American academic costume was standardized in 1895 with the issuing of a code of dress by the Intercollegiate Commission. The code sets the styling standards for bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s robes and provides a color code for the hood, which identifies the degree and the institution granting the degree. The color of the border indicates the field of study, and the lining is in the official color or colors of the institution conferring the degree.
It is assumed that students will wear the traditional cap, gown and hood. However, traditional attire worn by international students is acceptable. Caps and gowns must not be modified or transformed. Anyone failing to comply with this requirement will not participate in the ceremony.
Commencement is a formal ceremony, so please dress accordingly. The general rule is to wear lightweight, non-restrictive clothing. Men do not have to wear jackets, but should wear a shirt and tie. You are requested not to wear shorts, jeans, or sweatpants. Shoes should be securely fastened to your feet and women should avoid high heels due to uneven surfaces and the stage steps. Candidates need their hands free and therefore should avoid carrying cameras and/or pocketbooks.
Commencement is a formal ceremony and inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. Persons, including degree candidates, found to have alcoholic beverages in their possession during the Commencement ceremony will be removed from the premises by security personnel. Please refrain from use of cell phones, walkie-talkies, and beepers during the ceremony. Your consideration of others and acknowledgement of the formality of the ceremony is appreciated.