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How to Order Your Regalia
For December 2019 graduates, if you missed the Grad Fair on November 6th and 7th from 4:00-7:00 p.m.
in JMU Bookstore you have two options to order regalia. 
Visit the JMU Bookstore between now and commencement to pick up your cap, gown, hood and tassel.
Students that are not on campus until commencement, you can order your regalia online and have it ship to your residence. Please note: Include your height, weight and degree in the comments section during check out to expedite your order and avoid delays.
Master - Regalia Package
Bachelor - Regalia Package
Honors Cords
For May 2020 graduates, come to the Grad Fair on March 23rd and 24th from 3:00-8:00 p.m.
in Bridgeforth Stadium, Gate A.
We encourage all grads to attend Grad Fair, as it is your one-stop shop for all commencement needs.


Balfour is our official partner for announcements and class rings.
Be sure to order your Class of 2019 and 2020 JMU ring!
Cap and Gown Prices

Bachelor Gown


Bachelor Hood






Total Bachelor Unit


Master Gown


Master Hood






Total Master Unit


EDS Gown


EDS Hood






Total EDS Unit


Souvenir Tassel


Honor Cord


Cap and Gown Information
The Tradition of the Academic Costume

The academic costume of cap and gown worn by the faculty and students during commencement ceremonies had its origin in the universities of the Middle Ages. Reference to exacting detail on wearing the academic costume can be found as early as 1321. Although the exact reason for the original use of the costume is not known, it is presumed that there was a very practical reason - medieval scholars probably wore the gown and hood for warmth in their unheated buildings. Students of that era wore their gowns daily, setting them apart from fellow citizens and giving rise to the term "town and gown."

In the United States, caps and gowns were worn daily by students at most American universities until the time of the Civil War. These varied in design until they were standardized by the American Intercollegiate Commission in 1894. The American Council on Education established later guidelines on the academic costume.

Sleeves of the gown indicate the degree held by the wearer. Closed, pointed sleeves are used for the bachelor’s gown; oblong sleeves, open at the wrist, for the master’s gown; and bell-shaped sleeves, with three velvet bars, for the doctor’s gown. The doctoral robe has full-length velvet panels in front, either black or of a color symbolizing the wearer’s field of learning.

Standard colors are used to represent the various academic disciplines. Some of the colors that will be seen in the commencement ceremony indicate the following fields:


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Masters


Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Masters, Fine Arts (MFA)


Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)


Bachelor of Science (BS), Masters (MS)

Kelly Green

Masters, Physician's Assistant Studies (MPAS) - December only 

Light Blue

Master of Science in Education (MSEd), Masters in Education (MEd)

Light Brown

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Masters, Business Administration (MBA)


Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE)

Peacock Blue

Masters, Public Administration (MPA)


Bachelor of Music (BM), Masters (MM)

Sage Green

Masters, Occupational Therapy (MOT) - December only


Bachelor of Individual Studies (BIS)


Bachelor of Arts (BA), Masters (MA), Masters, Teaching (MAT)

The hood is a separate ornamental fold hanging down the back of the gown. An outside band of velvet on the hood varies in width according to the degree: two inches for the bachelor’s; three for the master’s; and five for the doctor’s. The color of the band and other velvet on the doctoral hood symbolize the field of learning. The length of the hood also varies with the degree, with the longer the hood, the more advanced the degree (Bachelor’s and master’s degree holders often do not wear their hoods).

The lining of the hood carries the colors of the college or university granting the degree. James Madison University’s hood is purple and gold.

The cap worn is usually the black mortarboard, decorated with a tassel, which is black or a color symbolizing the field of higher learning. Holders of doctoral degrees may wear gold tassels, and some master’s tassels are white.

Candidates for degrees frequently wear tassels on the right side of the mortarboard and then shift them to the left in unison when the degree is conferred.

Gold cords are worn by bachelor’s candidates graduating with honors.

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