Academic regalia are the traditional dress for degree candidates participating in college, school and department convocations, as well as the university-wide commencement ceremony.
The academic dress worn by graduates during Commencement dates back to the Middle Ages when flowing gowns kept scholars warm in cold and drafty buildings. Modern graduates traditionally also wear a cap (in medieval times, an emblem of intellectual independence) to complete the ceremonial ensemble. Elements of the regalia are different depending upon the level of the degree being awarded. Most are based on the American Council on Education’s Academic Costume Code and are standardized across the nation.
Doctoral Degree Candidates
The most elaborate regalia on display at Commencement are worn by those receiving a doctoral degree. A doctor's gown is a much fuller gown and is decorated with velvet lapels and three chevrons sewn onto the sleeves of the gown that designate the recipient as a “doctor.” In place of the mortarboard, doctoral students wear a tam, a velvet hat with a gold tassel attached that is much less rigid in construction.
Doctoral regalia are unique in the sense that it is often worn many times following the degree recipient's own graduation, especially for those who pursue careers in academia. It distinguishes the faculty member as a graduate of a specific institution. As is common for many research universities, unique doctoral regalia was designed and customized for the university and may only be worn by those receiving their degrees from The University of Texas at Austin. Doctoral regalia may be purchased or rented.
Master's Degree Candidates
Master’s degree students wear a modified gown with longer sleeves, the mortarboard with a color appropriate tassel, and a hood. New in 2022, the custom black masters gown now has burnt orange flat braiding down the front paneling. The hood is often presented to the degree recipient within the convocation ceremony. Note: graduates must still purchase the hood from the University Co-op.
Bachelor’s Degree Candidates
For those earning a bachelor’s degree, a black gown and mortarboard are worn. A tassel in the color designated for the specific academic discipline is attached to the mortarboard. A matching stole completes the regalia for bachelor’s degree candidates. New in 2022, the bachelor stole is now embroidered with the UT Shield and “TEXAS” on each side.
Ordering and Purchasing Regalia
Academic regalia is available for purchase from the University Co-op. Information is available on the Graduation page of the University Co-op’s website or at the following Co-op location:
Graduation Department (main level)
2246 Guadalupe St.
Austin, TX 78705
800-255-1896 - Option 2