Skip to content | Skip to search | Skip to navigation



Bloomington Commencement Feature

Alumni Association

Visit the Indiana University Alumni Association website to sign up for a free one-year membership and stay connected to IU.

Caps and Gowns

Indiana University Custom Apparel


In 2006, IU introduced distinctive custom apparel featuring a lightweight black gabardine robe piped with crimson braid.  All candidates for all degrees must wear IU apparel at Commencement. Gowns are usually rented, not purchased, and must be returned after the ceremony. 

The bachelor's and associate gowns have a closed front and open sleeves. The master's gown has extremely long, closed sleeves, from which the arms extend through a slit at the wrist; the end of the sleeve is square, with an arc cut away just above the bottom. The doctor's gown has velvet panels down the front and voluminous bell-shaped sleeves, on which there are three velvet bars. The velvet is usually black, but may reflect the color of the discipline.

Stoles of Gratitude

Candidates for bachelor's and associate degrees receive a crimson "Stole of Gratitude," embellished with the seal of Indiana University, which they wear during the ceremony. Afterward, grads may keep the stoles as a memento of the day or present them as a token of thanks to anyone who guided them on their path to graduation.


Candidates and degree holders wear a cap (also called a mortarboard) decorated with a colored tassel appropriate to the school or division from which they are graduating. All students may keep their caps and tassels after the ceremony.


Graduate students also wear a hood. The master's hood extends past the middle of the back, has a wide velvet edging, and exposes some of the lining. The doctor's hood is easily recognized by the width of the velvet edging, the wide panels at either side, the greater length, and the full exposure of the lining.  Rental hoods must be returned with rental gowns.

Block IU Logo University Ceremonies
Copyright © 2010 The Trustees of Indiana University | Copyright Complaints