Commencement Regalia

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Commencement Regalia

Rental Regalia

Regalia is required of all graduates participating in 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. No decorative materials may be worn on the gown or the cap. The Chancellor will indicate to the graduates when it is time to turn the tassel.

See details on tassel and hood colors.


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.

Active Military, Police Officers and Firefighters

SIU Commencement permit 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 Saluki Stadium 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). Because May Commencement will be outside, graduates are advised to dress for the weather, including shoes. Clear plastic ponchos will be provided for graduates to wear over their regalia in case of rain. 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. 

How to Wear Regalia

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




Hood Only: