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If you choose to graduate in person at the Senate-House, you are required to wear the following Cambridge academical dress at the ceremony:

  • Undergraduates and affiliated students: undergraduate gown of your college and the hood of the highest degree that you are about to receive.
  • Postgraduate candidates: either the gown and hood of your highest existing Cambridge degree or, if not already a Cambridge graduate, a BA or MA status gown and the hood of the highest degree you are about to take.
  • Candidates for degrees by Incorporation or the MA under Statute B.II.2: the gown and hood of the degree that you are about to receive.

Academical Dress - Buying or Hiring

If you choose to graduate in person you may hire or buy your academical dress. The following are two Cambridge suppliers who offer this: 

Ede & Ravenscroft
70-72 Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RJ
Website: www.gownhire.co.uk 
Purchase Enquiries: 01223 350048 (shop) or 01223 861854

Ryder & Amies
22 King’s Parade, Cambridge CB2 1SP
Website: www.ryderamies.co.uk
Email: sales@ryderamies.co.uk

What to wear at a Congregation ceremony

As graduation is a formal occasion an appropriate standard of dress is expected and the dress code is strictly enforced at ceremonies. Should you not observe it, you may not be permitted to graduate on the day of your chosen ceremony. A female University Constable will check your dress on arrival at the Senate-House and will adjust if required. 

Your Praelector or Presenter is able to offer further advice on dress should this be required. 

Dress Option One

  • A dinner jacket or black, very dark grey or very dark blue lounge suit. These must be dark enough not to contrast obviously with a black gown.
  • A plain, long-sleeved, collared, white shirt.
  • Formal black shoes. Sandals, trainers, open-toed shoes, slingbacks (heeled or flat) are not permitted.
  • Unpatterned black or very dark grey socks. Unpatterned black, nearly-black, or natural coloured hosiery.
  • White bow-tie and bands must be worn.

Dress Option Two

  • A black, very dark grey or very dark blue skirt suit or trouser suit. A dark skirt can be worn without a jacket, or a dark, long-sleeved dress can also be worn without a jacket. These must be dark enough not to contrast obviously with a black gown.
  • A plain, long-sleeved, white shirt or blouse (unless a long-sleeved dress is worn).
  • Formal black shoes. Sandals, trainers, open-toed shoes, slingbacks (heeled or flat) are not permitted.
  • Unpatterned black, nearly-black, or natural coloured hosiery.
  • A white bow-tie and bands may be worn (optional) but if they are worn they must be worn with a properly collared white shirt.  If a white bow-tie and bands are worn with trousers they must be worn with a matching jacket.

A black cassock may be substituted for a dark suit, skirt or dress in either Dress One or Two, but it must be worn with either a white bow-tie and bands or a clerical collar and bands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are hair accessories and jewellery permitted? 

Yes. Jewellery and hair accessories can be worn at the ceremony but these should not be conspicuous and should befit the occasion. The ceremony itself is a formal event and as such dress should be reflective of this. 

How do I pin a hood onto a gown?

Please see the following guide for assistance on how to do this (here)

Can I wear a cap (also known as a mortarboard)? 

Yes, if you want to. The cap (mortarboard) is optional for Cambridge graduands. If you do decide to wear one on the day then you will be asked to take this off and carry it in your left hand once inside the Senate-House so please bear this in mind when making your decision. 

Can I wear national dress and/or the colours of my country or a uniform? 

If you want to wear national dress you will need to speak to your College directly as dispensation may be required to allow this. Please contact them directly to discuss your dress request.