Notice on Graduation Regalia

The complete academic attire for all graduating Duke Kunshan students includes a gown, a hood, a cap, a tassel and a year charm for the cap, a stole, and an honor cord (if awarded Graduation with Distinction). You should wear full and official regalia to commencement. The style and color of your academic apparel depend on the degree you will receive at commencement. For example, if you graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree, you will wear a black bachelor’s gown, hood with white trim, mortarboard and black tassel.

Protocol and Fit


The graduation gown should extend to the midway point between the knee and ankle.


There are different styles and colors of hoods. At the commencement ceremony, you should wear the hood that corresponds to the degree you are receiving. The hood with white trim represents degrees in arts, while the hood with yellow trim denotes degrees in sciences.

Caps and Tassels

Place the cap on your head so the point is at the front, about 1 inch above the eyebrows. Your mortarboard should be worn level on your head. Traditionally, candidates wear the tassels on the right front side before degrees are conferred and move the tassels to the left afterwards.


Graduation stoles are sashes draped over the shoulders at a commencement ceremony to denote the class year of the graduating cohort of students.

Honor Cords

Honor cords are reserved for students who have achieved some sort of academic honor over the course of their time at an institution. At Duke Kunshan University, honor cords are given to students awarded “Graduation with Distinction”.


How to Wear Your Graduation Apparel


Dress Code

Upper wear: A white or light-colored shirt is recommended for both men and women. Men can wear a tie.

Lower garments: Dark-colored trousers for men and dark-colored/plain trousers or a skirt for women are recommended.

Shoes: Dark-colored leather shoes are recommended. No slippers.


Apparel Pickup

  • For undergraduate students attending the commencement on Duke Kunshan University Campus in Kunshan, China, you may pick up your apparel during the following dates and times:
  • Location: 1st floor, the East Community Center
    • Friday, May 10, 10 am-12 pm & 2 pm to 5 pm
    • Monday, May 13, 10 am-12 pm & 2 pm to 5 pm

You may arrange for someone else to pick up your apparel, but they must know your netID and have your consent EMAIL. If none of the above time slot works for you, please contact to arrange the pickup of your regalia on the morning of the commencement day. Please note that due to the high volume of requests during the commencement period, we regret that we are unable to fulfill any requests for early pick-ups or early rental.


Rental and Return

In advocating sustainable development, starting from 2023, the graduation regalia for bachelor’s degree recipients will only be rented out to each cohort of graduating students for the commencement. Specifically, the gown and the hood need to be returned after use. The stole, the cap with tassel, the year charm and the honor cord (if awarded) can be kept by the students as souvenirs of your accomplishments.

A refundable security deposit of RMB 500 for using the full academic attire is included in students’ campus deposit. No additional rental or usage fees will be charged.
Students who rent the regalia must return the gown and the hood after the ceremony on the commencement day.

Return location and time:

 -Location: 1st floor, East Community Center

 -Time: 1 pm to 5 pm, Friday, May 17

If you cannot make it during this time, contact to schedule another time to return your gown and hood.

The security deposit hold will be released if the gown and the hood are returned before 5:00 pm, May 17th, 2024, in their original condition*.

  • *In their original condition means that the graduation gown and the hood have been properly kept and used, and that when returned they are neat, clean, undamaged (not have been cut, dyed, painted or embellished in any way), and do not impact future reuse.

The full or partial security deposit will be deducted from your campus deposit if you:

  • fail to return the gown and the hood on time before 5:00 pm, May 17th, 2024 without requesting to DKU Commencement in advance about a late return. 
  • lose the gown and/or hood, cause irreversible stains or damages that adversely impact its future use.

Regalia Security Deposit (RMB 500) includes RMB 350/piece for the gown and RMB 150/piece for the hood.

Types of Deduction from Regalia Security DepositDeduction (RMB)
Fail to return or late return without requesting to DKU Commencement in advance; Loss, irreversible stains or damages that adversely impact its future use.Gown and hood500 (full security deposit)

If you have any questions related to regalia, please  contact

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