The University of Iowa


Commencement Apparel

All graduates are expected to wear academic regalia at their ceremonies.

Please Note: The University of Iowa is undergoing a transition in apparel vendors and apparel is not yet available. Apparel availability and ordering information will be communicated to fall 2023 degree applicants via their University of Iowa email accounts in October.

Collegiate Tassel Colors

The color of the tassel to purchase is determined by the college the student is enrolled in. 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. In May 2000, the Graduate College commemorated its centennial year with a new doctoral gown; the main differences can be seen in the trimming, cut, and shape of the sleeves. 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. At the University of Iowa, only doctoral degree candidates wear hoods. 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; tassels conform to the code colors for hood trimming.

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.