Ceremony Attire

Commencement conveys the scholarly tradition and formal tone of an academic ceremony. As such, traditional academic regalia must be worn by all ceremony participants.



All Commencement participants must strive to maintain a measure of decorum consonant with this special and formal occasion honoring students' academic achievements. 

are you regalia ready?

Do I have to wear a cap & gown?

Yes. All degree candidates participating in Commencement are required to purchase and wear the official university regalia. 

May I borrow a friend or family member's cap and gown?

No. Degree candidates may not borrow and wear previously-worn regalia. 

May I wear military attire?

Degree candidates who will joined a branch of the United State's military as a commissioned officer may wear the formal military attire. Please complete the Military Service Attire Approval Form to register this preference. 

When can I purchase my cap and gown?

After registering to attend commencement (see Checklist for Degree Candidates), you will be given access to the regalia ordering site. The date you will be able to access the ordering site will depend on when you submit your commencement registration (see schedule below):

October 10*-October 11 October 15 
October 12-October 18 October 22
October 19-October 25 October 29
October 26-November 1 November 5
November 2-November 9** November 13

*Commencement registration opens on October 10
**Commencement registration closes on November 9 

How do I purchase my cap and gown and how much does it cost?

There are two options for purchasing a cap & gown:

  1. Purchase your cap & gown online and pick-up at the TU Grad Fair. The deadline to purchase for this option is November 15. 
  2. Purchase your cap & gown online for shipment to your desired address (shipping charges will apply). The deadline to purchase for this option is November 28. 
Bachelor's cap and gown $70 $95
Master's cap and gown $80 $105
Doctoral cap and tam $75 (rental) $100 (rental)


  • TU Northeast Maryland (TUNE) degree candidates can select to pick-up their regalia at the TUNE Campus Store in November.
    • Doctoral students who wish to purchase a custom doctoral gown and tam must place an order by October 17. The deadline to rent a doctoral gown & tam is November 28. 
What can I wear with my cap and gown?

Most degree candidates wear business professional or business casual attire under their gowns. Because candidates walk long distances to and from the ceremony, we also recommend that you wear comfortable shoes.

All degree candidates must follow cap and gown decoration guidelines:

  • To ensure the safety of degree candidates on stairs and along routes; 
  • To ensure that ceremony participants and guests have unobstructed views
  • To ensure an inclusive and respectful environment for all

Cap or gown decorations 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. Examples include: profanity, symbols for or references to alcohol or controlled substances, and hate speech.

Degree candidates must follow all regalia guidelines in order to participate in a Commencement ceremony. 

How do I wear my cap and gown on ceremony day?

A universal tip for all graduates is to take your cap and gown out of the package a few days prior to the ceremony to allow the wrinkles from packaging to fall. For perfect pictures, we encourage graduates to go the extra mile and low heat iron or steam their gown prior to ceremony day. Additional details about regalia are provided below.


  • 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. 

Cap & tassel

  • 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.
  • Baccalaureate candidates traditionally wear the tassel on the right side of the mortar board until the regent 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. 

 what regalia decorations are permitted?

Honor Cords

Braided cords are intended to recognize approved academic honor societies and military service.  Degree candidates should refer to the list of organizations approved to distribute academic cords for more information.

Cap & Tassel Decorations

While the university recognizes that wearing a decorated cap during the ceremony may be an important activity for some, degree candidates who choose to wear a decorated cap during the Commencement ceremony must follow the guidelines below. 

  • Decorations may only be affixed to the flat, top area of the mortarboard.
  • Black and gold souvenir tassels, multi-colored, or adorned tassels may not be worn during the ceremony. Master's and baccalaureate candidates must wear all black tassels provided with the purchase of university regalia. 
  • No modification of or decoration of the area under the mortarboard and/or skullcap is permitted (e.g., replacing skullcap with a headband.
  • Decorations may extend no more than a half inch upwards from the top of the mortarboard (i.e., the surface of the cap).
  • Decorations cannot extend beyond the border of the cap or fall below the perimeter.
  • Decorations may not adorn or impede the operation of the tassel or skullcap.
  • Decorations may not include lighted objects, electronic devices or cameras, flower crowns, leis, bows, ribbon, and tulle.

Stoles & Gown Decorations

Degree candidates are encouraged to wear stoles that represent their highest academic achievement at Towson University. For your comfort and safety, candidates may wear a maximum of two stoles representing a a Towson University academic honor, personal experience or identity, or a university-recognized student organization. 

  • Stoles and cords are the only items degree candidates are permitted to wear on or over the gown during the ceremony
  • For safety and security reasons, flags, belts, scarves, stethoscopes, cameras, gloves, ribbons and any item other than a stole or cord is prohibited. 
  • To prevent allergic reactions, corsages and floral embellishments such as leis may not be worn during the ceremony.
  • Medals or medallions may only be worn by graduates of the Honors College (University Scholars), organizations on the approved academic cord list, and student-athletes. Medallions may not be worn by degree candidates for any other designation. 
  • Only pins representing a registered student organization or academic program may be worn. Ribbons or other items may not be attached to pins.