The University of Iowa


Academic Regalia

The University of Iowa has a new, more branded regalia design to help Hawkeyes celebrate their accomplishments in style. We ask that students participating in commencement use these new gowns and do not borrow from a former student or family member. All graduates are expected to wear academic regalia at their ceremonies.

Learn more about the new regalia in IowaNow.

All regalia must be in hand prior to your commencement ceremony. Regalia will not be available to purchase or rent at the ceremonies.

Spring 2024 Ordering Options | Collegiate Tassel Colors | Cap Decorating | Academic Costume | Graduation Support Program

Spring 2024 Ordering Options

The RSVP and Herff Jones apparel portals for spring 2024 closed on April 11. Fall 2024 apparel ordering details and deadlines will be forthcoming.

Herff Jones Online Apparel Portal

Required Apparel

Required items are found on the Cap & Gown tab within the online ordering portal. The Graduation Packages tab contains packages with additional optional items.

You will purchase the following required items: gown, mortarboard (cap), and tassel.  The appropriate color tassel will be added to your order based on the area of study you choose in the online ordering portal. 

Additional items, such as the stole of gratitude, are available for purchase through the Herff Jones online ordering portal, but are not required.

To ensure consistency and quality of regalia for our graduate and professional students, the University of Iowa has transitioned to rentals for all graduate and professional students.

Your master’s or doctoral rental will include your gown, hood, mortarboard or tam, and tassel. The appropriate color tassel will be added to your order based on the area of study you choose in the online ordering portal. Rental hoods and gowns need to be returned. You will keep your mortarboard/tam and tassel. If you fail to return your rental regalia, you will be charged.

If you picked up or rented your regalia from the Iowa Hawk Shop and University Bookstore, you will need to return it to the Iowa Hawk Shop and University Bookstore.

If you had your regalia shipped to your home, you will need to return it using the prepaid shipping label that came with your order. If you lost your prepaid label, please generate a new prepaid label here.

You will have the option to purchase fine-quality custom keeper regalia if you choose.

Spring 2024 Ordering Deadlines and Pickup/Shipping Info

If you choose to have your regalia shipped to the Iowa Hawk Shop and University Bookstore for pickup, you will need to place your order no later than Tuesday, March 5. There is no additional shipping charge for this option.

Items shipped to the Iowa Hawk Shop may be picked up from April 10 until your scheduled ceremony. You will pay for your purchase on the Herff Jones website so no payment will be due at pickup.

If you choose to pay to ship your regalia to your home, you will need to place your order no later than Thursday, April 11. This option includes a shipping charge.

Orders will be delivered approximately three weeks after the order was placed. International orders are accepted, but deliveries may vary.

While you are encouraged to order through the Herff Jones online ordering portal to be guaranteed a full selection of sizes and tassel colors, the Iowa Hawk Shop and University Book Store will have a limited selection of regalia available in store beginning Feb. 1.

If your gown size or collegiate tassel color is not available it is suggested to contact your collegiate coordinator regarding participation in your ceremony.

Please Note: Beginning on May 6, a $20 late fee for purchases or rentals made in store. You are encouraged to obtain your regalia early.

If you have questions about the online apparel portal please contact Herff Jones at or 952-447-4449.

If you have questions about in store purchases and picking up apparel please contact the Iowa Hawk Shop at or 319-335-3179.

Collegiate Tassel Colors

The color of the tassel to purchase is determined by the college the student is enrolled in. The appropriate color tassel will be added to your order based on the area of study you choose in the online ordering portal. If the student is unsure which college they are enrolled in they can see the information in MyUI. 

The colors associated with each college are listed below. 

  • Carver College of Medicine - Black and Gold
  • College of Dentistry - Lilac
  • College of Education - Black and Gold
  • College of Engineering - Orange
  • College of Law - Purple
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - White
  • College of Nursing - Apricot
  • College of Pharmacy - Olive Green
  • College of Public Health - Black and Gold
  • Graduate College - Black
  • Iowa MBA - Black
  • Tippie College of Business - Sapphire Blue
  • University College (Bachelor of Applied/Liberal Studies) - White

Cap Decorating

Undergraduate students are encouraged to celebrate their achievements by decorating their graduation cap. The following guidelines should be observed. Students who do not adhere to these guidelines may be asked to remove their decorated cap and will be given a replacement cap to wear during the ceremony.

Cap Decorating Guidelines 

  • No items will be allowed to dangle or protrude from the cap; only flat decorations will be permitted.
  • No lights or devices may be attached to the cap.
  • No inappropriate or profane language will be permitted.
  • No negative portrayal of the university or undergraduate experience.

Please Note:

  • The College of Engineering asks that no political verbiage or imagery be used. 
  • College of Medicine students are not allowed to wear decorated caps during the ceremony.
  • Graduate students are not allowed to wear decorated caps during their ceremony. 

Academic Costume

The academic costume code recognizes three styles of gowns: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral. Hoods also denote degrees and may vary; the more elaborate adornments designate higher levels of degree attainment. The shell of the hood matches the black material of the gown, and the lining color represents the institution granting the degree. University of Iowa hoods are lined in old gold. The color of the velvet hood border indicates the field of study to which the degree pertains. The velvet trim on hoods corresponds to colors established in the intercollegiate code.

The Oxford cap is proper for all degrees and can be worn both indoors and out with academic costume. The tassel, worn over the left eye, symbolizes the degree to be conferred on the wearer.

Institutional practice may vary from the established code. University of Iowa candidates for degree display tassels corresponding to the college from which their degree will be granted. Tassels colors for individual colleges can be found above.

Graduation Support Program

The Dean of Students Graduation Support Program provides financial assistance for graduation apparel and materials to students experiencing financial hardship who are unable to afford to participate in graduation ceremonies at the University of Iowa. The program provides funding for eligible students – undergraduate, graduate, and professional – for the costs of graduation apparel and materials. Students can find more information about the program, including eligibility details, and complete an application for funds on the Dean of Students website.