Caps & Gowns

Purple rental gowns custom designed for Northwestern and featuring the University crest are the standard regalia and must be worn by all participating candidates. Tassels feature the Northwestern seal signet and are worn on the left side at all times.

Bachelor’s degree regalia include a souvenir stole. Advanced degree candidates wear hoods. The lining of the Northwestern hood is purple and gold, and the color of the velvet border of the hood indicates the academic area. Please see the School Convocation pages for tassel and hood border colors.

Distribution of Caps and Gowns

Caps and gowns are distributed in Norris University Center during the following dates and times:

  • Undergraduate Candidates - Tuesday, June 14, 10:00am-7:00pm
  • Advanced Degree Candidates - Wednesday, June 15, 1:00pm-9:00pm
  • Any remaining graduates - Thursday, June 16, 10:00am-2:00pm

You may pick up someone else’s cap and gown with a copy of their emailed receipt. 

Regalia Guidelines

Candidates may not alter or decorate their regalia in any way or wear additional articles not directly related to academic merit. Doing so may interfere with their ability to participate in events including Commencement, Convocation, and any hooding ceremony.

Return of Gowns

All degree candidates may retain their cap and keepsake tassel. Bachelor’s degree candidates may also retain their souvenir stole.

Gowns and graduate hoods must be returned following the graduate’s final ceremony. Locations of gown returns will be available at the time of regalia pick-up in June.

Ordering Caps & Gowns

It is now past the May 13, 2016, deadline to order caps and gowns on-line. For late regalia orders please email or call 1.800.837.4235. Herff Jones, our regalia provider, will assist you with how to obtain your regalia for Commencement and/or Convocation ceremonies.

Cap and gown rental fees for Northwestern University are:

$55.91 for undergraduates
$66.63 for advanced degrees
$87.62 for doctoral degrees

PhD candidates may elect to purchase the official Northwestern gown and should contact to make those arrangements.

Late orders may be picked up and paid for during the specific distribution date listed below. A $20 late fee will be required for any late regalia orders.

Tips for Accurate Ordering

  1. Be sure to select the appropriate school of enrollment and degree. The Graduate School (TGS) and School of Professional Studies (SPS) candidates must select the correct degree to receive the appropriate color of tassel and hood.
  2. Within all other schools there is no distinction among a school’s degrees regarding tassel or hood color, and in some cases degrees may be identified only as bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral.
  3. Candidates receiving degrees from two schools must select one degree and may arrange for a second tassel or hood at the time of cap and gown pick up.