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Academic Regalia

Cap and Gown Information

Academic regalia is required for degree candidates at Commencement. All candidates who do not possess regalia must obtain their regalia from the Penn Bookstore , located at 36th and Walnut Streets.

Articles of clothing that will be visible at the neck and below the gown should be in keeping with the conservative style of the academic attire. High heels should not be worn by graduates due to uneven surfaces along the procession route. The hood should be secured so that it will not slip off the shoulders. The cap is worn parallel to the ground; the tassel is worn in front and on the right side until the degree has been conferred.

In case of inclement weather, please be advised that the dye in the gown may stain clothing.

Bachelor and Masters Degree Candidates

From April 16th through April 18th graduating students can purchase and receive Commencement regalia at the Penn Bookstore during the Graduation Fair. Please visit the textbook department on the second level of the store where you will have the opportunity to talk with sales representatives.

History of Academic Regalia

Like other American colonial colleges, Penn borrowed its 18th-century Commencement rituals directly from the English universities. In England the history of academic dress reaches back to the early days of the oldest schools.

Learn about academic dress from the past

Doctoral Degree Candidates

Please visit the Penn Bookstore website for ordering options. Representatives are currently available at the Bookstore to measure degree candidates for regalia and discuss various purchase/rental options. Regalia rented by March 15 will be available for pick-up during the Grad Fair April 16th, 17th and 18th. Regalia must be returned to the Bookstore by 12 noon, Tuesday, May 21st. Purchase and rental options are also available on the Penn Bookstore website.

Those Unable to Order Regalia at the Graduation Fair

If you are a Doctoral Degree candidate unable to go to the Penn Bookstore, you may order regalia with a credit card by calling (215) 898-7595 through April 1st. Bachelor and Masters Degree candidates may go to the Bookstore anytime until May 20th to purchase regalia.