Cap & Gown Pick-up 

In order to get your cap and gown, you will need to complete all graduation requirements.

Personalized commencement announcements may be ordered from Herff Jones, but should be ordered in advance to ensure timely receipt.

Caps and gowns do NOT need to be ordered through this site. Your free cap and gown can be picked up during the Exit Counseling and Cap and Gown Pick Up Fair on April 21 and 22 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the Atrium, or from the Denver Campus Bookstore beginning April 23.

What to Wear and How to Wear It 

You are expected to wear the full academic dress (cap, gown, and hood) appropriate to your degree. Graduates who are in the military are permitted to wear appropriate military dress uniforms. 

Graduates should put on their cap and gown before entering the assembly area. University staff members will be on hand if you need assistance. Leave coats, valuables and other items with parents, friends or guests. You will not be able to store any personal belongings in the assembly area.

The gown should be ironed and worn straight. Both the cap and gown should be worn at all times by women; men remove their caps for the national anthem, the invocation and the benediction, but wear them at all other times throughout the ceremony. The tassel is to hang on the front right side of the cap.

Academic Hood 

Bachelor's degree recipients and Master’s degree recipients also wear an academic hood representing their higher level of education.

Your hood should be placed over the shoulders. There should be no color visible at first. Once the hood is in place, unfold it slightly to expose the colors.

Women may choose to fasten the hood at the shoulders with safety pins for more comfort. For men, the neckband of the hood should be placed over the tie.


The tradition of wearing distinctive dress for academic ceremonies dates back to the Middle Ages. Costumes were worn mainly by nobility and clergy. Most of the early academic costumes were made of woolen cloth. Colors were added during the Renaissance, particularly at Oxford and Cambridge where scarlet hoods were worn by doctors.

Today, academic costumes are usually worn in the United States by people participating in academic ceremonies. The academic dress at Johnson & Wales meets the standards set by the intercollegiate Bureau of Academic Costume. All students wear the standard black gown and square "Oxford cap."

The faculty and platform party will be wearing regalia representative of the degrees they possess. The president and other officials of the university will wear caps and gowns designed exclusively for Johnson & Wales University. The honorary degree recipients will wear the academic costume and hood appropriate for the degree being conferred upon them.