Ceremony Attire

Candidates for graduation must purchase and wear Towson University regalia, adhere to the regalia guidelines, and comply with related processes in order to participate in Commencement.


Commencement ceremonies convey the scholarly tradition and formal tone befitting of an academic ceremony. As such, Towson University is guided by the American Council on Education's Academic Costume Code. All commencement participants must strive to maintain a measure of decorum consonant with the occasion. 

Graduates choosing not to abide by the regalia guidelines will be asked to leave the assembly area and will not be permitted to participate in the Commencement ceremony.  

deadline information

Purchase Regalia by November 27

The deadline for registering for a Winter Commencement ceremony was November 27, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Exceptions for purchasing regalia or participating in a Winter ceremony cannot be made after this date.

deadline faq

  • Candidates who miss the November 27 deadline to purchase regalia​ or who are applied to graduate after November 27 will be invited to participate in a Spring Commencement ceremony (held May 23 – 25, 2018). 
  • Please note, graduation is the process of being awarded a degree after successfully completing credit hours and other degree requirements.​ Commencement events are the congratulatory ceremonies​ that celebrate graduate. 
  • Commencement events have limited space availability based upon venue size. Therefore, the university must assign deadlines in order to ensure that the numbers of commencement participants do not exceed venue capacity.​

Traditional academic regalia will be worn by all candidates for graduation and faculty participating in the commencement ceremonies. Only students completing all degree requirements in the current term and who are approved to graduate by the Graduation Office are authorized to purchase the approved TU regalia and participate in commencement. 

Student Regalia Pricing

All students approved for graduation who choose to participate in Commencement must purchase regalia. Candidates are not permitted to use previously worn regalia or to share regalia with another graduate.

Register to participate in Winter Commencement by purchasing your regalia online. The deadline to order regalia (and register to participate in Commencement) is November 27. If you miss the deadline for purchasing regalia, you will not be allowed to participate in Winter Commencement. Exceptions will not be made.

  • Baccalaureate gown, cap and tassel purchase: $95.00
  • Master's gown, hood, cap and tassel purchase: $105.00
  • Doctoral gown and tam rental: $100.00

An Early Bird Discount of $25.00 will be applied to all regalia purchases or doctoral gown rentals made before November 20. The deadline to order regalia is November 27, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. 

Student Regalia

Regalia guidelines will be strictly enforced on ceremony day and the university reserves the right to request that candidates change inappropriate attire before they will be allowed to participate in the Commencement ceremony.


  • Master's and bachelor's candidates wear a black, mid-calf gown with the university seal embroidered on the lapel. The gown may not be altered in any way. 
  • Appropriate business or business casual attire must be worn beneath the regalia. Shorts and tennis shoes are discouraged unless needed for mobility reasons. 


  • Master's and baccalaureate candidates wear the black mortar board (cap) designated by the university. The caps are elasticized--one-size fits all.
  • The mortar board should be worn with the front point over the forehead below the front hairline, so the flat board is parallel to the floor. The cap is not worn on the back of the head with the board pointing upward.
  • The Academic Costume Code prohibits the decoration of caps (mortar boards) in recognition that Commencement is a formal occasion. As such, the university strongly discourages the decoration of caps. Graduates who choose to wear a decorated cap during the Commencement ceremony must follow strict guidelines.


  • Master's and baccalaureate candidates wear all black tassels designated by the university. Multi-colored or adorned tassels are not permitted.
  • Baccalaureate candidates traditionally wear the tassel on the right side of the mortar board until the President formally confers the degrees upon the graduates during the ceremony. Master's candidates wear the tassel on the left side prior to degree conferral.

degree Hood

  • Degree hoods are worn only by master's and doctoral candidates.
  • The degree level, as specified by the Academic Costume Code, determines hood dimensions. The gold and white satin lining represents Towson University colors. The velvet band color on the front of the hood signifies the degree earned. 

 Military Religious & Attire

  • Members of the military may wear their military dress uniform and members of religious orders may wear their religious attire in place of the academic regalia.
  • Contact the University Store at ustore@towson.edu by November 27 to obtain approval to wear military or religious attire, register for the ceremony, and be guaranteed Commencement tickets. 

Medallions, Stoles, Pins and Cords

Adornments include any addition to the issued traditional academic regalia and may include, but are not limited to: academic cords, stoles, sashes, medallions, pins and other decorations. Corsages and floral embellishments may not be worn on the regalia or cap, nor may regalia be altered or modified in any way.

Reglia adornments that are motivated by animosity against a person or group because of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability, national origin, or homelessness, or which infringe on the rights and freedom of others will not be tolerated.

The university welcomes students, academic programs and student organizations to express their identity and values through the addition of appropriate adornment to the standard TU regalia within the guidelines set forth. Students not in compliance with the requirements of this policy may be asked to remove and/or conceal any unapproved regalia adornment.


  • Medals or medallions may only be worn by graduates of the Honors College (University Scholars) and student-athletes. Medallions may not be worn by candidates for any other designation. 

academic cords

  • Braided cords only recognize university-approved academic honors. The list of organizations approved to distribute academic cords has been determined by the Office of the Provost in consultation with academic colleges.  
  • Academic programs and registered student organizations wishing to provide members or participants with an academic cord to be worn at Commencement must obtain prior approval from the Office of the Provost. The Academic Cord Request Form must be submitted by October 15 for use at Winter Commencement or by March 15 for use at Spring Commencement. 
  • Organizations or groups outside of the Division of Academic Affairs are not permitted to distribute cords for graduates to wear during commencement.

stoles, sashes, and pins

  • Stoles or sashes (long bands of cloth worn around the neck) may not be more than four inches wide and/or 65 inches long (32.5 inches on each side). A maximum of two stoles or sashes may be worn
  • Organizational pins may not exceed 1.5 square inches. A maximum of three pins representing a registered student organization or academic program may be worn.