening and is a celebratory occasion. Interested candidates may learn more and RSVP on the Commencement website.

College of Nursing Convocation

The College of Nursing hosts a Convocation Ceremony three times per year (May, August, December). At this ceremony, graduating candidates are recognized by college faculty with the bestowing of academic hoods and College of Nursing pins.

Hooding & Pinning of Candidates

Hooding and pinning are two traditions celebrated at the College of Nursing Convocation Ceremony. As important academic traditions, only faculty from the College of Nursing may hood or pin students.

Doctoral Candidates

Doctoral candidates are individually recognized by receipt of an academic hood by their DNP Project or Dissertation Chair and college Dean during the College of Nursing Convocation. If the student’s chair is unable to attend convocation,it is the responsibility of the chair to designate another member of the committee to hood the graduating candidate. The chair is also responsible for notifying the Program Director if they will be absent from convocation. In the notification, the chair should identify the name of the faculty member hooding the student.

Master’s Candidates

Candidates receiving master’s degrees (Clinical Systems Leadership & Master’s Entry to the Profession of Nursing) will be hooded by 2-3 program faculty selected by each graduating class. MEPN candidates will also be presented with the College of Nursing pin as they enter the profession.

Baccalaureate Candidates

Candidates receiving the bachelor’s degree will be presented with a College of Nursing pin by 2-3 program faculty selected by the graduating class.

Graduation Regalia

Candidates must wear regalia to participate in either convocation or commencement. Regalia is purchased through the University of Arizona BookStore and can be ordered online or in person. Nursing candidates will select their degree program from the bookstore’s dropdown menu. Regalia should be ordered at least 3 weeks prior to the ceremony date.

Doctoral candidates have the opportunity to purchase custom-order regalia at a higher cost. Custom-order regalia has an extended timeline for ordering & alternations – interested candidates should contact the bookstore no later thanfour months prior to the ceremony date to order. Costs are available on the bookstore’s website under “faculty regalia”.

College of Nursing Pin

A tradition for candidates entering the nursing profession has been the presentation of the school pin. The pin symbolizes connection to the network of graduates from the college. The original pin was made of copper adapted from the seventy-fifth anniversary seal of the university. The “torch of truth” was sculpted over a map of Arizona, with Tucson indicated by a star and mountain ranges representing the natural landscape of the area. The dates on the pin indicate the founding of the university in 1885 and the beginning of the nursing program in 1957. The first pin was designed in 1960 and awarded to the graduating class in May 1961.

Candidates wishing to obtain the official pin must purchase it through the Arizona Health Sciences Center Medical Bookstore well in advance of graduation. Students who do not wish to purchase the official pin will be presented with an alternative. Students receive their pins during Convocation.

Convocation Participation Policy

Graduating candidates may not participate in the College of Nursing’s Convocation ceremony until all degree requirements have been met. Candidates should contact the Office of Student & Academic Affairs (OSAA) with any questions or concerns.

Doctoral candidates who successfully defend their DNP Project or Dissertation by the published “last date to defend” deadline are eligible to participate in Convocation in that term or any subsequent term. Candidates who wish to defer participating in Convocation so they may jointly attend the University's and College's Spring ceremonies must notify the OSAA by the final defense/presentation deadline.

A candidate who schedules the DNP Project or PhD Dissertation defense between the “last date to defend” and the date of the College's Convocation ceremony may participate providing that:

  • Their defense has been confirmed a minimum of two weeks prior to Convocation AND
  • All GradPath forms are approved a minimum of two weeks prior to Convocation

Requests for exceptions to the convocation participation policy must be sent via email by the candidate’s DNP Project or Dissertation chair to the student’s specialty coordinator (DNP only) & the Program Director for review and approval. Approval is not guaranteed. Students are strongly encouraged not to make travel or participation plans until their committee signs off on the final defense date.


The Graduation Ceremony Policy applies to all students at the University of Arizona College of Nursing.

Last Revised

August 2020