What to Wear
Academic regalia Is required to participate in Commencement.
Academic Regalia and other clothing guidelines
- Due to the formality of this occasion and safety concerns, please wear appropriate footwear; flip flops, clogs, very high heels, and loose-fitting shoes are not recommended.
- Please check your regalia for accuracy and quality before the day of the ceremony.
- Remember to steam your gown before commencement to remove wrinkles from packaging.
- Uniforms of the armed forces are the only apparel other than academic regalia that is officially recognized and permitted.
- Undergraduate academic regalia is a blue gown with wide sleeves and a blue mortarboard cap with a tassel, worn on the right front edge.
- You will move the tassel to the left edge when directed to do so during the ceremony.
All ornamentation (including pins, cords, ribbons, scarves, stoles, sashes, medallions, etc.) representing honorary societies recognized by the campus/college (see below), or provided at Cultural Graduation are permitted to be worn at commencement.
Undergraduate students graduating Summa Cum Laude will receive a blue and white cord; those graduating Magna Cum Laude will receive a blue cord; and those graduating Cum Laude will receive a white cord. Students will receive their academic honors cord at the Graduation Fair. The levels were determined by a student’s cumulative GPA at the end of the previous semester. If students earn a higher level once final grades are received, they can contact the Registrar to retroactively receive the appropriate honor cord.
Military Honor Cords
Undergraduate students who have honorably served, are serving, or are commissioned to serve in the U.S. military will be awarded an honor cord to wear at their commencement ceremony in recognition of their duty and sacrifice. The red, white and blue cords will be given to eligible graduating students, including associate degree recipients, in the following groups: active duty, reserve and National Guard service members; veterans; and graduates receiving a commission through Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and official U.S. Armed Forces recruiting programs. Students will receive their military honors cord at the Graduation Fair.
National Honor Society Recognition
Members of nationally recognized honor societies, who achieved their membership as a Penn State Abington student, are permitted to wear ornamentation during the ceremony in the form of cords. Penn State Abington currently recognizes these honor societies:
- Alpha Alpha Alpha (First Generation Students) which awards a white and gray cord
- Kappa Delta Pi (Education), which awards a purple cord
- National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), which awards black and platinum cords
- Psi Chi (Psychology), which awards a pin and platinum and blue cord
- Sigma Tau Delta (English), which awards red and black cords