Renting Regalia




Visit our new website at




Students who came to Grad Fair and pre-paid for their cap and gown rental can pick their up a day before everyone else, from Monday, April 29 to Friday, May 3!

Graduates will be able rent academic regalia (caps, gowns and hoods) in the University Bookstore, 3rd floor from Monday, May 6 through Friday, May 17. The hours are:

Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday, May 17, 7:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

It’s simple to determine what you need to rent:

Bachelor’s degree (black cap and gown only):   $49.99
Master’s degree (black cap, gown and hood):    $64.99
Doctoral degree (cardinal cap, gown and hood): $74.99

Each of the above rentals comes with a tassel for the cap that can be removed and kept as a souvenir. To speed up the rental process, it’s best to have your height and cap size ready. If you don’t know those, though, the staff will be happy to measure you.

Master’s or Doctoral student: please be crystal clear when telling the staff what degree you are earning, to make sure you get the right color trim on your hood; a Doctorate is different from a Ph.D., and various Doctorate hoods can be very different colors.

If you have any doubts about the color hood you should be receiving, please check the list posted here.


Out-of-State Orders

Off-campus and out-of-state students may call in their cap and gown order (with a credit card) to have their regalia mailed to them for a $20 shipping charge. Please contact the USC Bookstore at (213) 740-8997.Online orders will be avaialble from April 1 through May 6.

Returning Rented Regalia

Caps, gowns and hoods should be returned to the drop-off area outside the Bookstore immediately following your satellite ceremony. Returns after commencement day should be made inside the Bookstore’s first floor.

Purchasing Regalia

If you would like to purchase regalia, please contact the USC Bookstore at (213) 740-8998 as soon as possible. Regalia may be purchased throughout the year, but it takes roughly ten weeks to produce. Additionally, because purchased regalia is custom-fitted, the wearer must either be measured at home or by a staff member on the 3rd floor of the Bookstore.

Regalia set (gown, hood and tam): $880.00
Gown only: $600.00
Hood only: $160.00
Tam only:   $120.00
Shipping:    $25.00

Honor Cords

Honor cords, which may be worn by undergraduates who have earned a minimum 3.5 university GPA by the end of the fall 2012 semester, are available from individual schools. Your school will notify you if you are eligible to wear an honor cord.

Note: Eligibility to wear honor cords is not an indication that academic honors (cum laude, etc.) will be designated on your diploma/record since these honors will be awarded after final grades are determined after Commencement, and include all coursework (including transfer work).

Regalia at USC

The only official regalia decorations offered by USC are undergraduates’ honor cords. However, many students choose to augment their cap and gown with floral leis or customized stoles.

Many universities assign their students variations in traditional regalia. At some schools, rented gowns are paper-thin; at others, undergraduates are given stoles matching the color of their earned degree; still others will assign different color robes to men and women. At USC, all undergraduate and master’s robes are black, while doctoral robes are created custom for the university in a beautiful cardinal. The university’s doctoral robes were designed for the inauguration of President James H. Zumberge in 1981.

Some Notes on Protocol

Caps should be worn at all times, except during the invocation, benediction, and National Anthem, when gentlemen should remove their caps. The tassel is worn over the right temple. When the President salutes the graduates, it is appropriate for the graduates to respond by tipping their caps. Graduates may then move their tassels over to the left side.

Page last updated: Monday, February 11, 2013