Doctoral Gown and Hood Details and Specifications

A doctoral gown and hood is worn by PhD degree candidates and faculty members who hold a PhD degree. And as expected, a doctoral gown and hood is very different from the bachelors and master’s gown and hood. Since a doctorate is the highest level of study for anyone to pursue, its graduation outfit looks more traditional, complicated and regal-looking.

Doctoral gown and hood according to university may differ from country to country. However, in America, an established set of rules and guidelines are implemented regarding academic regalia, although some schools can also alter or add their own specifications too.

For starters, doctorate degree candidates are really required to wear their graduation hood unlike bachelor’s degree holders whom in some cases are not required by the school to wear hoods. A doctoral gown is also in the standard black or dark blue color unlike bachelor’s degree and below who have to wear a certain colored graduation gown to represent a field of study or to represent a school’s official color.

Details on a doctoral gown and hood are only unique to them. The gown for example has bands on the sleeve which can represent the color of one’s field of study. The shape of a doctorate’s sleeve is also of full bell-shaped sleeves while a master’s sleeves are oblong shaped and a bachelor’s degree is pointed-shaped. Colored piping can also be added to highlight certain corners of the gown, and its color can represent the school. The standard length for a doctorate gown is mid-calf to ankle length. However, most would prefer it to be in full ankle-length.

The hood, like the bachelor’s and master’s level are also colored to represent two things, one is the color of the field of study or academic discipline of the wearer, and second, to represent the official color of the school. Another hood specification for doctorates is its length. Unlike bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates who wear three feet and three and half-feet long respectively, doctorate degree candidates wear four feet long hoods.

Professional faculty doctoral gown and hood may be a bit similar to a candidate graduating from a PhD degree, although they may put on specific colors to distinguish themselves as faculty.

A doctoral gown and hood is never complete without a graduation cap to top it all off. However, unlike bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates who have to wear the usual mortarboard cap, doctorate degree candidates wear so-called academic tams which are beret-looking caps usually made in black velvet or dark blue fabric. Tams also have uniformed bullion-color tassels regardless of a candidate’s chosen academic discipline.

Being able to get hold of a doctorate degree makes someone a very valuable citizen in one’s own country. A doctorate degree somehow guarantees that the person is indeed an expert or specialist in a certain subject. It takes perseverance, hard work and patience to finally get that special doctorate title. To finally get that, equally special and regal attire should be worn on the day of graduation.


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