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Dress + Processional

Getting ready for the ceremony

The big day is around the corner! With the stress of finals and the school year coming to an end, planning for graduation day can be overwhelming! Here are some helpful tips on what to wear and expect during the ceremony.

What to Wear with Your Gown
  • Dark dress shoes and dark clothing are recommended with academic attire and look good in photographs.
  • Wrinkles in your gown? Try a steam iron or hang the gown in a steamy bathroom.
Cap and Tassel
  • The mortarboard cap should be worn horizontally (not tipped in any direction), with the point of the cap in the middle of the forehead.
  • Until formal conferral, the tassel is worn on the right side of the cap.
  • Master's degree candidates wear tassels on the left side at all times.
Honor Cords
  • Gold cords should be worn only by baccalaureate degree candidates graduating cum laude (grade-point average of at least 3.2), magna cum laude (GPA of at least 3.5) or summa cum laude (GPA of at least 3.8).
  • Honor society members (baccalaureate only) may wear as many as two silver cords.
  • Honors are not assessed at the graduate level, therefore no graduate students wear honor cords.
  • Honor cords may be purchased at the University Bookstore.
Master's Hoods
  • DNP, Master's and Specialist in Education degree candidates must bring their hoods for the formal hooding ceremony. These degree candidates can find more information here.
Lining Up
  • Line up in Hibbard Hall as directed and the marshals will bring you your reader card.
  • Once you have received your reader card, do not leave the line-up area.
  • Go to the information table to talk to the reader if your name is hard to pronounce.
  • Once in line, please stay there. Please be patient.
  • The procession begins to move about 15 minutes before the ceremony.
  • In the arena, remain standing until the marshal directs you to sit.
During the Ceremony
  • Candidates should turn and face the platform party as they enter.
  • Sit after the National Anthem.
  • After the "Charge to the Class," the chancellor will confer degrees; follow directions.
  • Grasp your tassel with your left hand and transfer it to the left side of your cap.
  • Follow directions for standing and sitting; watch your marshal for signals.
  • Hand your card to the reader just before ascending the platform.
Congratulations! Have a wonderful day.
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