Graduation Decorum & Dress Code

The graduation ceremony is a festive occasion, but also a formal academic event. The celebration manifests itself in the dress of the students and faculty adorned in academic regalia and the joy and satisfaction of accomplishment. The ceremony is also marked by seriousness during the actual conferring of degrees because it signifies the hard work of everyone involved: students, faculty, administrators, and family. Because of the serious nature of the ceremony, students and their guests are expected to maintain a measure of decorum consistent with the occasion.

Dress Code Guidelines:

  • Graduates participating in the ceremony must wear a cap and gown.
  • Only dress shoes should be worn (dark colors are best – no athletic shoes please).
  • Flowers are not to pinned or placed on caps, gowns, or clothing and should not be carried by graduates.
  • The mortarboard (academic hat) is to be worn with the front point over the forehead below the front hairline, so that the flat board is parallel to the floor. (Not worn on the back of the head with the board pointing upward.) Tassel hangs on the right.
  • No decoration of any kind is to be placed on the mortarboard.
  • Associate degree candidates will wear both the gown and a chevron (green and white hood), and wear the tassel on the right side of the mortarboard, hanging near the right eye. After the degrees are conferred, the tassel is shifted to the left side. The signal for shifting the tassel will be given by the President.
  • Certificate candidates will wear the gown without a hood and will wear the tassel on the right side of the mortarboard, hanging near the right eye. After the certificates are conferred, the tassel is shifted to the left side. The signal for shifting the tassel will be given by the President.
  • Candidates should not have personal belongings in their possession during the commencement ceremony. If necessary, personal items can be left with friends or family members during the ceremony.
  • Candidates should not chew gum or tobacco.
  • PTK pins may be worn because they are academic emblems, but no other jewelry should be worn or pinned on the gowns. PTK students will wear a gold sash. Gold cords should be worn over the sash.
  • Only PTK, Veterans, and Honor Program graduates may wear graduation cords. All other academic regalia accessories such as cords and pins must be approved by the Dean of Student Affairs.