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

Apparel Pickup

  • For undergraduate students attending the commencement on the Duke Kunshan University campus in Kunshan, China: Apparel will be available for pick up in the Service Building lobby at the following times (note timings are subject to change):
    • Thursday, May 5:                          2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    • Friday, May 6:                                2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • For undergraduate students attending the commencement on the Duke campus in Durham, North Carolina, United States: Please pay attention to the Duke Commencement website and messages from the Duke Office of DKU Relations for ordering your regalia.
  • For undergraduate students attending commencement remotely, apparel will be delivered to the mailing address you listed in the commencement RSVP survey. Prior to mailing, you will be sent an email asking for confirmation of your address; please look out for this email and respond accordingly to ensure you receive your apparel without delay.

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, Tams 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”.


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.

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