How to put on a graduation gown with a hood

Written by rebekah martin
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Graduation gowns worn by students graduating with a master's or doctoral degree generally have a hood on them, hanging down the back. These can look confusing to put on, but if you take it a step at a time, are not that difficult. You'll be ready to walk across that graduation stage in no time.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Graduation gown with hood
  • Graduation cap

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  1. 1

    Put your arms into the arms of the graduation gown, with the closing zipper in the front. You can close it or keep it open, but it is traditional for the upper level graduating students to keep their gowns open.

  2. 2

    Place the hood over your head, with the large part hanging evenly down the back and the velvet side showing. There is a little loop in the front that can be placed around a button on the front of the shirt, under the tie. If the hood is worn by a female, it can be attached to the front of the clothing with a pin or broach.

  3. 3

    Let the hood fall naturally down the back, allowing the coloured lining representing the degree program to show. To do this, turn the lining inside out at the bottom in the back. You may need help from someone to do this, since it is behind you.

  4. 4

    Look in the cap and find the side with the padding. This is the back of the cap. Place it on your head with the padding in the back and the tassel hanging to the left of your face.

Tips and warnings

  • If you decide to wear the gown open, consider the colour of the gown when picking out the clothing to wear underneath. You will not want the colours to clash, especially as you will be taking numerous pictures for posterity.
  • If you feel that your hood may slip off your shoulders, use a some small safety pins to pin it to your shoulders. Make sure that you pin it from the underside of the gown so the pins will not show.
  • If you are graduating with multiple degrees that all have hoods, wear the hood with the highest degree level. If several degrees are all on the same level, wear the hood of the degree that you received first.
  • If you are receiving an academic award, wear the hood that corresponds with that award, even if it is not of seniority.
  • When wearing the cap, females will not be able to wear their hair up in a ponytail or bun, as the cap will not sit correctly on the head. Take care to style the hair in a manner as to allow the cap to sit level on the head.

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