Return to accessibility navigation at the top of the page.

Graduation regalia

Pima generally requires that graduates wear traditional “cap and gown” academic regalia during the commencement ceremony. At the same time, Pima also embraces graduates’ self-expression, both reverent and light-hearted, as part of the ceremony. Graduates may and often do personalize or supplement their traditional graduation attire to reflect their own traditions, achievements and personalities. There may also be times when wearing alternate ceremonial attire, other than a traditional cap and gown, enhances the commencement ceremony for the graduate while still honoring the importance of the occasion.

Regardless of what they wear, graduates should be mindful that the commencement ceremony is a proud and often profoundly important moment for those who are graduating, as well as for their loved ones and others in attendance. Accordingly, all graduation attire, in any form, should be respectful and not disrupt the ceremony or interfere with others’ enjoyment of the special occasion.

With those considerations in mind, please take note of the following:

  1. The College generally requires that graduates wear traditional academic caps and gowns during the commencement ceremony, subject to the exceptions noted below.
  2. Graduates may personalize and supplement their caps and gowns without prior approval. Such personal adornments should be respectful to other graduates and attendees and not unduly distracting.
  3. In lieu of or in combination with traditional caps and gowns, graduates also may wear the following (no prior approval required):
    • Native American ceremonial attire or regalia
    • Military dress uniforms
    • Academic regalia from any cultural or national academic tradition that was previously conferred upon the graduate by a college, university or other institution of higher education.
  4. With prior approval from the Provost’s Office, graduates may wear other cultural, religious or ceremonial attire appropriate to the significance of the occasion in lieu of or in addition to traditional caps and gowns. Requests for approval must be submitted to the Provost’s Office in writing not less than ten (10) business days prior to the date of graduation and should include 1) a description of the attire the graduate desires to wear and 2) an explanation of its cultural, religious or ceremonial significance to the graduate.
  5. Although it is not the College’s practice to question whether graduates are permitted, by cultural tradition or organizational regulation, to wear particular apparel or personal adornments, or if they are otherwise wearing them properly, graduates should wear ceremonial attire, uniforms and honorific symbols only if they are genuinely entitled to wear them and do so appropriately and respectfully.
  6. The College reserves the right to decline to permit graduates to wear or to require graduates to remove or alter, any attire or personal adornments it deems to be unduly distracting or objectively offensive.

Information on purchasing academic caps, gowns and stoles for honors students is found on the Graduation Ceremony homepage.