IMPORTANT: MSU fall Commencement changed to virtual format
Update, Nov. 6 – Montana State University’s Commencement ceremony scheduled for Nov. 22 will no longer be held in person. Instead, Commencement will be a virtual ceremony. Please read President Cruzado’s email to the campus community for additional information on this change.

Attention: Academic Regalia are required for all students and faculty participating in the Commencement ceremonies. To purchase regalia, stop in at the MSU Bookstore, call them at (406) 994-2811 or visit them online at www.msubookstore.org

Definition

Academic regalia are the traditional dress for degree candidates participating in the college, commencement ceremony.

History

The academic dress worn by graduates during Commencement dates back to the Middle Ages when flowing gowns kept scholars warm in cold and drafty buildings. Modern graduates traditionally also wear a cap (in medieval times, an emblem of intellectual independence) to complete the ceremonial ensemble. Elements of the regalia are different depending upon the level of the degree being awarded. Most are based on the American Council on Education’s Academic Costume Code and are standardized across the nation.

Required Regalia and Purchasing Information

The most elaborate regalia on display at Commencement are worn by those receiving a doctoral degree. A doctor's gown is a much 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 can 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. 

Purchasing Information

PhD and Doctoral regalia is for purchase only. PhD and Doctoral regalia consists of cap, gown, tassel and hood for $88.00, and will be available beginning October 1, 2020. There is an additional fee for the tam if chosen.

PhD Hooding Rehearsal

  • TBA
  • Brick Breeden Fieldhouse Arena, Main Stage

Please bring your official Montana State University hood.

This rehearsal is to prepare you for the logistics of the ‘hooding’ ceremony.  It is highly advisable that either one or both of you appear for the rehearsal. 

Master’s degree students wear a modified gown with longer sleeves, the mortarboard with a color appropriate tassel, and a hood.

Purchasing Information

Master regalia is for purchase only. Master regalia consists of cap, gown, tassel, and hood for $68.00, and will be available beginning October 1, 2020.

For those earning a Bachelor’s or Associates’s degree, a black gown and mortarboard with a color-appropriate tassel are worn. 

Purchasing Information

Associate and Bachelor regalia consists of cap, gown, and tassel for $34.00, and will be available beginning October 1, 2020.

Honors Tassels

Students who are candidates for graduation "With Honors": honors are granted for a 3.25-3.69 cumulative GPA and will receive a royal blue tassel; highest honors are granted for a 3.70 cumulative GPA or higher and will receive a gold tassel. Students must also have completed 60 or more credits at MSU Bozeman to be eligible for honors or highest honors. These tassels can also be purchased through MSU Bookstore beginning October 1, 2020. An "HONORS" list will be submitted to the Bookstore at that time.

Regalia for Rent

Individuals wishing to rent fine regalia for Commencement need to place their order at the MSU Bookstore by Friday, October 2, 2020. Payment is required at time of order on rental regalia; the Provost’s Office has generously offered a $60 stipend toward renting regalia.

Doctoral Rental Package

  • Gown, Cap, Tassel, and Hood $85.00 (faculty, staff, and admin. only) must be ordered by Friday, October 2, 2020.

Master Rental Package

  • Gown, Cap, Tassel, and Hood $75.00 (faculty, staff, and admin. only) must be ordered by Friday, October 2, 2020.

Regalia for Purchase

Custom Made Fine Quality Regalia

Custom made fine quality regalia orders are placed directly through the Jostens website. Follow this link: Jostens Academic Regalia for package options.

  • Doctoral packages range from $359-$819 plus shipping.
  • Jostens will ship your gown directly to you.
  • Orders should be placed by Friday, October 2, 2020 for delivery in time for our November 22nd ceremony.

Standard Quality Regalia

(For sale in store starting October 1, 2020)

Doctoral Standard Quality Gown (Purchase online)

  • Gown, Cap, Tassel and Hood, $88.00 (in stock at the Bookstore)

Masters Standard Quality Gown (Purchase online)

  • Gown, Cap, Tassel and Hood, $68.00 (in stock at the Bookstore)

All items sold on a first come first serve basis. Shop early for best size and hood selection.

Regalia Extras and Exceptions

Spring Class of 2020 Special Edition Tassel

Due to the cancellation of the Spring 2020 commencement ceremonies, graduation candidates from the class of Spring 2020 were each mailed a celebratory "MSU Spring 2020 Commencement in a Box." This box included a special edition tassel of blue and gold to commemorate their unique semester and subsequent graduation celebration. Graduates are welcome to bring and wear their special edition tassel at the Winter 2020 ceremony.

Stole of Gratitude

The Stole of Gratitude is worn during the commencement ceremony. After the ceremony, the new graduate presents the stole to someone who provided extraordinary support during his/her college career, such as a parent, relative, professor or mentor. This is an optional addition to the required regalia. Stoles of Gratitude can be purchased at MSU Bookstore for $42.00, available while supplies last.

Decorated Mortarboards

Commencement is a celebration! We invite our degree candidates to decorate the top of their mortarboard (graduation cap), but ask that they respect the dignity of this occasion and be considerate of accepted university standards regarding appropriate content, as outlined below. 

Stoles and Cords

Montana State University strives to recognize and celebrate our candidates' unique academic and co-curricular accomplishments. These include but are not limited to induction into university-recognized honor societies, involvement in academic organizations and/or association with university-recognized groups or programs. 

In addition to the traditional cap and gown regalia worn at this event, we invite our degree candidates to wear stoles and cords at commencement to symbolize these associations in accordance with accepted university standards regarding appropriate content, as outlined below. The university-recognized student/organization/group or the student isresponsible for the cost of any additional regalia. The student is responsible for obtaining the regalia if he or she wishes to wear it during the commencement ceremony. 

American Indian Tribal Regalia

In accordance with Montana State Law 2-1-315, American Indian degree candidates are permitted to wear tribal regalia instead of traditional academic regalia at Montana State University’s commencement ceremonies. Keep in mind that all students participating in commencement must adhere to accepted university standards regarding appropriate content, as outlined below.

For more information about Montana State Law 2-1-315 please visit the Montana Code Annotated 2017 web page.


University staff reserve the right to confiscate any and all inappropriate materials. Examples of inappropriate content include intimidating or profane language and/or visual materials that insinuate drugs, alcohol, or discrimination or harassment of a protected class. Students unwilling to comply with these guidelines may not participate in the Commencement ceremony.