Academic Regalia | Coppin State University

Academic Regalia

Academic Regalia and Portraits

Coppin's graduates dress in the traditional commencement regalia. In the 13th century, many of the academic scholars, whether teacher or student, wore the woolen robes to keep warm because the classrooms were in drafty stone buildings. The hood was added by many of the ancient scholars to provide warmth around their necks and heads. In 1895 representatives of leading United States higher education institutions met and adopted a code of academic dress, which specified the cut and style of the gowns and the colors of the degrees. Today academic gowns are worn in recognition of the rich history of higher education and educators. It is a worthy tradition that adds grandeur to the ceremony. Academic gowns are generally worn on special academic occasions such as convocations, commencements and presidential inaugurations.

The Bachelor's Degree Gown is black, has pointed sleeves, and is worn closed. The gown is untrimmed.

The Master's Degree Gown is black, has oblong sleeves, and is open at the wrist. The rear part of the oblong shape is square cut and the front part has an arc cut away. The gown may be worn open or closed. The gown is untrimmed.

The Doctor's Degree Gown has bell-shaped full sleeves. The front of the gown has black velvet and three bars of black velvet are on the sleeves. (Some gowns may have the velvet in the color of the degree/discipline)


Hoods vary in length according to the degree. Bachelor's hoods are three feet, master's are three and one-half feet, and the Doctor's degree is four feet. The lining of the hood is the official colors of the university, which are blue and gold. The trimming of the hood is usually velvet or velveteen. The color of the velvet indicates the degree. At Coppin the following hoods are used:

Color Discipline
White Bachelor of Arts 
Golden Yellow  Bachelor of Science
Golden Yellow Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts 
White Master of Arts in Teaching 
Light Blue Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
Light Blue Master of Education in Special Education
Light Blue Master of Education in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling
Golden Yellow Master of Science in Adult Education
Golden Yellow Master of Science in Criminal Justice
Golden Yellow Master of Science in Human Services Administration
Apricot Master of Science in Nursing


The Mortarboard is generally worn by Coppin's graduates. The mortarboard is black with a long black tassel. Undergraduate students wear their tassels to the right side, and when the degree is conferred, the tassel is moved to the left side.

Other Apparel

Other Apparel worn by Coppin's graduates, such as dresses, suits, skirts, slacks, pants, and shoes should be of dark colors (i.e., black, navy, deep brown). Men should wear white dress shirts. Graduates are requested not to wear tennis or other athletic shoes.

Purchasing Regalia

Caps, gowns and hoods will be available for purchase at Gowns are sized by height. Fuller cut gowns are available. Caps are one size fit all. For more information, please contact the Bookstore at 410-951-1223.

Master Card, Visa, Discover, American Express are accepted for all purchases.