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Regalia is required for all Northwestern ceremonies. The regalia ordering system is managed by the University's Commencement Office. You can order master’s or PhD regalia through the University’s Commencement website. The deadline to purchase regalia to be shipped to your home or preferred mailing address is May 16, 2021.

For MFA and PhD student eligible for The Graduate School's hooding ceremony:

Differences Between Keeper Regalia Package and Finer-Quality Regalia Package 
Graduate Students with Financial Need

For graduate students with financial need, please complete this form managed by the Commencement Office. The Commencement Office will email you directly to confirm your eligibility and provide further instructions. Please complete your application by Friday, April 30 for full consideration. If you have questions about this form or about financial assistance for regalia, please contact the Commencement Office at or 847-491-3600.


Please note: these details describe the finer-quality academic regalia package.

The gown body is purple with black velvet front panels softly curving around the neck and sweeping down the length of the gown. A special Northwestern University “1851” embroidered emblem is placed at chest level on each of the front panels. Each of the purple double bell sleeves has three black velvet sleeve chevrons. The gown has a pocket slit on the wearer’s right and a zipper closure.


The hood is standard doctoral style with a black shell, a velvet trim, and a purple satin lining with a gold satin chevron.

MFA graduates wear a brown hood while PHD graduates wear a dark blue hood.


MFA graduates wear a traditional cap while PhD graduates wear a tam.

The tam is a four-corner style cap in black velvet accented with a gold metallic tassel.

Hooding instructions

Faculty hooders may download this diagram with detailed hooding instructions.


Last Updated: May 12, 2021.