Academic Attire

Academic attire is required for all graduating students who plan to attend either of the Michigan Engineering graduation ceremonies.

During the celebration, the tassel is worn on the right front corner of the cap and is moved to the left after the degree has been conferred. The tassel color represents the field of study; engineering graduates may wear an orange tassel and LSA computer science/data science graduates may wear a golden yellow tassel.  Black or maize-and-blue tassels are also appropriate.

  • Bachelor’s degree – tassel, cap and bachelor’s gown are purchased.
  • Master’s degree – tassel, cap, master’s gown and hood are purchased. U-M Michigan Engineering graduation hoods have maize and blue satin on the inside, with orange velvet on the outside.
  • Doctoral degree – tassel, cap, doctoral gown, and hood are rented and should be reserved early in the term. Custom doctoral attire can be purchased at any time during the year; orders generally take 6-8 weeks.

Honor Cords

The honor cord – which can be gold or white, single or double – denotes students graduating with honors. Engineering students eligible to wear an honor cord must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher based on at least 45 hours of credit that have been completed while enrolled in Michigan Engineering through the end of the last completed term of study. There are no honor cords specific to grade-point-average distinction levels. Honor cords may be purchased at stores selling academic attire.

Distinction Grade Point Average

Distinction levels are noted in the printed program and on your final transcript. Please note that your GPA will not be rounded up.

  • Cum Laude 3.20-3.49
  • Magna Cum Laude 3.50-3.74
  • Summa Cum Laude 3.75-4.00


We encourage graduating students, who are in the military, to wear their military uniforms instead of traditional academic attire.

Local Bookstores

Academic attire is available from the following stores.  Shop early in the term for the best selection of gown sizes and hood and tassel colors. The local bookstores have complete lists of the academic color for each discipline.