Commencement Regalia

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Commencement Regalia

Regalia is required of all graduates participating in commencement. Regalia colors and styles are based on the degree earned. There are no differences to regalia based on gender.

Rental Regalia

Deadline to order regalia for pick up at the University Bookstore at the SIU Student Center is Monday, April 1, 2024 by 10 p.m. Orders placed for pickup at the University Bookstore will arrive on or before May 6th.

Regalia may be ordered online with a ship-to-home option until Tuesday, April 16 at 10 p.m. 

Please note; graduate application fees do not include regalia rental fees. Regalia rental is a separate fee.

Orders placed with Herff Jones which are shipped to your home should be returned with the prepaid label included in your order. Regalia ordered at the University Bookstore can be returned in front of the Banterra Center after the commencement ceremony, or to the University Bookstore the week after Commencement.

Cap, tassel, and stole (stole is for undergraduates only) are keepsake items. Gowns and hoods (hoods are for graduate students only) must be returned. 


Undergraduates wear tassels on the right until their degree is conferred. Graduate students should wear tassels on the left.

Cap Instruction and Tassel Colors

All candidates participating in the commencement ceremony wear a tassel on their mortarboard cap; the cap should be worn at all times, except during the National Anthem. The cap should be worn horizontal with the point directly in the center front and the tassel on the right for undergraduates, and on the left for graduate candidates. The Chancellor will indicate to the graduates when it is time to turn the tassel.

See details on tassel and hood colors.

Stoles and Cords

Students are welcome to wear honor, organization or other affiliation stoles; however, SIU stoles and cords should be displayed above all others. Undergraduates who rent regalia from the University Bookstore or online through Herff Jones will receive a maroon "stole of gratitude", to be worn at Commencement. After Commencement, according to tradition, the stole is then presented by the graduate to someone who has provided help or support to them while they earned their degree.

Latin honors medallions, University Honors Program cords, military cords, and athlete cords are awarded at the Academic Excellence ceremony before Commencement. They can also be picked up at the Banterra Center on the day of Commencement.

University Events and Protocol only provides the medallions and cords listed above. For information about other stoles or cords, please contact the organization or affinity group directly.

Active Military, Police Officers and Firefighters

SIU permits active duty military, police officers and firefighters to wear their dress uniforms instead of traditional cap and gown regalia.

Where do I return my regalia?

Regalia shipped to home will have a prepaid return label, and should not be returned to the University Bookstore. Gowns picked up at the University Bookstore can be returned at the Banterra Center or to the University Bookstore the week after Commencement.

Undergraduates must return the gown. Graduate students must return the gown and hood. The cap, tassel, and stole (undergraduates only) are yours to keep. 

What to Wear

Business or business-casual attire is appropriate under your academic regalia (cap and gown). The Commencement Team requests your help in upholding the dignity and tradition of our Commencement by avoiding any action that may be distracting or inappropriate to other graduates or guests.

Please note the Commencement ceremony includes a processional for some graduates, crossing the stage, and recessing from the Banterra Center. Graduates are advised to keep this in mind when selecting shoes for the day.

How to Wear Regalia

Herff Jones Regalia has instructional videos on how to wear your cap and gown.




Hood Only: