Graduates at various levels wear different robes for each degree. This article will discuss doctoral, master’s, and Ph.D. robes and other graduation products. However, they all reflect the discipline and university they graduated from. Those pursuing doctorate degrees, for example, will wear a navy blue hood, while those pursuing master’s degrees will wear a black hood.
At some universities, graduates wear traditional robes rooted in the royal court. The robe is made of velvet and mesh, with a felt border around the neck. This style was adopted by Chulalongkorn University, which modeled its gown after Oxford’s. The robe has a black cap used for bachelor’s degrees and a scarlet band for doctoral degrees. The bands may have patterns to distinguish different degrees, faculties, or degrees.
Most colleges use black robes for graduation ceremonies, but many colleges and universities have modified the traditional design. For example, the hoods of Ph.D. graduates at Georgia Tech have a gold background with a navy blue accent. The Institute’s seal is embroidered on the lapels and sleeve bars. Navy velvet is used for the hood. The tassel is gold in color. Gold piping is also included on the robe.
While a doctorate confers the same honors as a bachelor’s or master’s degree, the gown for the latter requires a few adjustments. The sleeves are often long enough to cover the wrists, and the hood should hang eight to twelve inches above the floor. Hoods are readily fastened to gowns by tying a hood string to a button on the inside or beneath the shirt. The hood and sleeves are both made of velvet, and the gowns are generally gold with navy accents. The hood features velvet panels and bears the seal of the Institute. Ph.D. graduates wear a hood with gold, navy, and white tassel. The doctorate hood has a hood-like style, which matches the robe. It is customary for the Ph.D. grad to wear a gown made of velvet and is made for a highly formal occasion.
Most Doctor robes feature a front zipper, while the Stanford graduation gown is an open style. The gown sleeves should sit around the wrist, and the hood should extend eight inches above the floor. In the U.S., hood lengths must be three feet, three and a half feet, and four feet, and the gowns should be four feet in length.
Several research universities, such as the University of Texas at Austin, have unique doctoral regalia for graduates. These regalia may be purchased or rented for an event or ceremony.
The Master’s robe is a classic academic costume worn by graduate students, faculty members, and professors at graduation ceremonies. The gown is made of poly/cotton twill material with excellent drape, durability, and wrinkle resistance. The hood has an arc cut away from its base and is lined with luminous UC blue and gold satin. In addition, the Master’s robe has a detachable gold tassel that is handy when holding mints and other snacks.
The Master’s robe and gown are black and maroon. In addition, a doctoral hood with purple panels is worn by the graduate. Doctoral gowns have the same colors as undergraduate gowns but are not lined in velvet. Both types of hoods have eight-sided tams and a crow’s-foot emblem signifying the faculty of the degree. Bachelor’s degree candidates wear maroon or black robes with no hoods.
Graduates of doctoral programs wear hoods to signify their new academic title. They are made of velvet and resemble the hoods worn by faculty members. Hood colors signify the degree they have received. Ph.D. hoods are a deep royal blue color representing the university where they got their degree. Graduates wearing different colored hoods represent their specialization and school connection.
Doctoral degrees usually feature velvet trim. The gown is darker than an undergraduate’s gown. The hoods are often decorated with a school’s colors, but some colleges prefer to stay traditional with black velvet. A Ph.D. hood is usually worn with a doctoral degree. Graduates of a doctoral program are entitled to wear hoods in a different color than the gowns worn by undergraduates.
Graduates of Ph.D. programs are often more recognizable than undergraduates, and their Ph.D. tassels may be the only distinguishing feature of their graduation gowns. Typically, the hood of these gowns is approximately three feet long and stretches to four feet. Doctoral hoods have panels on the sides that lay cape-like across the back.
Graduate hoods are traditionally made of a fabric shell, degree velvet, and school lining. The velvet indicates that the graduate has received a doctoral degree, while the school lining denotes that they have completed a Ph.D. program. Tassels are attached to graduation gowns with buttons on the top and waist.