What Does the Faculty Wear to Graduation?

What Does the Faculty Wear to Graduation?

Graduation is an important milestone in the academic journey of students, but it is also a significant event for faculty members. As they play a crucial role in shaping and guiding students throughout their educational experience, faculty members are recognized and celebrated during graduation ceremonies. Just like the students, faculty members also have a specific dress code for this special occasion. In this article, we will explore what the faculty typically wear to graduation and answer some frequently asked questions related to their attire.

The faculty’s attire for graduation ceremonies is often formal and symbolic, representing their academic achievements and the prestige of their profession. Here are the different elements that contribute to the faculty’s dress code:

1. Academic Regalia:
The most prominent aspect of the faculty’s attire is their academic regalia, commonly known as graduation gowns or robes. These gowns are usually black and made of high-quality material. The style and design of the gowns can vary based on the degree held by the faculty member. For example, a faculty member holding a doctoral degree would wear a gown with distinctive features, such as wider sleeves.

2. Hood:
In addition to the gown, faculty members wear a hood that hangs down the back. The hood is made of a colored satin lining that represents the faculty member’s field of study or the institution they are associated with. The color of the satin lining varies based on the field of study and is usually specific to each academic discipline.

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3. Cap:
The faculty also wear a cap, commonly known as a mortarboard, which is a square-shaped hat. The cap is usually black, and it symbolizes the academic tradition. It is customary for faculty members to wear the cap throughout the ceremony, except during the national anthem or other specific moments.

4. Academic Stole:
Some faculty members may also wear an academic stole, which is a decorative cloth draped over the shoulders. The stole can represent different honors or affiliations, such as membership in a specific academic society or recognition for outstanding achievements.


1. Do faculty members have to wear academic regalia for graduation ceremonies?
Yes, wearing academic regalia is a customary practice for faculty members during graduation ceremonies as it symbolizes their academic achievements and professionalism.

2. Can faculty members wear their own choice of clothing under the gown?
While the gown is the primary attire, faculty members usually wear formal clothing, such as a dress shirt, blouse, or suit, underneath the gown.

3. Are there any specific rules regarding footwear for faculty members?
There are no specific rules regarding footwear, but faculty members are expected to wear formal shoes that are appropriate for the occasion.

4. Can faculty members personalize their academic regalia?
Faculty members usually have the option to add personal touches to their regalia, such as pins, medals, or cords, to represent specific achievements or affiliations.

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5. Can faculty members wear accessories with their academic regalia?
Faculty members are encouraged to keep accessories to a minimum. Simple jewelry, such as a watch or small earrings, is typically acceptable.

6. Are there any differences in attire for faculty members from different academic ranks?
While the basic elements of the attire remain the same, faculty members with higher academic ranks, such as deans or department heads, may have additional adornments or distinctive regalia to signify their position.

7. What happens if a faculty member does not own academic regalia?
In most cases, universities provide rental options for faculty members who do not own their own academic regalia. This ensures that all faculty members can participate in the graduation ceremony with the appropriate attire.

In conclusion, faculty members wear academic regalia, including a gown, hood, cap, and sometimes an academic stole, to graduation ceremonies. This attire symbolizes their academic achievements, professionalism, and the importance of the occasion. While there are some variations based on academic rank and field of study, the overall dress code for faculty members remains consistent, highlighting their significant role in the educational journey of students.

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