2021 Commencement Update

The time has come to reserve your ticket for Commencement. In accordance with its COVID-19 protocols, Indiana University is planning in-person May Commencement ceremonies at all of its campuses for graduates only. More details for attending Commencement will be shared soon. Family and friends may join the celebration virtually at

Reserve your ticket for Graduate Commencement  Reserve your ticket for Undergraduate Commencement

Your Commencement attire, piece by piece

All candidates for degrees must wear custom IU apparel at Commencement. Students rent their gowns and return them after the ceremony. Graduates keep their caps, tassels, and (if they received undergraduate degrees) stoles of gratitude. If you are a December 2020 graduate or a spring or summer 2021 graduate, there are two ways to order:

  • Attend virtual GradFair beginning March 9 and get help with ordering; or
  • Order directly from Herff Jones, IU’s licensed Commencement vendor.
Order Apparel

Order by Monday, April, 5, to get the best price. Prices go up Monday, April 12. Online orders close on Monday, April 19.

NOTE: All 2020 graduates who ordered and paid for official caps, tassels, gowns, hoods, and stoles will receive the complimentary use of gowns (and hoods if you earned a graduate degree) to wear at Commencement. Bring your cap, tassel (and stole if you earned an undergraduate degree). You will be contacted by Herff Jones before Commencement to arrange the use of complimentary apparel.

The gown

Indiana University has custom apparel for Commencement featuring a lightweight black gabardine robe piped with crimson braid.

Bachelor’s and associate gowns

The bachelor’s and associate gowns have a closed front and open sleeves.

Candidates for bachelor’s and associate degrees also receive a crimson Stole of Gratitude, embellished with the Indiana University seal, which they wear during the ceremony.

Master’s gowns

The master’s gown has extra long, closed sleeves, with a small opening at the wrist. The end of the sleeve is square, with an arc cut away just above the bottom.

Doctoral gowns

The doctoral gown has velvet panels down the front and voluminous, bell-shaped sleeves. Each sleeve has three velvet bars. The velvet is usually black, but may reflect the color of the discipline.

Stoles of Gratitude

Graduates may keep their Stoles of Gratitude as a memento of the day, or present them as a token of thanks to anyone who guided them on their path to graduation.

Caps, tassels, and hoods

All candidates wear a cap (also called a mortarboard) that is adorned with a colored tassel appropriate to the school or division from which they are graduating. All students may keep their caps and tassels after the ceremony.

All graduate degree candidates also wear a hood. The master’s hood extends past the middle of the back and has a wide velvet edging. The doctoral hood is easily recognized by the width of the velvet edging, the wide panels at both sides, and the greater length. Rental hoods must be returned with rental gowns.

Rent caps and gowns

Online orders for Commencement 2021 are now open! You can order your cap and gown here:

You’re almost there. Use our graduation checklist to prepare for Commencement.

Graduation checklist