Commencement Regalia Information

Commencement Regalia

Order Your Cap & Gown

You can order regalia from the Western Associated Students Bookstore website​. You are encouraged to submit your order promptly. It can be picked up directly from the Bookstore to allow ample time to ensure fit and to get all the wrinkles out of your gown from being in a compact package.

All students who attend the commencement ceremony must wear the black cap and gown appropriate to their degree - bachelors, masters, and doctoral graduates all have different regalia.

Regalia is available for purchase from the AS Bookstore.  Stop by the AS Bookstore located in the Viking Union or order online from the Bookstore's Alumni & Graduation catalog.  For questions about regalia, please email the Bookstore at

You will not be allowed to participate in your designated commencement ceremony if you do not have the appropriate regalia to wear.


Three cap and gown configurations for each degree type.

Bachelor's Degree

Bachelor's degree regalia has pointed sleeves. Tassel colors are determined by major.

Master's Degree

Master's degree regalia has oblong sleeves that hang down. Master's candidates are hooded at commencement with a specific hood determined by their degree. All tassels are black.

Doctoral Degree

Doctoral degree regalia has a longer gown with trim and a tam instead of a cap. Doctoral degree candidates (like master’s candidates) are hooded at commencement with their specific hood color as determined by their degree. Their tassels are gold.

Cords and Stoles

Graduates may be able to add cords and stoles to their regalia. The Stole of Gratitude is available from the Associated Students Bookstore, whereas many of the others are distributed by the associated program or department. Students eligible for honor cords will be contacted with instructions on how to pick these up.

View the options below for more information regarding options available at Western.

Light blue cords with tassels on the end.

Alpha Kappa Delta Cords

AKD is a honor society for Sociology students. The purpose of AKD is to acknowledge and promote excellence in the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and other social and intellectual activities that will lead to the improvement in the human condition. Currently, there are more than 120,000 members nationally. For more information, visit Alpha Kappa Delta.

Red stole with ESJ on one side of the stole.

Education & Social Justice (ESJ) Stoles

The ESJ minor program began in 2013. Since that time, program employees have hand-made graduate stoles. The stole represents completion of requirements while honoring student commitment to understanding and effectively using social justice frameworks to address equity issues in educational, nonprofit, public services, and private organizational settings.

Gold and white cords with tassels.

Honor Cords

Gold honor cords designate students graduating with magna cum laude or cum laude. Magna shall be awarded to students whose honor gpa places them at the 97th percentile or higher among graduating seniors. Cum laude shall be awarded to students whose honor gpa places them at the 92nd-96th percentile among graduating seniors. White cords are dedicated to students completing all of the requirements of the University Honors Program.

White stole.

National Society for Leadership and Success-WWU Chapter (NSLS-WWU)

NSLS-WWU is a co-curricular AS club and leadership society which officially began at WWU in 2016, and is affiliated with the LEADS student leadership program and the Karen W. Morse Institute for Leadership. Students must be fully inducted (completed their orientation, DISC leadership inventory, leadership training, three peer success network (SNT) team meetings with documentation submitted and approved, and three speaker broadcasts) in order to qualify for any of the above graduation items.

White stole with blue outline that reads WWU Student Ambassadors with Western logo

Student Ambassador Stoles - Western Foundation

Student Ambassadors embody, represent, and share the meaningful impact of philanthropy on behalf of the WWU Foundation and President. Gifts from alumni, parents and friends are critical to advance student success. This team is a collection of students from all colleges and walks of life who actively share their passion, pride and gratitude for those who support the Western community. These stoles indicate they have fulfilled their commitments to the program and thereby helped advance Western. For more information, visit WWU Student Ambassadors.

Red and white cords.

Western's Disaster Risk Reduction Cord

In 2011, the DRR minor became a way for students to understand and address the causes of disaster. Students explore how environmental disturbances impact vulnerable communities and how socio-political and historical processes in these communities create inequitable outcomes. Students that have successfully completed the DRR minor requirements may wear the DRR cord at graduation. It is a marker of their achievement and a reminder that they can support vulnerable communities in reducing disaster risk by addressing social and environmental injustice through planning, policy, advocacy, and education.

Light blue stole worn over black graduation gown.

Alumni Stole of Gratitude

A stole of gratitude is worn by a graduate and then presented to someone who provided extraordinary help or support during the student’s college career. Immediately after graduation, the graduate may take a stole from around his/her neck and place it around the neck of the recipient. More than one stole may be worn during commencement, symbolizing that there are multiple people destined to receive this gift. For more information, visit the WWU Associated Students Bookstore graduation regalia page.

Blue stole with white bottom. WWU on one side and ESC logo stitched onto the other side.

Ethnic Student Center (ESC) Stoles

The ESC at WWU is a community space that supports historically underrepresented ethnic students and allies by providing a social atmosphere and inclusive environment to engage in identity exploration and strive for cultural awareness and academic excellence. This is a student-run organization within the Associated Students of WWU.

Two students in black cap and gown wearing stoles depicting the Mexican and Chinese flags.

Institute for Global Engagement Stole

Students participating in WWU’s International and Study Abroad program can wear stoles displaying the flags/color of their country of origin or the location of their study abroad courses. In an increasingly inter-connected world, WWU’s Institute for Global Engagement aims to engage Western’s communities in thinking and acting globally. For more information, visit Education Abroad.

Orange stole with BSN stitched onto one side.

Nursing Stoles Bachelor of Nursing Stoles

The RN to BSN program at WWU began in 2013 with a mission to advance excellence in nursing practice by inspiring nurses to develop their full potential through lifelong learning. Faculty, staff, and student honor diversity, uphold social justice and advance system changes that promote healthy communities resulting in safe, high quality health care for all.

White stole with Western logo on one side and the American flag stitched onto the other side.

Veteran Stoles and Cords

Graduates wearing white veteran stoles at commencement identify the student veterans graduating. These students are honored for their academic accomplishments and their service to our country. Red, white, and blue cords represent students who are dependents of veterans graduating - whether that be children or spouses of veterans.

White stole with blue outline that reads Leader Corps on one side and the Western Mountain logo on the other side.

Western’s Leadership Advantage (LEADS) Stoles

LEADS provides opportunities to students including courses, trainings, events, and participation in collaborative learning experiences on and off campus. LEADS is committed to developing leaders who are ethical, attuned to developing social entrepreneurship skills, and creating solutions for environmental and social sustainability.

BRC blue cord with enamel pin in package.

Blue Resource Center - Cords

BRC cords are available for any undocumented, DACA-mented, or mixed-status students. Visit the BRC Office in VU 721 to pick up. To check for hours and availability, contact

Contact the Commencement Team