Regalia

All students participating in commencement must rent or purchase American University academic regalia. Rental regalia is owned by Herff Jones and was specifically designed for AU in the university's distinctive red, white, and blue colors. This regalia includes a cap and gown as well as a hood for masters' and doctoral degree recipients. Rental or purchase of regalia serves as a student's registration to participate in commencement.

Before Placing Your Order

Confirm that you are eligible to participate in commencement and have applied to graduate before ordering your regalia. Late applications will delay the student's ability to rent regalia and may result in the student's name being omitted from the commencement program and other materials.

Students who are active duty, joining the Armed Forces, or authorized to wear military uniforms may wear formal dress uniforms in lieu of rental regalia, but must email commencement@american.edu in order to qualify for commencement ceremony tickets and parking passes. 

Purchasing vs. Renting Regalia

Some graduates, typically doctoral degree recipients going into university teaching positions and those who might need regalia for ceremonial occasions, opt to purchase regalia, which ranges from $400 to $800. The price depends upon the type of fabric and trim chosen. The rental fee for regalia, including taxes, is approximately $45 for bachelor's, $95 for master's, and $145 for doctoral.

Ordering Your Cap And Gown

Graduates interested in purchasing their regalia should contact commencement@american.edu to request the order form. Cap and gown rental orders will be accepted on the myAU.american.edu portal beginning in mid-October for fall graduates and mid-March for spring graduates. Check with your academic advisor if you do not see the "Commencement – Cap & Gown Order" personalized link, under "Academics." Orders must be placed via the portal to ensure availability, and your order must include your height and approximate weight to ensure proper fit. Orders with missing information will not be completed.

Armed Services Dress Uniforms

Students who are active duty, joining the Armed Forces, or authorized to wear military uniforms may wear formal dress uniforms in lieu of regalia, but must contact Special Events to register.

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Placing Your Order & Getting Help

  • Use Firefox or Internet Explorer on a laptop or desktop to place your order. Mobile ordering is not available.

  • If your name or degree information are listed incorrectly, contact the Registrar's Office Degree Clearance Team.

  • If the link to order is visible, but you cannot click on it in MyAU, contact the OIT Help Desk.

Late Orders

Purchasing Regalia: It takes up to eight weeks to process an order for purchased regalia, which is custom-made. Graduates whose orders are not completed before their ceremonies will need to rent regalia. Early orders are encouraged.

Renting Regalia: Rental orders received after the deadline are subject to availability. Late orders will be accepted via the portal for a limited period only; last minute orders will be accepted at cap and gown distribution subject to availability.

Fall 2018

  • Purchase Deadline: Paper form due by October 15
  • Rental Deadline: Online by November 12
  • Late Ordering (subject to availability): Online by 5 p.m. on November 29. Or walk-up at regalia distribution on December 14-15.

Spring 2019

  • Purchase Deadline: Paper form due by March 8
  • Rental Deadline: Online by April 8
  • Late Ordering (subject to availability): Online by 5 p.m. on April 29. Or walk-up at regalia distribution on May 8-10.

Regalia Distribution and Return

Regalia distribution will take place at the same time and location as ticket and parking pass distribution. Your entire order must be returned to the cap and gown distribution area by the return deadline. Students who fail to return regalia will be charged the full replacement price of the order. To ensure that the return of your order is properly recorded, you must sign the return form.

Fall 2018

Regalia Distribution Dates

Cap and gown distribution will take place in LOCATION TBA during the following times:

  • Friday, December 14, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Rental Return Deadline

Entire order must be returned by 4 p.m. Sunday, December 16.

Spring 2019

Regalia Distribution Dates

Cap and gown distribution will take place in LOCATION TBA during the following times:

  • Wednesday, May 8, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 9, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, May 10, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Regalia Returns and Last Minute Cap & Gown Pick-Up:

  • Saturday, May 11, 8 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 12, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Rental Return Deadline

Entire order must be returned by 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 12.

Latin Honors or University Honors

Undergraduate students who are projected to graduate with Latin Honors or University Honors will receive a gold cord with their rental regalia, signifying academic achievement, to wear during the commencement ceremony. Representatives from the Registrar’s Office will hand out the cords at a table at cap and gown distribution. Master's and doctoral degree recipients are not eligible to receive Latin Honors.