Frequently Asked Questions

#1: What is a white coat ceremony, and why should I attend one?
The white coat ceremony is meant to signify the importance of entry into a professional program and has been used for years at entry into medical and veterinary schools. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate your achievement.

#2: Should I ask someone to “coat” me, or just have someone from the CVM assigned to me?
We want to encourage everyone to ask a DVM that has made a difference to them to present their coat, as that will make the ceremony a more memorable experience for everyone. Our goal is for each student to have their own coater whom they have chosen.

#3: What should I wear?
Dress for this event is professional, so clothing such as shirt and ties or suits for gentlemen, and suits or skirts for the ladies would be appropriate.

#4: Where do I get my white coat?
Sponsors for this event are generously paying for your new white coats for the ceremony! You can determine your size by using the Sizing Chart (one for men and one for women) on the RSVP.

#5: Where is the Ceremony and how long is it?
C.Y. Stephens Auditorium, located in the Iowa State Center, is the venue for the event. The ceremony is relatively short and should only take around an hour and fifteen minutes.

#6: How many people can I bring, where do I get tickets, and how much does it cost?
You may bring as many guests as you like. Tickets are not necessary. The ceremony is FREE, so please encourage your family and friends to attend.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  When you complete the RSVP, you will be asked how many guests will be at the ceremony AND how many plan to attend the reception after the ceremony. 

#7: Where should my guest coater get a white coat to wear?
Your coater needs to bring their own white coat. They can be purchased from any uniform supply business. They may also contact our SAVMA Bookstore (vetbooks@iastate.edu) if they wish to purchase one from there. If choosing the latter option, please plan to order at least 2 weeks before the date of the ceremony.

#8: I hear there is a reception afterwards, so should we bother having dinner beforehand?
The reception will consist of desserts, so please take the time to have dinner before the ceremony. As new and returning students will be back in Ames the weekend of the ceremony, please leave ample time if you plan to eat at a restaurant as they most likely will be very busy.  If you prefer to have dinner after the ceremony and not attend the reception, that is fine.  We need you to indicate how many people will attend the reception so that we can have an accurately order food.

#9: Where is Stephens Auditorium and where should we park?
Stephens Auditorium is a separate building within the Iowa State Center complex, and can be accessed either via University Boulevard or Lincoln Way. Further directions to the event will be given during fall orientation. There is ample parking across the street from the auditorium.

#10: Who should my family, my coater or I contact if we have other questions?
You are welcome to contact Dr. Monica Howard (515-294-0391 or mohoward@iastate.edu) if there are further questions.