Attire and Etiquette

In keeping with the solemnity of the occasion, graduates must wear University-issued academic regalia, including cap and gown. Only University-issued honor cords, medallions, and pins are approved for wear during the ceremony. Other oversized personal adornments, such as flower leis, hats, signs, ribbons, or scarves, are not acceptable.

  • Jeans and flip-flops are not acceptable.
  • Wear comfortable shoes with low heels. High heels are not recommended due to safety concerns on the stadium surface. You will be walking a significant distance across artificial turf from the lineup area to your seat during the procession.
  • Be Weather Prepared. Come prepared with sunglasses, sunscreen, and/or rain ponchos/raincoats for the outdoor ceremony. Umbrellas are not permitted.
  • Do not leave valuables in the arena during lineup or after the procession.

What is Prohibited?

Do not bring items into the stadium that might detract from the dignity of the ceremony, or take any action that interferes with the ceremony.

  • Umbrellas are not permitted in the stadium or field house due to visibility and safety concerns.
  • Picture-taking near or on the stage by the graduates, family members or friends. A professional photographer is hired by the university to provide high quality images as the graduate receives their diploma. Proofs will be sent to your permanent address and via email in the week following the ceremony. However, there is no obligation to purchase.
  • Balloons and noisemakers are prohibited at all ceremonies.
  • Alcohol is not to be brought to and/or consumed at the ceremony.
  • St. Thomas is a tobacco-free campus.
  • Strollers are not permitted within the stadium or field house due to limited space. There will be a stroller corral where guests can leave strollers in the lower quad, east of the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex (ARC). Ushers will direct guests to the stroller corral. The corrals will supervised during the ceremony. However, St. Thomas cannot take any responsibility for lost or damaged strollers. 

Cap and Gown

Caps and gowns are provided by the university at no cost to graduates. They are yours to keep. Hoods, however, must be returned before leaving the St. Paul campus or purchased at the time of picking up your additional regalia. Learn more about hoods below. 

You will need a picture ID when you pick up your cap and gown.

Return or Purchase Regalia

Doctoral Candidates cap, gowns, and hoods need to be returned before leaving the St. Paul campus or purchased at the time of picking up your additional regalia.  Items not return will be charged to your university account. 

Where to pick-up your regalia

Masters and doctoral candidates will pick-up your regalia from the following locations based on your college or school:

Campus Store Location

Minneapolis CampusSt. Paul Campus

College or School

  • Opus College of Business (*see below)
  • College of Education, Leadership and Counseling (*see below)
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Divinity
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Social Work
  • College of Education, Leadership and Counseling (*see below)

Dates to Pick-up

The Minneapolis Campus Store will distribute between May 1 - May 19 during store hours: 

  • Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • Friday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
  • Saturday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Note: All Graduate and Doctoral gowns that are not picked up by Friday, May 18 at 2 p.m. in Minneapolis will be moved to the St. Paul location for pick up on Saturday, May 19. 

The St. Paul Campus Store in the lower level of Murray-Herrick distribute caps and gowns during the following times: 

  • May 7-11 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  
  • May 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • May 14-17 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.  
  • May 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  
  • May 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Items to Bring

You will need a Picture ID when you pick up your regalia

*Note - For graduate candidates of Opus College of Business and the College of Education, Leadership and Counseling (CELC):  Masters students will use the designated pick-up location you selected during your graduation application. Doctoral students will pick-up your regalia from the Minneapolis campus.

How to Wear Your Cap and Tassel

The cap should be worn with the mortarboard parallel to the ground and without any additional modification to the appearance. Graduate candidates should wear the tassel on the left side.


Announcements can be purchased at the St. Paul or Minneapolis Campus Stores after April 19.

Personalized Announcements

Students can also order personalized announcements here. Make sure to allow 5-7 days for shipping.

Diploma Frames

Diploma frames are available through the St. Paul and Minneapolis Campus Stores.


Tassels are included in the cap and gown purchase. Additional tassels are available for purchase from the St. Thomas Campus Stores. The student’s major determine the tassel color. The colors are listed below.

For graduate students, tassels are worn on the left side of the mortarboard.

  • Brown: Fine Arts  
  • Citron: Social Work   
  • Copper: Economics  
  • Crimson: Journalism  
  • Dark Blue: Philosophy  
  • Spice: Business  
  • Golden Yellow: Science   
  • Light Blue: Education  
  • Orange: Engineering  
  • Pink: Music  
  • Sage Green: Physical Education  
  • Salmon Pink: Public Health   
  • Scarlet: Theology, Peace and Justice  
  • White: Arts and Letters, Humanities, Catholic Studies   


The school is renting the hoods for the students, but the hoods will need to be returned. If the hoods are not returned the student will be billed for the replaced cost. Students may purchase a hood when picking up their cap and gown.

Hood return will be located in the lower quad or the Anderson Student Center, if the severe weather plan is invoked, following the ceremony. If a hood is not returned, the student will be charged the cost to replace it. Please return your hood before leaving the St. Paul campus.

The colors of hoods are listed below:

  • Aqua: International Studies
  • Citron: Social Work
  • Dark Blue: Business Communication
  • Dark Blue: Doctor of Counseling Psychology
  • Gold: Software Design and Development
  • Light Blue: Education, Doctor of Education, Counseling Psychology
  • Light Brown: Business
  • Orange: Manufacturing Engineering
  • Scarlet: Theology, Doctor of Ministry
  • White: Arts and Letters, English, Music, Catholic Studies