All information is subject to change.

Intent to Participate in EVMS Commencement

REGISTRATION: You must register your intent to walk in Commencement and order regalia NO LATER than Monday, March 18, 2019 to avoid a $100 late fee. Registrations will not be accepted after April 22, 2019.

Please see Graduate Checklist for all other deadlines and requirements pertaining to Commencement. Please review the full schedule of events for other graduation week activities sponsored by EVMS.

Rehearsal (MANDATORY)

WHEN: Friday, May 17, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Doors open and check-in begin at 9:00 a.m.

WHERE: Exhibition Hall, Norfolk Scope, 201 E. Brambleton Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23510

WHY: Graduates will pick up regalia, receive instructions on Commencement, meet with Commencement readers for name pronunciation and more.

NOTE: There will be a security screening upon entry to the Exhibition Hall. To expedite entry leave personal items in your vehicle.


  • Free in the Brambleton Lot across the street from Norfolk Scope
  • Self-pay in the Norfolk Scope underground garage

The entrance to the Exhibition Hall is located on the first level of the underground parking garage, one level below the concourse.


WHEN: Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. Graduates must check in at Norfolk Scope Exhibition Hall by 8:30 a.m. Exhibition Hall doors will open for graduates only beginning at 7:45 a.m.

WHERE: Norfolk Scope, 201 E. Brambleton Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23510



Commencement Protocol and Admission

Ceremony Protocol and Decorum

Commencement is a significant milestone for graduates. All who attend EVMS Commencement are asked to demonstrate the civility and decorum expected at a graduation ceremony. 

Parents and guests with children will be encouraged to leave immediately if their children become disruptive at any time during the ceremony.  We thank you for respecting those in attendance.

Ceremony Admission

  • Tickets are not required for admission
  • Doors open at 8:45 am for family and guests
  • All guests will be subject to a security screening
  • Seating is first-come, first-served basis; “seat saving” is not allowed

For more information on the Ceremony visit the Family and Guests page.



Professional attire is required. Students not dressed appropriately will not be allowed to participate.


  • Dark low-heeled footwear
  • No conspicuous jewelry outside of the regalia


  • Collared shirt and tie, dark pants (no jeans)
  • Appropriate footwear (no athletic footwear)


Academic Regalia

Graduates will receive their regalia at rehearsal and are responsible for bringing it to Commencement on Saturday. Please note:

  • Remove regalia from packaging and hang to release wrinkles before Commencement.
  • Use steam or a cool iron if necessary.
  • Caps should be worn so that the mortarboard is parallel with the ground.
  • Tams should be worn with one corner facing forward, bringing a point between your eyes. The top of the tam should have slight tilt to the right.
  • All tassels should be on the left side. 
  • Only official EVMS regalia may be worn and no adornments are permitted on the regalia or the caps or mortarboards.
  • Gentlemen should remove their caps for the national anthem.
  • Return the academic regalia to the program table before leaving the Exhibition Hall after the ceremony.*

*Note: If you would like to keep your regalia temporarily for the purpose of off-premise picture taking, you may make arrangements at rehearsal on Friday or after the Ceremony on Saturday. Graduates wanting to keep regalia must provide a credit card. Regalia must be returned by Friday, May 25, 2018. Failure to return regalia will result in a $500 charge.


All Master’s level candidates will wear their hoods as they process into the arena. All Doctoral candidates (PhD, MD) will carry their hoods over the left arm and will be hooded on stage.

Graduating PhD and MD students have the opportunity to be hooded on stage during commencement by family members who meet the criteria outlined in the Commencement Hooding Policy.

Cords & Other Embellishments

Graduates are permitted to wear up to two national honor society cords and/or stoles with their academic regalia, if:

  • presented or provided by a program,
  • earned or awarded while at EVMS, and
  • approved by the marshals and/or administration for wear at the Ceremony

EVMS will recognize all military graduates, whether active duty, reserve, guard or veteran, at Commencement by bestowing a military honor cord to be worn with academic regalia. Graduates who meet the criteria should indicate so on their registration. The military cord will be issued at rehearsal and may be worn for Commencement in addition to honor society cords.

No other embellishments to the cap, gown, tassel or hood shall be permitted.



PROCESSIONAL: Processional line-up will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the Ceremony will start at 10:00 a.m. sharp. You may not carry anything with you during the processional, with the exception of Doctoral candidates carrying their hoods.

Student Marshals and ushers will direct graduates to the appropriate seating location. Please remain standing for the duration of the Processional and the national anthem. Gentlemen should remove their caps for the national anthem. Graduates should wear their caps at ALL other times during the ceremony.

PRESENTATION OF CANDIDATES: After the Commencement speaker’s address, the conferral of earned degrees will begin first for the School of Health Professions then followed by the School of Medicine. Candidates will:

  • Rise as instructed one row at a time and proceed to the aisle on the right-hand side of the Scope.
  • Have their reader card scanned as they reach the stairs. Hand their reader card to the reader on stage.
  • Do not write on or modify your reader card in any way.
  • Wait for their name and academic honor, if applicable, to be spoken.
  • Master’s candidates will cross the stage, accept their diploma cover from the Program Director and then shake hands with the President/Dean and other representatives on stage.
  • Doctoral candidates will hand their hood to the hooding representative for their program or approved family member.
  • Turn and face the audience to facilitate the placement of the hood. 
  • Then cross the stage and accept your diploma covers from the President/Dean (MD graduates) or your Program Director (PhD). Shake hands with the President/Dean and other representatives on stage.
  • All graduates will then descend the stairs and return to your seat. 

Graduates will mobility impairment can be accommodated. Please indicate your special needs on the registration site. If an injury occurs after your registration has been completed, please call EVMS Special Events at 757.446.6176.

Oaths will be administered after all graduates have received their diploma covers and returned to their seats. The PA Program Director will administer the PA Oath first, followed by the MD Hippocratic Oath which is administered by the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs.

CONFETTI WANDS: After the oaths, the Chief Marshal returns to the podium to give concluding remarks. At that time reach for the confetti wand located beneath each chair. When directed by the Chief Marshal and the recessional music begins graduates should release their wands. DO NOT release prior to being cued. More specific instructions will be given at rehearsal.

RECESSIONAL: Following the ceremony, the Chief Marshal will lead the graduates out of the arena. All graduates must remain at their seats until they have been dismissed by the Marshals. 

Post Ceremony

Commencement will last approximately 2 – 3 hours. Please do not schedule any celebratory activities before 1:30 p.m. to allow time for class photos, diploma pick-up and returning regalia.

Graduates who complete their degree requirements by Friday, May 18, 2018 will collect their live diploma certificates in the Exhibition Hall after the Ceremony. All others must pick up their diplomas from the Registrar after they have completed their degree requirements. Please contact the Registrar for more information.

Class photos will also be taken by program in the Exhibition Hall after the ceremony. Programs will be called, one at a time; please wait at your table until your program is called. Do not depart until your picture has been taken. Class photos will be available for downloading for free at

Graduates should return the academic regalia to the program table before leaving the Exhibition Hall unless they have made prior arrangements to retain it.