Skip to main content

Graduation Cap Policy

Graduation Cap Policy

Student Affairs
Date enacted or revised: 
Enacted March 12, 2019


This policy provides guidelines for the appropriate decorating of graduation caps.


Please take into consideration the following rules when decorating your graduation cap. Failure to follow these rules will potentially result in removal of the cap at the ceremony. Students will NOT be allowed to participate in the ceremony without a cap and gown.  Decorations on the cap must adhere to the following:
  • Cannot contain any advertisement, symbols, abbreviations, initials, words, slogans, patches, or pictures that: Refer to drugs or controlled substances, tobacco, alcohol, or weapons, or be of a sexual nature.
  • Cannot denote an affiliation with gangs or which advocate drug use, violence, illegal activity, or disruptive behavior which is detrimental to the safety and welfare of other students.
  • Cannot be obscene, profane, vulgar, or lewd.
  • Cannot include numbers other than the graduation year.
  • Cannot threaten the safety and welfare of any person.
  • Only the flat, top area of the mortar board may be decorated. There may be nothing besides the tassel hanging down from any of the sides of the cap.
  • Decorations must be flat on the surface of the cap. 3-D creations may not exceed a height of more than 1 inch above the mortar board surface.
  • Graduation caps will be reviewed and approved in advance of the ceremony.
It is appropriate to put the following on your cap.
  • Thank a parent, grandparent, teacher, friend
  • Recognize your college, department, major, or career field
  • Your graduation year
  • The branch of the military you will be joining
  • Your home country’s flag


Senior Staff, GradFest, communications to graduating students