Graduation and Commencement

Graduation Information

What to Wear With Your Cap and Gown

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.

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

Students can order caps, gowns, and hoods online through our official vendor partner. The Bookstore also has cap and gowns available for purchase from October-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) 951-1222 for more information.

Celebrate your graduation with class rings and announcements

Coppin State University partners with Balfour to supply class rings and announcements. Throughout the year, a Balfour representative comes to campus to meet with students, answer questions, and take orders—check in with the bookstore for specific dates.

Students can also reach out directly to Balfour to order or talk with customer service at 1(877) BALFOUR.

Order faculty regalia

Faculty may also rent or purchase regalia or other items for Commencement. Faculty, be mindful of these deadlines when planning for your Commencement needs:

  • Order purchases 6-8 weeks in advance
  • Order rentals 2-4 weeks in advance

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