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 black 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 black tassel), and a hood lined with UMGC's official school colors. The master's hood is also trimmed with velvet in a color representing the degree.

Doctoral degree candidates wear red robes with distinctive piping on the front and sleeves, as well as hoods that represent their field of study and a black velvet tam with an attached gold tassel.

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.

Order Your Cap and Gown Online

You can order your cap and gown starting in February; you will receive ordering instructions in the confirmation email sent after you RSVP for commencement.

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

  • Associate and Bachelor's—About $39
  • Master's—About $67
  • Doctoral—$86 (rental) or $683 (purchase)

Prices above include standard ground shipping.

Other items, such as the stole of gratitude, are extra. The vendor's website will include pictures and pricing for all items when ordering opens concurrent with registration.

Commencement Fairs

You can also order your cap and gown during commencement fairs at the Academic Center at Largo. Our regalia vendor, Oak Hall, will take measurements and orders at all fairs; however, you cannot pick up regalia on-site at the March fair. Orders placed in March will be delivered to your home.

Fairs will be held in March and during our May commencement week. Check here for all the details about our commencement fairs.