Academic Regalia (caps, gowns, and hoods)

Students who are not able to attend Graduates Day on Friday March 4 in the HUB or April 7 at PSU’s Concord location at 2 Pillsbury Street should request or pick up their caps, gowns, and graduate student hoods by no later than Friday May 6th. The first day for regalia pick up at the PSU Bookstore is Monday March 21.


Undergraduate students may pick up caps and gowns at the PSU Bookstore in the HUB beginning on Monday March 21 through Friday May 6.

Your cap and gown are included in  your student fees, so there is no charge.  However, if you lose your regalia, you will need to purchase a replacement from the PSU Bookstore.


Graduate students (except EdD candidates) may pick up their caps, gowns, and hoods at the PSU Bookstore in the HUB. Bookstore hours: Monday–Thursday 8 a.m.–7 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturday noon–4 p.m.

EdD candidates should contact Beth Beaulieu at the Graduate Studies office to arrange for purchase or rental of doctoral regalia and ticket pick up.

If you cannot attend the March 4 or April 7 events and will not be on campus, call the PSU Bookstore at (603) 535-2266 to request that your regalia be mailed to you. A $7.50 shipping and handling fee will apply.  Delivery cannot be guaranteed for orders received after Friday May 6 and rush shipping and handling charges will apply.  Regalia will not be distributed on the day of Commencement.

If you lose your regalia, you will need to purchase a replacement from the PSU Bookstore.


Need to rent regalia for Commencement? Please complete the Faculty Regalia Rental Order Form and submit it to the PSU Bookstore no later than Friday, April 29. Orders placed between May 1 and 6 may incur an additional shipping change and your hood color is not guaranteed to be available.


The modern academic costume worn in the United States is based on an intercollegiate code established in 1895. The master’s gown has long, crescent-shaped sleeves. The doctor’s gown has velvet panels down the front and around the neck, and velvet bars on the bell-shaped sleeves. The velvet is black or the color of the wearer’s major field of study.

Cords & Tassels

Cords signify an advanced achievement.

UNDERGRADUATE—Green and white tassels will distinguish honors graduates. Seniors eligible for honors will be noted on the official bookstore list and given a green and white tassel. Honors listed in the Commencement program and announced at the ceremony will be based on a student’s grade point average (GPA) at the end of Winterim 2016. Honors indicated on each diploma will be based on a student’s complete academic program, after all grades have been reported. Bachelor’s degree candidates must have accumulated at least 45 credits at PSU to be eligible for honors. There are three levels of honors:

  • Summa Cum Laude: GPA of 3.75–4.00
  • Magna Cum Laude: GPA of 3.50–3.74
  • Cum Laude: GPA of 3.25–3.49

GRADUATE—The light blue cords worn by Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership recipients signify the step beyond the master’s degree that they have completed. The purple and gold cords worn by some Master of Business Administration graduates indicate their membership in Delta Mu Delta, the national business administration honor society. Master of Education graduates’ red and white cords indicate membership in Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International, a professional association in education. Forest green and gold cords indicate membership in Eta Sigma Gamma, a national professional honor society in health education. Navy and gold cords indicate membership in Phi Kappa Phi, a national collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines.


The customary head covering is either the mortarboard or the Oxford cap. The tassel on the mortarboard cap may be black or of a color indicating the degree. The doctor’s tassel is usually gold. The tassel is worn over the left front quarter of the mortarboard once the degree has been awarded.


The graduate student hood carries the greatest symbolism of all the components of the academic costume, and dates back to the twelfth century. Its length and width denote the wearer’s highest academic achievement. The color of the velvet trim reveals the wearer’s major field of study, as listed below. Linings, which are exposed in the center of the hood as it lies over the back of the gown, indicate the colors of the degree-granting institution.

  • Agriculture – Maize
  • Arts, letters, humanities – White
  • Business administration – Drab
  • Economics – Copper
  • Education – Light Blue
  • Fine arts – Brown
  • Forestry – Russet
  • Journalism – Crimson
  • Law – Purple
  • Library science – Lemon
  • Music – Pink
  • Nursing – Apricot
  • Philosophy – Blue
  • Physical education – Sage Green
  • Public administration – Peacock Blue
  • Public health – Salmon
  • Science Golden – Yellow
  • Social work – Citron