Graduation and Commencement

Graduation Information

What to Wear With Your Cap and Gown

All graduates must wear a cap and gown. Please comfortable shoes. Dark color (i.e., black, navy, deep brown) dresses, suits, skirts, slacks, pants, and shoes are all appropriate clothing options for the Commencement ceremony. Men should wear white dress shirts. We request graduates wear professional shoes, and not tennis or other athletic shoes.


For undergraduate candidates, at the beginning of the ceremony tassels are worn on the right. Upon direction from the President, the tassel is moved to the left.

Graduate candidates will wear their tassel to the left for the entire ceremony.

Ceremony Instructions


Check-in will begin at 7:15 a.m. All graduates must meet in the Library/Tawes Center/Grace Hill Jacobs Quad no later than 7:30 a.m. Marshals and volunteers will distribute name cards and will line up the graduates. Please remain in line until the processional. Please remember students are not to carry anything in the ceremony. The procession will begin at 8:45 a.m.


The ceremony will begin at the 9:00 a.m. and last approximately two hours. All students are requested to stay until the conclusion of the ceremony.

Announcer Card

Each graduate must complete the announcer card. You should spell your name phonetically on the announcer’s card.

Receiving Your Diploma Cover

  1. Please bring your announcer card to the platform and give it to the announcer.
  2. Take your diploma cover and walk to the President and shake his hand, a photo will be taken.
  3. Another photo will be taken after you exit the stage.
  4. Return to your seat via the center aisle and be seated.

Commencement Etiquette

  • Graduates should not bring cell phones, cameras, computers, and other electronic devices to the commencement.
  • After crossing the stage, graduates must return to their seats and allow the other graduates to have their moment.
  • Graduates and guests must remain seated until directed otherwise by the Marshals.
  • Graduates will be directed when to line up for the recession and to proceed to the field exit in an orderly manner.
  • The recession signals the end of the ceremony, and graduates and guests will then be free to take pictures at the selfie stations at the end of the field.
  • Graduates should display courtesy and respect to self and others.

Diploma Information

Expect your diploma in the mail—diplomas will be mailed after all graduation requirements have been met. This usually occurs within 6 to 8 weeks of commencement.
Please keep the Records and Registration Office informed of your current address.

Order your graduation cap, gown, class ring, and announcements

Coppin State University Kente Stole, blue cap, gown and tassel

Students can order caps, gowns, and hoods online through our official vendor partner. The Bookstore also has cap and gowns available for purchase from March-May. Gowns are sized by height. Fuller cut gowns are available. Caps are one size fit all. Your cap and gown are non-refundable, and must be paid for in full when you come to pick up.

The Bookstore accepts Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.

Curious about specific pricing? Visit the campus bookstore or call (410) 951-1223 for more information.

Celebrate your graduation with class rings and announcements

Coppin State University partners with Herff Jones to supply class rings and announcements. Students can visit the Herff Jones website to order.

Order faculty regalia

Faculty may also rent or purchase regalia or other items for Commencement. Check with the bookstore for information on regalia.

Why do we graduate in caps and gowns?

Coppin graduates dress in traditional commencement regalia. In the 13th century, many academic scholars, both teachers and students, wore woolen robes to keep warm in drafty classrooms. 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 doctorate 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 also have the velvet in the color of the degree/discipline.


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.


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, we use the following hoods:

Color Degree(s)
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
Golden Yellow
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts
  • Master of Science in Adult Education
  • Master of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Master of Science in Human Services Administration
  • Master of Science in Nursing
Light Blue
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Master of Education in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling