Academic Regalia

Caps, Gowns, Cords, and More

Commencement Honor Cords and Other Recognition

In addition to the cap and gown regalia, students who have earned recognition through academic and co-curricular achievements may wear approved honor cords or stoles.

Please check with the respective student organization or academic unit for their honor cord guidelines and distribution.

An honor cord is an adornment consisting of twisted cords with tassels on either end.  Honor cords may be worn by students who have achieved academic distinction, been inducted into a University-recognized honor society, served in a military unit, or been selected as a member of the Top 20 Seniors.  By tradition, more than one cord may be worn at the same time.

graduation stole is a decorative vestment in the form of a long wide piece of cloth worn over both shoulders and is an optional regalia piece.  The standard stole is embroidered with class year and the PSU seal and may be worn by any graduate. Students may customize their stole with embroidered emblems or text that are representative of their PSU experience.  Emblems and preset text may represent membership in University-recognized student organizations or University programs.

Official PSU Stoles may be purchased and customized on the official PSU stole builder website. Orders must be placed by March 22, 2024. The Bookstore has a limited number of non-customized stoles available. Students may email the University Bookstore at to inquire about availability.

Academic Honors

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 when they are issued their cap and gown.

Bachelor's degree recipients who have maintained a cumulative average of 3.75 or above for work done at Plymouth State University are graduated summa cum laude. Bachelor's degree recipients who have maintained a cumulative average of 3.50 through 3.74 are graduated magna cum laude. Bachelor's degree recipients who have maintained a cumulative average of 3.25 through 3.49 are graduated cum laude. Degree candidates must have earned at least 30 credits at Plymouth State University to be eligible for graduation honors. Recognition is noted on the student's diploma and final transcript.

For students who have yet to graduate, honors listed in the Commencement program and announced at the ceremony will be based on the student's grade point average (GPA) at the end of January of the commencement year.

Academic Honor Societies

Honor Societies recognized by the University are allowed to wear an honor cord(s) in the color of the organization as established by the national chapter.  If a stole or medallion is available through the national chapter, those may also be worn.

University Honors Program

Students who have completed the honors program as designated by the Honors Council are allowed to wear an honors cord.  To obtain your cord, contact Professor Timothy Losee at

Top 20 Seniors

Students are selected based on their campus involvement, community involvement, character, GPA, and writing skills.  Students are selected by members of the faculty and staff.

Recognized Student Organizations and other University Programs

University-recognized student organizations and programs are listed as preset text that may be embroidered on a standard PSU green stole on the PSU stole builder website. All recognized student organizations and programs may be included, and any recognized student organization or university program that does not see their text listed on the stole builder, or that would like to have an emblem set-up to be included as an option for embroidery, must contact the with their request. Individual orders must be placed by March 22,2024.

Cost of cords and stoles

Funding for honor cords, stoles, and medallions is the responsibility of the individual student or the sponsoring honor society, student organization, program, or office as deemed appropriate by each group.  If funding is provided by the organization/program, the process for ordering and distributing items is the sole responsibility of that organization/program.  All other costs would defer to the individual student. The cost of the standard PSU stole, and custom embroidery of that stole on the PSU stole builder is the responsibility of the individual student.

Approval Process

University-recognized organizations and programs wishing to request the addition of preset text or emblems on the stole builder for their organization or program should contact  All requests must be submitted by no later than January 31st.