Commencement Cap and Gown

A Bit of Fashion History

The tradition of academic dress for graduates started in the 12th and 13th centuries when universities first formed. Early ceremonies were often held in unheated buildings, so long gowns were necessary for scholars to ward off the cold.

That Stylish Look

As a graduate, you'll wear a traditional cap and gown. 

Associate degree candidates wear light-gray gowns with the traditional mortarboard—a cap with a flat, square top and tassel.

Candidates for bachelor's degrees wear black gowns, as well as caps with tassels.

Candidates for master's degrees wear a black gown, a tam (an eight-sided cap with a tassel), and a hood lined with UMUC's official school colors. The master's hood is also trimmed with velvet in a color representing the degree.

Doctoral degree candidates wear royal blue robes with distinctive piping on the front and sleeves, as well as hoods that represent their fields of study.

Active-duty servicemembers are encouraged to wear their service dress uniform in lieu of a cap and gown.

There are three stoles available to purchase this year: The stole of gratitude, the active-duty stole, and the veteran's stole.

  • The stole of gratitude is not for the graduate to wear. Instead, the graduate should present it to the person who provided the most support during his or her studies. It is a wonderful way to say "thank you" and to provide a nice keepsake to a treasured friend or family member.
  • Active-duty servicemembers who decide to wear regalia (instead of their uniform) may purchase and wear a stole designed with colors and lettering reflective of their branch of service and active-duty status.
  • Veterans may purchase and wear a branch-specific stole to proudly celebrate their service in our nation's armed forces.

Online Cap and Gown Orders Ended on May 1

If you still need to order your cap and gown, you must visit the commencement fair, May 10–12 at the Academic Center at Largo.

Our regalia vendor, Oak Hall, Inc., will take measurements at the fair, where you may purchase and pick up regalia on-site.

Find out all the details about the commencement fair.

We offer rental regalia to doctoral candidates, but we recommend purchasing a complete set of regalia now so you're prepared for future events that require formal academic dress.

Pricing will be posted on the vendor’s website; however, for planning, you should budget:

  • Doctoral—$667 (purchase) or $70 (rental)
  • Master’s—Up to $55.50, depending on fabric
  • Bachelor’s and associate—Up to $27.50, depending on fabric

Other items, such as the stole of gratitude, are extra. The regalia ordering website will have pictures and pricing for all items.