Regalia can be purchased at the BSU Bookstore

2022 Pricing

  • Bachelor Cap/Gown/Tassel package: TBD
  • Master Cap/Gown/Tassel package: TBD
  • Master Hood (Hood colors/majors): TBD
  • Souvenir Tassel (green and white): TBD

Regalia is not available for purchase online.

Please call (218) 444-8509 to order Monday – Friday 9 am – 3 pm.

History of Academic Regalia

The academic regalia – gown, hood, and hat – are adapted from the habits and gowns worn by medieval monks and priests, founders of the university, and collegiate practices in Europe.


Usually black, with a few exceptions representing certain school’s colors, gowns reflect the three levels of academic degrees granted by universities and colleges.

  • Bachelor: moderately pointed sleeves.
  • Master: full-length oblong sleeves hanging down from the wrists.
  • Doctor: tailored with full, bell-shaped sleeves; three velvet bars (signifying the third level of degree) on each sleeve; and two velvet panels on either side of the front closure. The bars and panels are either black or in the color of the given degree.


The three-degree levels are represented in different hoods of increasing length. Not worn by graduating seniors, a hood is worn by faculty and staff whose terminal degree is the baccalaureate; the hood is short and hangs to about the middle of the wearer’s back. The master’s hood is moderate in length, and the doctoral hood is fuller and longer.

The colors of the external velvet panels represent the particular degree field. Colors most commonly seen at commencement exercises:

  • Arts
  • Business Administration
  • Education
  • Law
  • Philosophy
  • Science


Internal colors of the hood opened outward on the lower end, representing the institution that granted the degree. The colors for Bemidji State University are green and white.


The academic hat can be either the traditional flat-top variety, known as a mortar-board or the tam variety.

  • Mortar-boards: The mortar-boards are so named “from the similarity to the top portion of the mortar-board used by a mason. At the University of Paris, teachers placed square, stiff caps on graduates to signify promotion. This type of headgear was adopted later by the masters at Oxford ?” (UMD Commencement program).
  • Tassels: The doctoral degree is represented by the gold bullion tassel on the academic hat. At Bemidji State University, all other degrees are indicated by black tassels.