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Graduation FAQ

Questions

1. What do I need to wear for commencement?
2. What comes with the gown rental?
3. Do I get to keep the cap and tassel?
4. What size gown should I rent?
5. How much does it cost and are there any package deals?
6. How do I order?
7. I don’t want all the Grad Pack stuff. Can I just get a stole with my gown rental?
8. How do I get my gown?
9. Can my rental gown or grad pack be shipped to me?
10. Can someone else pick up my order for me?
11. I won’t be in town until the day of my ceremony. How can I get my cap and gown?
12. Am I guaranteed to get my correct gown size?
13. Where do I return my gown?
14. I want to wear my gown for pictures after the ceremony. Can I return it later?
15. I lost my gown... now what?
16. Can I buy my cap and gown?
17. I found out I am not going to be able to attend the ceremony... can I get a refund?
18. Can I wear the blue and gold tassel during commencement?
19. What is the Commemorative Stole of Appreciation?
20. I want one of the cultural stoles instead of the one that came with my Grad Pack. Can I exchange it?
21. Can I get a different frame than the one in the Grad Pack?
22. I paid for my gown rental, but now I wish I had gotten a Grad Pack... can I switch?
23. I graduated last year... can I still get a tassel with my year on it?
24. Can I get special text on my announcements, and can they be rushed?

Answers

1. What do I need to wear for commencement?

All graduates wear a custom UC Davis rental gown, cap and tassel. Additionally, masters and doctors wear an academic hood, which drapes from the front of the neck down the back and signifies the degree earned and the university conferring it. When you visit the cap and gown rental site it will show you what you need to rent based on your initial selections.

2. What comes with the gown rental?

Your rental includes a custom rental gown designed for UC Davis, a “one-size” mortarboard cap and a tassel with your year of graduation. The rental gown must be returned after your ceremony, but you may keep both your cap and tassel. Caps and tassels will also be sold individually during the Gown Pickup event and do not need to be pre-ordered. If your degree requires you to rent a hood as well, that also must be returned after the ceremony with the gown.

3. Do I get to keep the cap and tassel?

You may keep both the cap and tassel. Only gowns and hoods must be returned.

4. What size gown should I rent?

Rental gowns are sized by height in 2-inch increments. All you will need to know when renting your gown is your degree, height in inches and weight. Extra-large gowns are available in limited quantities.

5. How much does it cost and are there any package deals?

Graduate packages (Grad Packs) combining your gown rental with various souvenir items, announcements, etc. are available at a discount. Grad Packs can be purchased through the UC Davis Stores. You can download a PDF with info and pricing before you order. Below the Grad Pack pricing on the PDF, you will also find a la carte pricing for rental and individual souvenir items.

6. How do I order?

Once you have decided what you want, you can place your order through cap & gown rentals. You will be taken to our vendor’s site, where you will have tab options to either order a Grad Pack or order items individually, such as cap and gown rental or announcements only.

7. I don’t want all the Grad Pack stuff. Can I just get a stole with my gown rental?

Your gown can only be ordered in a Grad Pack or by itself. You may, however, order the gown by itself and then purchase the stole on its own (a la carte), either at ucdavisstores.com (on the stoles merchandise page), or in-store at the UC Davis Stores Memorial Union location. All Grad Pack items can be purchased a la carte from UC Davis Stores. You can then download a PDF with the a la carte info listed below the Grad Pack information.

8. How do I get my gown?

All gown rentals and grad packs must be picked up on campus during Cap and Gown Pickup:

  • Main Gown Distribution Event
    • May 31, June 1 – Pavilion: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
    • June 2 – Pavilion: 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • Late Gown Pickup
    • June 3–16, at the Campus Store, Lower Level
      • Weekdays: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
      • Saturdays: noon–4 p.m.
      • Sundays: closed
    • June 16–18 – On-site Late Gown Pickup
      • June 16: 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
      • June 17: 8 a.m.–7 p.m.
      • June 18: 8 a.m.–2 p.m.

9. Can my rental gown or grad pack be shipped to me?

No. Since the rental stock does not arrive until just prior to the ceremony week, there is not time to coordinate shipments to individual graduates.

10. Can someone else pick up my order for me?

Yes. You can give your emailed confirmation to a friend or family member to collect your gown for you. It helps if they also bring your student ID.

11. I won’t be in town until the day of my ceremony. How can I get my cap and gown?

Gowns will be available through the day of the ceremony. Please note, gowns picked up late will be subject to remaining available sizes.

12. Am I guaranteed to get my correct gown size?

Every effort is made to ensure we have enough of each size gown. However, because bulk sizes of gowns must be ordered long before all graduates have placed their rental orders, there is no way to guarantee that a given size will not run out. If a size does run out, you will be given the next size up or down, which will mean that it may be one to two inches either shorter or longer, which usually is not very noticeable. We recommend pickup during the specified dates.

13. Where do I return my gown?

The collection station for all ceremonies held at the ARC/Pavilion will be located in the ARC plaza in front of the lobby, or inside the lobby in the case of inclement weather. When you pick up your gown, you will receive a return card. When you return your gown, please be sure to have that return card with you filled out with your student ID, or be prepared to show ID, in order for your return to be registered.

14. I want to wear my gown for pictures after the ceremony. Can I return it later?

After the ceremony date, gowns must be returned to the Campus Store at the Memorial Union. A $5 late-return processing fee will be due for returns beginning the Tuesday following the ceremony. Transcripts may be held for non-return of gowns or non-payment of any fees due.

15. I lost my gown... now what?

A replacement fee will be charged for non-returned gowns. Diplomas and transcripts may be held for non-returned gowns and/or non-payment of fees.

16. Can I buy my cap and gown?

You cannot purchase and keep your rental gown. You can purchase custom regalia, which takes 8–12 weeks to receive.

17. I found out I am not going to be able to attend the ceremony... can I get a refund?

Refund requests for cap and gown rentals and Grad Packs will be processed through the Friday before gown distribution. After that, gown rentals will not be refunded. Grad Pack merchandise may be individually returned, with a 15% restocking fee deducted from the refund amount. All refund requests must be pre-approved by emailing gradsupplies@ucdavis.edu.

18. Can I wear the blue and gold tassel during commencement?

No. The blue and gold tassel is a souvenir. Your commencement tassel will be provided with your cap and gown rental or may be purchased separately if you purchased a gown.

19. What is the Commemorative Stole of Appreciation?

The Commemorative Stole of Appreciation is a symbol of your accomplishments at UC Davis. It is designed to be worn during commencement and then presented as a token of respect and appreciation to a family member or mentor, someone who has supported you emotionally and/or financially throughout your academic endeavor.

20. I want one of the cultural stoles instead of the one that came with my Grad Pack. Can I exchange it?

Yes. It may be exchanged in-store and you will be charged the difference.

21. Can I get a different frame than the one in the Grad Pack?

You may exchange the frame for any in-stock frame of equal or greater value, subject to stock on hand. You will be charged for any price difference.

22. I paid for my gown rental, but now I wish I had gotten a Grad Pack... can I switch?

No, but all Grad Pack items can be purchased individually (a la carte) from UC Davis Stores. You can then download a PDF with the a la carte info listed below the Grad Pack information.

23. I graduated last year... can I still get a tassel with my year on it?

Yes. Both the commencement tassel and the souvenir tassel can be ordered with past years. Please email the Commencement Coordinator at gradsupplies@ucdavis.edu with your request.

24. Can I get special text on my announcements, and can they be rushed?

Announcements can take up to 3 weeks for delivery. Please contact the announcements vendor to request any special shipping arrangements or text changes.

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