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Graduate Studies Commencement: Cap and Gown

Renting and Returning

Academic attire called 'regalia' consists of: a cap, gown, tassel, and hood.  You will need to either rent or purchase through UC Davis Stores. Please see UC Davis Stores - Commencement and be sure to choose 'Graduate Studies' on the drop down menu when ordering your regalia.  

Students are responsible for acquiring, bringing, and returning their regalia. Gowns and hoods must be returned immediately following the commencement ceremony.  Locations for returns will be announced prior to the ceremony.   Regalia not returned immediately following the ceremony to the UC Davis Store at the Memorial Union by the first Monday following the ceremony will be assessed a daily late return fee beginning the following Tuesday. Graduate Studies is not responsible for commencement regalia.

Wearing Academic Dress and Procedures

The cap is worn with the long point of the shell to the rear. The black tassel on the master's candidate's cap and the gold tassel on the doctoral cap are worn to the left, signifying the possession of an academic degree. However, when crossing the stage, please wear the tassel on the right for photographic purposes.

Lightweight clothing is usually worn under the gown due to the hot weather in June. A button-up blouse/shirt is recommended for ease in affixing the hood.

The master's gown (left) is designed with an oblong sleeve, open at the wrist. The sleeve base hangs down in the traditional manner. The rear part of its oblong shape is square-cut and the front part has an arc cut away.

The doctoral gown (right) has velvet facings on its front panels and three velvet chevrons on each sleeve. The University of California authorizes recipients of the doctoral degree earned on any of its campuses to wear an academic gown of admiral blue.

The hood worn by those receiving the master's or doctoral degree hangs to the rear from the neck and is fastened to shirt buttons by an elastic cord. To avoid wearing the hood inside out, make sure that the velvet facing of the hood is visible under the chin and lies flat over the shoulders. Doctoral candidates do not wear their hoods during the line-up and procession. The hoods will be invested on stage by the dean of Graduate Studies.

See UC Davis Stores Graduation FAQ for extra information. Note that Graduate Studies will provide hosts in the line-up areas to assist with academic garb dressing.

It is customary for those wishing to demonstrate respect for their country to remove their caps during the national anthem or when the U.S. flag is passing.