Academic Regalia

As a newly minted Doctor of Education, we know you will be excited to participate in commencement ceremonies, and for that you will need academic regalia, aka a robe, hat and hood. There are several options available to you, and you will want to consider several issues as you make your choice.

If you are in a position that does not require that you wear academic regalia other than for your own commencement, a onetime event, you will probably want to consider a less expensive route. It is possible to rent regalia, and as commencement time approaches, announcements will be made about how to access rental regalia. Most students prefer to purchase their own, however, and the bookstores at MUGC and at MU offer relatively inexpensive versions. These have been running less than $100. These are the least expensive version, but they look just fine for the ceremony, and many of our students have purchased their regalia like this. The bookstore folks will know exactly what you need when you tell them you are receiving an EdD. You will need to contact them at least 6 weeks prior to commencement in order for your regalia to arrive in time for commencement.

Some of our graduates have a need to wear their regalia as a part of their professional responsibilities on a regular basis and may want to purchase a more durable gown. One of the highest quality vendors for this purpose is Oak Hall Oak Hall gowns are beautiful, high quality, but also quite expensive, depending upon some choices you can make (see requirements below). We have also had students to order from Academic Apparel ( with satisfying results for a lesser cost. Other sources for academic regalia are available over the Internet, but these are the only ones of whose quality and dependability we have any direct knowledge.

If you are ordering regalia on your own, you need to pay close attention to the following guidelines:

1. You should specify that you are ordering a doctoral robe. These are somewhat different than master’s or bachelor’s robes. Some companies list them as PhD robes…as long as you are ordering a black doctoral level robe, it does not matter that it is called a PhD as opposed to an EdD. Take a look at the sleeve style and the fabric type as you consider available choices. Some companies have lighter weight fabric that is more comfortable!

2. Doctoral robes are typically adorned with velvet plackets and velvet chevrons on the sleeves. You may choose to have these in black, or in the light blue that represents Education. Some choose to have the plackets and chevrons in black velvet, edged with light blue piping. Any of these alternatives is acceptable; just be sure that if you use color, it is the light blue of education.

3. The “hat” that you will need is either a mortarboard or a velvet tam. Tams come in several styles and are sometimes more comfortable to keep on one’s head. Again, we recommend black. The doctoral tassel is “old gold.”

4. The doctoral hood has two specifications: the granting institution and the degree. The hood lining is done in green and white, representing that the degree is being granted by Marshall University. The trim will be done in light blue, representing that you are receiving a doctor of education degree. The hood is typically made of the same fabric used for the robe.

Additional Information of Interest:

History of Academic Regalia

Colors of Academic Regalia