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Ceremony protocol Know before you go.

We want your commencement day to be special.

Commencement Weekend is a memorable experience for graduates and their loved ones to celebrate their academic achievement. We want our graduates to experience a joyful ceremony that recognizes their hard work and the sacrifices they have made to get to this point. WGU believes mutually respectful participation by graduates and their guests is the best way to set the stage. In preparation for commencement, WGU has outlined this protocol. By adhering to the following protocol, you and your guests will ensure a positive experience for all.

Graduate in regalia

Academic attire for graduates.

All graduating students wear approved academic attire that includes a cap, gown, and tassel. Master’s degree graduates will need a hood specific to their degree. The official regalia color is NAVY, which can be purchased from our regalia vendor, Oak Hall Cap and Gown. To order, please visit Oak Hall Cap and Gown.

We encourage you to wear comfortable, yet professional, dress attire under your gown rather than casual clothing. 

WGU graduates affiliated with an academic honor society may wear society pins, honor cords, or sashes on their gowns. You may also choose to wear leis.

Graduates are permitted to wear sashes or decorate their cap consistent with the WGU Commencement Decorum Policy. You may be asked to remove cap decorations or sashes determined to violate WGU’s Commencement Decorum Policy. 

See the videos below for more information on how to wear your bachelor's or master's cap and gown.

Graduates who indicate active duty military or veteran status on their ceremony RSVP form will receive military honor cords at graduate check-in. 

Commencement etiquette.

Cell phone icon

To promote a respectful, comfortable, and enjoyable experience for graduates and their guests, all attendees are asked to observe the following guidelines.

  1. Place your cell phone on vibrate or silent during the ceremony.
  2. Participate in the recessional. Do not leave until the entire ceremony has ended.
  3. Keep all cheering respectful and avoid disruptive outbursts to allow the families and guests of other graduates to hear their graduates’ names when read.

WGU Commencement decorum policy.

Mortar board

Please be advised any graduate or guest acting in a disruptive or disrespectful manner, as determined by WGU in its sole discretion, at WGU commencements may either not be allowed in the ceremony venue or may be escorted from the venue.

Take into consideration the following if decorating your cap or wearing a sash for commencement: WGU does not allow content on caps or sashes that is considered, in WGU’s sole discretion, obscene, vulgar, defamatory, hateful, inappropriate, profane or that might disregard another’s copyright or third-party rights. All decorations must lie flat on the cap.