UMBC Regalia

Ceremony Attire

Academic regalia are the traditional dress for degree candidates and faculty participating in a Commencement ceremony. In order to participate in ceremonies, you will need University-approved regalia. The university reserves the right to prohibit students wearing non-approved regalia from participating in the ceremony.

Herff Jones is the approved supplier for caps and gowns for UMBC graduates. Bachelor’s candidates purchase their keepsake regalia sets and master’s and doctoral candidates rent theirs.

Bachelor’s Degree Candidates

For those earning a bachelor’s degree, a black gown and mortarboard are worn. A black tassel with a custom UMBC medallion is attached. The school spirit black & gold tassels are not allowed to be used during the commencement ceremonies. All Regalia is purchased through our partner Herff Jones. Students graduating with a 4.0 GPA are eligible to receive a complimentary red honors cord. Students eligible for all honors (3.5-4.0 GPA) may receive a gold stole. These items are distributed through the UMBC Bookstore. Honors are based upon coursework taken over the duration of a student’s undergraduate academic career. For more information about UMBC’s honors guidelines, please visit the Registrar’s Office Webpage.

The University also sells select custom black and gold achievement stoles. Stoles are not mandatory. Other colored cords are issued by departments and organizations and are not regulated by the university.

Master’s Degree Candidates

Master’s degree students wear a modified gown with longer sleeves, a mortarboard, a black tassel with a custom UMBC medallion and a hood. The hood color represents your specific degree or discipline. Regalia is available as a rental through the UMBC Bookstore.

Doctoral Degree Candidates

The most elaborate regalia on display at Commencement are worn by those receiving a doctoral degree. The  gown is a custom, 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 universities, unique doctoral regalia was designed and customized for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Doctoral regalia may be purchased or rented through the UMBC Bookstore.

Other Stoles Available

  • Honors Stole (gold) – complimentary for honors students (3.5-4.0 GPA)
  • Army
  • Air Force
  • Navy
  • Marine
  • Veteran
  • International (available to customize by country)
  • Kente
  • Serape
  • Rainbow

Cap Decoration Guidelines

Students are welcome to decorate their caps. However, to ensure that commencement exercises remain formal celebrations of the achievement of all, the university reserves the right to require that candidates remove caps that are not aligned with the university’s mission, vision, and values.

Decorations that result in a disruption to the environment or that threaten the safety and welfare of a person or group may create a hostile environment in violation of UMBC’s nondiscrimination policy and will not be tolerated.

To that end, caps cannot include statements, references, or symbols related to:

  • Profanity
  • Obscenity
  • Alcohol or controlled substances

Students who do not adhere to these guidelines may be asked to remove their decorated cap and will be given a replacement cap, if available, to wear during the ceremony.

Props/Large Accessories

Students are not permitted to carry props or accessories with them across the stage. This includes signs, posters, noisemakers, flags, or other large objects. Small bags worn on the body are permitted but not recommended.