Academic Apparel at Duke
The complete academic costume for all graduates includes a tassel, cap, hood, and gown. You should wear the full academic apparel to commencement, but should not wear the hood at the baccalaureate service. The style and color of your academic apparel depend on the degree you will receive at commencement (refer to Hood and Tassel Colors). For example, if you will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree, you would wear a black bachelor’s gown, hood with white trim, mortarboard, and black tassel.
The apparel order deadline for students is March 1, 2023. If you are a doctoral student that intends to purchase your apparel, the deadline to purchase is February 15, 2023 and can be done so by contacting Jeffrey Kahlmeyer in Duke Stores at 919-684-0060. Complete this form to register for the university-wide commencement ceremony and order your academic regalia.
|Bachelor’s, Trinity||Bachelor’s, Pratt|
|Rent or Purchase Option?||Purchase Only||Purchase Only|
|Tam or Mortarboard?||Mortarboard||Mortarboard|
|Gown||Black Bachelor’s Gown||Black Bachelor’s Gown|
|Hood Color||Depends on degree||Orange|
|Cost of Complete Apparel||$65 + tax||$65 + tax|
|Master’s||Doctoral||PhD||All Law Degrees|
|Rent or Purchase Option?||Purchase Only||Rental or Purchase||Rental or Purchase||Rental or Purchase|
|Tam or Mortarboard?||Mortarboard||Velvet Tam||Velvet Tam||Tam|
|Tassel Color||Depends on Degree||Depends on Degree||Gold||Purple|
|Gown||Black Master’s Gown||Black Doctoral Gown with Colored Velvet Trim||Custom Duke Blue||Black Doctoral with Purple Velvet Trim|
|Hood Color||Depends on Degree||Depends on Degree||Dark Blue||Purple Trim|
|Cost of Complete Apparel||$70 + Tax||$75 + Tax for Rental||$75 + Tax for Rental, Approximately $850 for Purchase||$75+ Tax for Rental|
You may pick up your apparel during the following dates and times. Please note, that apparel pickup will be closed on Sunday, May 7.
Bryan Center (Brown Art Gallery)
|Monday, May 1 – Sunday, May 6||9 AM – 5 PM|
|Sunday, May 7||Closed|
|Monday, May 8 – Saturday, May 13||9 AM – 5 PM|
Graduate Rental Returns
| Apparel Returns
Bryan Center (Brown Art Gallery)
|Sunday, May 14||9 AM – 5 PM|
|Monday, May 15||9 AM -5 PM|
|Tuesday, May 16||9 AM – 5 PM|
Protocol and Fit
The graduation gown should fall midway between the knee and ankle.
There are different styles and colors of hoods. At the commencement ceremony, you should wear the hood that corresponds to the degree you are receiving. If you have earned both a terminal degree and a master’s degree (a Juris Doctor and a Master of Public Policy, for example) during the same semester, march wearing the gown and hood of the highest degree and drape the other hood over your left arm.
Caps, Tams, and Tassels
Traditionally, women wear academic caps at all times, and men remove their caps during the National Anthem and opening invocation and replace them for the conferring of degrees. There is no hard rule for the position of the tassel on a mortarboard. Several institutions have adopted the practice, during commencement exercises, of requiring candidates for degrees to wear the tassels on the right front side before degrees are conferred and to shift them to the left at the moment when degrees are awarded to them.
The university is happy to consider proposals for any adornment to the commencement gown that is related to academic merit. Nonacademic adornments are not approved by the university. All adornments should be in good taste and fitting for a ceremonial occasion. Please email the Office of Special Events & University Ceremonies if you have questions on what is considered appropriate.
Hood and Tassel Colors
|Degree||Hood and Tassel Color|
|Doctor of Philosophy||Dark Blue|
|Master of Science||Yellow|
|Master of Arts||White|
|Master of Fine Arts||Brown|
|Doctor of Medicine||Green|
|Doctor of Physical Therapy||Teal|
|Medicine, Master’s Programs||Yellow|
|Trinity, Bachelor of Arts||White and Black|
|Trinity, Bachelor of Science||Yellow and Black|