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Caps, Gowns and Attire

Academic attire is required for the commencement ceremony All graduates should wear gowns and hoods appropriate for their degree. A friend’s or relative’s gown will not work unless the attire meets the exact requirements for each degree.

  • Additional ornamentation: Honor medallions are worn only by those students graduating in the University Honors Program (medallions are provided at the ceremony.) Students can wear honor cords for being awarded Latin honors (Summa, Magna and Cum Laude) for Bachelor’s degree students and the Doctoral Pharmacy students. Academic honor cords or pins may be worn if earned from a Drake college or school recognized academic organization. Leadership of the particular academic organization will inform the President’s Committee on Commencement (PCC) of the academic honor item.
  •  Registered Student Organizations (R.S.O.) may propose an organizational stole to the Office of Student Inclusion, Involvement, and Leadership (S.I.I.L.). The stole will express cultural expression and identity expression appropriate for the R.S.O. The S.I.I.L. Office will inform the President's Committee on Commencement (P.C.C.) of the requested stole design. The P.C.C. needs to review and approve the stole to be worn, which is then subject to approval by the University President. The R.S.O. must be in good standing with the University at the time of the Commencement Ceremony. The stole design and intent must align with the Mission, Vision, and Non-Discrimination Statement of the University. Students may wear only one stole per ceremony.
  • Any additional ornamentation must receive prior approval by the President's Committee on Commencement (PCC).

Bachelor and Master level attire may be purchased and picked up at the University Book Store during normal hours.

Each student will receive a tassel of appropriate color based upon their school or college. Students with two degrees may purchase the extra tassel, but only one tassel may be worn during the ceremony.

The colors associated with the different disciplines are as follows:

  • Agriculture - Maize
  • Journalism - Crimson
  • Philosophy - Dark Blue
  • Arts, Letters General Studies - White
  • Law - Purple
  • Physical Education - Sage Green
  • Business and Commerce - Drab
  • Library Science - Lemon
  • Public Administration - Peacock Blue
  • Economics - Copper
  • Medicine - Green
  • Science - Golden Yellow
  • Education - Light Blue
  • Music - Pink
  • Social Work - Citron
  • Fine Arts - Brown
  • Nursing - Apricot
  • Speech - Silver Grey
  • Forestry - Russet
  • Pharmacy - Olive Green
  • Theology - Scarlet

Doctor of Education and Doctor of Pharmacy attire may be purchased through the University Book Store during normal business hours.

Doctor of Jurisprudence degree recipients must order caps and gowns as soon as possible as these are rentals.

If students are unable to purchase/rent attire in the University Book Store, the commencement attire also may be shipped. Please contact Katie Wilz at the book store at or call (515) 274-3401 if you have any questions regarding academic attire.

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