Formal academic regalia consisting of black academic gowns and mortarboards is required for all degree candidates participating in the University of Southern Indiana commencement ceremonies. It is the responsibility of the degree candidate to secure academic regalia prior to the ceremony and to bring it to the ceremony. Only adornment provided and/or approved by the university, such as stoles and cords, are allowed.
- Candidates for degrees must wear robes appropriate to their degree.
- Graduate candidates for master's, post-master’s certificates, or doctoral degrees wear the appropriate hoods around their necks and down their backs.
- Undergraduate degree candidates who will graduate with Commencement Honors wear colored stoles and tassels provided by the university. Only one tassel is worn during the commencement ceremony.
- Cords or stoles representing registered student organizations, University recognized honor societies, students with an international affiliation, members of USI recognized social fraternities and sororities, military and veteran students, and members of the USI athletic teams are allowed. Please refer to the Stole Policy and Guidelines below.
- Undergraduate degree candidates place tassels on the right side of the mortarboard until their degrees are conferred at the commencement ceremonies. The tassels are switched to the left side as a part of the ceremony and are worn on that side any time thereafter.
- Mortarboards may be decorated on the top only and must be non-distracting to the ceremony and other graduates.
- No additional adornments may be worn on the outside of the gown.
- Graduates will be asked prior to entering the arena floor to remove any adornments that are offensive or that do not comply with this policy.
Commencement Stoles and Cords Policy
The University of Southern Indiana recognizes the importance of accessories such as cords, medallions, and stoles in symbolizing academic achievement and the value of acknowledging achievement not only in honor societies but also in recognized college organizations. The stoles and cords that may be worn at commencement ceremonies represent registered student organizations, University recognized honor societies, students with an international affiliation, members of USI recognized social fraternities and sororities, military and veteran students, and members of the USI athletic teams.
University Honors Program: White cords represent undergraduate students that have distinguished themselves by completing the University Honors Program. No other group may use a white cord as their adornment of choice. Eligible students will receive their cords from the University Honors Program Office.
Commencement Honors: Undergraduate students who have completed (or have a combination of completed and enrolled credit hours in the final semester) a minimum of 60 course credit hours at USI and have at least at cumulative grade point average of 3.600 on all courses attempted at USI are eligible for commencement honors. Commencement honors are computed at the end of the previous semester. Eligible students will receive their stoles and tassels from the Registrar’s Office.
- Summa Cum Laude: Undergraduates students with the highest grade point average will be awarded the highest honor of Summa Cum Laude and will receive a solid gold stole and a solid gold tassel.
- Magna Cum Laude: Undergraduate students with a grade point average of 3.800 but less than a 4.000 will awarded the honor of Magna Cum Laude and will receive a solid red stole and a solid red tassel.
- Cum Laude: Undergraduate students with a grade point average of 3.600 but less than 3.800 will be awarded the honor of Cum Laude and will receive a solid blue stole and a solid blue tassel.
Graduation Honors: Graduation Honors are determined at the end of the final term when graduation requirements are complete and may differ from Commencement Honors. If an undergraduate student’s cumulative grade point average changes subsequent to computing Commencement Honors and it changes the undergraduate student’s honors eligibility or designation, the appropriate change will be made on the undergraduate student’s diploma and academic transcript.
The President’s Medal: The President’s Medal has been presented annually since 1994 to the graduating undergraduate student who has demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence as well as service to the University and the community. The medal is awarded during the spring commencement ceremonies. The undergraduate student must have earned a minimum of a 3.700 grade point average.
Active and Veteran Students: Red, white, and blue cords are reserved for graduating students who serve or have served in US military armed forces. No other group may use a red, white, and blue cord as their adornment of choice. Eligible students receive their cords from the Veteran, Military, and Family Resource Center.
Registered Student Organizations and Social Fraternities and Sororities: If registered USI student organizations or USI recognized social fraternities and sororities would like to submit their stole or cord for approval, they may submit this form. Approved stoles can be found here.
Cords and Stole Guidelines:
- Students may only wear one approved stole or cord of their choosing in addition to university provided stoles and cords (University Honors Program, Commencement Honors, and Active and Veteran Military Students) during commencement ceremonies.
- No medallions other than the President’s Medal may be worn during commencement ceremonies.
- Cords or stoles are designated for members of registered student organizations, University recognized honor societies, students with an international affiliation, members of USI recognized social fraternities and sororities, and members of the USI athletic teams and must be approved by the Provost and the Vice President for Student Affairs.
- Approval for new cords or stoles must be obtained at least six months prior to the commencement ceremonies.
- The cost of the stole, not issued by the University as outlined above, is the responsibility of the organization or the individual graduating student.
- Solid gold, red, or blue stoles are reserved for Commencement Honors. White cords are reserved for the University Honors Program and red, white, and blue cords are for active or veteran military students. No other groups may use these as their adornment of choice.
- Stoles my not be wider than 5”. Length of the stole is optional.
- Stoles imprinted with the organization’s name, initials, and achievements may not display any derogatory or offensive language, nor should they draw undue attentions to an individual person or group that would detract from the occasion.
- If your organization’s planned use of an accessory falls outside of the guidelines above, contact your organization’s advisor or sponsor who will reach out to the Provost Office for consideration. Organizations who fail to follow the established policy will jeopardize the organization’s ability to be represented with stoles in future commencement ceremonies.