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Custom Regalia FAQ

Academic Regalia Purchase

If you would like to purchase Doctoral or Master apparel, please review the options listed on this page, and then click the appropriate link in the left-hand navigation menu. Please note that it will take 8-10 weeks to complete your order.

How-To Measure For Custom Regalia

In order to ensure that you receive your regalia in the correct size, certain measurements must be taken. Please view our "How-To Measure" guide for instructions on how to take the proper measurements.

Gown Models

The presence of velvet panels and chevrons on an academic gown indicates a doctoral degree. The color of the velvet may either be black or may indicate the degree (dark blue for a PhD, purple for a JD, etc.)

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A) and B) Marshal: This hand-tailored doctoral gown is for those who want the very best. The doctoral panels and chevrons are tailored in rich, plush velvet lined with pellon, and are hand-sewn, leaving no visible stitching. This gown also has the added luxuries of a recessed zipper (for wearing the gown open), a pocket slit for clothing access, suit cuffs in the sleeves, a braided neckline, and decorative pleats at the shoulders, forming a "V" at the back.

C) Faculty: Traditional black doctoral gown with full bell sleeves and machine-sewn velveteen panels and chevrons.

D) Master Gown: Similar to the Faculty gown, but without the doctoral velvet trim. The Masters degree is signified by square-cut sleeve extensions which hang down from the rear of the sleeve.

E) The Official UC PhD Gown: Designed by the Regents of the University of California, is a Marshal style gown with a unique yoke and sleeve construction. The panels and chevrons are dark (PhD) blue velvet with gold piping.

Hoods, Mortarboards and Tams


The academic hood is a symbol of your personal achievement. It reflects your degree and the University awarding the degree. The satin lining is done in the approved color of the University, while the velvet indicates the degree earned.


A Mortarboard may be worn and is available with a folding crown or a stiff crown. If being ordered with a gown, the color and fabric will match the gown.


The Velvet Tam is the traditional style of headwear for doctoral regalia. The color should match the velvet trim on the gown.


If purchasing a mortarboard, a rayon tassel is included at no additional charge. Doctoral tassels are traditionally gold. Higher-grade tassels may be purchased at an additional cost.

If purchasing a tam, one of the following tassels must be chosen:

Metallic Gold Bullion Tassel:
Tassel of choice when wearing the Official UC PhD Gown because it matches the metallic gold piping of the UC gown. This tassel is a more modern design and has thicker spaghetti strands as opposed to the more traditional thin-strand rayon and silk tassels.

Gold Silk Doctoral Tassel:
A silk version of the basic tassel which will not unravel like a rayon tassel and comes in a softer antique gold color which matches the gold hem of the UC PhD hood. This tassel is normally preferred when wearing a black gown.

Wearing Academic Dress

The cap is worn with the long point of the shell to the rear. Undergraduates who have not yet received a degree wear the tassel forward and to the right. After the degree is awarded, the tassel is shifted to the left.

For those receiving graduate degrees, (Master, Ph.D., MD, etc.) the tassel is worn to the left, signifying existing possession of an academic degree. It is customary for those wishing to demonstrate respect for their country to remove their caps during the national anthem or when the U.S. flag is passing. Lightweight clothing is usually worn under the gown. Coats are not necessary for men, but a shirt and tie improve the appearance of the gown.

The bachelor's gown has pointed sleeves and at UC Davis is worn without a hood.

The master's gown is designed with an oblong sleeve, open at the wrist. The sleeve base hangs down in the traditional manner. The rear part of its oblong shape is square-cut and the front part has an arc cut away. The gown may be worn open or closed.

The doctor's gown has velvet facings on its front panels and three velvet chevrons on each sleeve. The University of California authorizes recipients of the Ph.D. degree earned on any of its campuses to wear an academic gown of admiral blue.

Candidates for graduate certificates and credentials wear the cap, gown and hood of the highest degree they hold.

The hood worn by those receiving the master's and doctoral degrees hangs to the rear from the neck and is fastened to shirt buttons by an elastic cord. To avoid wearing the hood inside out, make sure that the velvet facing of the hood is visible under the chin and lies flat over the shoulders.

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