University of Evansville


Learn what you need to do in order to apply for graduation and prepare for commencement.

Academic Regalia/Announcements

Cap and Gown

All candidates are required to wear regulation cap and gown at Commencement. Wearing cap and gown at the Baccalaureate service is optional.

If you did not order a cap, gown, and tassel set, please contact the University Bookstore at 812-488-2679 to order these items. Order forms should be completed in the Bookstore as soon as possible. Master's degree candidates should contact the Bookstore immediately because additional delivery time is needed when ordering the Master's hood.


Degree candidates may order announcements for Commencement through the University Bookstore. Order forms are also conveniently available for download on the bookstore Web site,

The Bookstore has the official announcement for graduation including special text. If you received any mailings from any other company, they are not connected in any way with the University of Evansville so please be wary. If you have questions, please contact the manager at the UE Bookstore at (812) 488-2680.

Significance of Academic Regalia


Students wearing a gold cord are graduating with one of the following honors:

  • summa cum laude (with highest honor) - Minimum grade point average of 3.85
  • magna cum laude (with high honor) - Minimum grade point average of 3.70
  • cum laude (with honor) - Minimum grade point average of 3.50

Students wearing a purple cord have completed the University Honors Program, an interdisciplinary, enhanced curriculum for students who have the desire to excel scholastically in a challenging academic environment. Honors program graduates have participated in numerous honors courses and presented a senior project in a public forum.

Academic Costumes

The tradition of recognizing academic accomplishments with ceremony, bright color and distinctive dress is an exercise which has existed nearly eight centuries. The academic costumes (cap, gown, and hood) which bring so much character to today's ceremonies have origins in the Middle Ages when they were worn primarily for warmth. The material of the gown and the lining and the shape of the hood all have come to have academic significance.

The symbolic system of academic dress originated at Oxford; however, the universities in Paris, Bologna and Cambridge each contributed to its development as well. Originally, all university members were clerics and therefore subject to the discipline and dress of the church. By the sixteenth century, academic dress had become more secular, and the cassocks and habits of religious orders were no longer prevalent.

European institutions showed diversity in academic dress and placed their emphasis on the office or function of the wearer rather than qualifications or credentials. As this diversity made its way abroad, American institutions soon found themselves yearning for a unique identification of schools. In 1895, a group of leading educators met at Columbia University and established the Intercollegiate Code of Academic Attire. For the most part, this code still exists in its original state.

Under this code, the bachelor's gown has long pointed sleeves and is designed to be worn closed. The master's gown has an oblong sleeve, which gives the impression of a short sleeve. The rear part of its oblong shape is square cut, and the front part has an arc cut away. The doctor's gown has bell-shaped sleeves. Like the master's gown, it may be worn open or closed. Gowns are black, except for special colors for some universities.

Bachelor's and master's gowns are untrimmed, while the doctor's gown is usually faced down the front with velvet and has three bars across the sleeves. The facing and the bars may be black or they may be the color representing the field of study. The doctor's hood is four feet in length; the master's is three and a half, and the bachelor's is three feet long. Hoods are lined with the official colors of the college or university from which the degree has been received.

The border of the hood- two inches, three inches and five inches wide for the bachelor's, master's or doctor's degree respectively- identifies the faculty or department of study to which the degree pertains. Cap tassels for the doctor's degree are gold, while the tassels for the master's and bachelor's degrees are black or the color of the individual discipline.