A-Z Index

Cap and Gown

Cap and Gown

Once you have been approved as a candidate for graduation by the Registrar’s Office, you will receive an email from our commencement team, providing you with instructions for placing a cap and gown order. Emails will not start being sent until late September. The order must be completed no later than Wednesday, October 19. Phone orders are not accepted. 

If you have not received commencement information by October 1, and received approval on your graduation application, please contact

Cap and Gown PICK UP and return

 Graduates have three options to pick up their cap and gown.

Caps and Gowns cannot be handed out before the December 5 date. 

You will receive your cap, tassel, honor cords (if eligible), hood (master's and specialist degree candidates only), and reader's card when you pick up your cap and gown. 

You may have someone pick up your cap and gown for you.

Please iron gowns on the wrong side (inside out), or hang in the shower to reduce wrinkling. Ironing boards will be available at cap and gown pickup station located in the Student Recreation Center on the day of graduation.

Will I have honor cords?

Graduates who are eligible for honor cords will receive them with their cap and gown order. 

Honors for the commencement ceremony are are based on the graduate’s Northwest and cumulative GPA the semester prior to graduation. Honors for transcripts and diplomas are adjusted after final grades have been calculated. Honors are only given to undergraduate candidates.

  • Cum Laude: 3.5 – 3.74 (white)
  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.75 – 3.94 (green)
  • Summa Cum Laude: 3.95 – 4.0 (gold)

All other approved cords or stoles are the responsibility of the individual organizations. 

The Registrar's Office has the listing of those graduates who have earned honors. Graduates who believe they should have received honor cords and did not should contact the Registrar’s Office at 660.562.1151.

Can I decorate my cap?

The cap is yours to keep, and you are welcome to decorate your keepsake cap and show your Bearcat pride, creativity and style. The top of your cap is 9" by 9".

Make sure that you look inside the cap to determine which side is the front and decorate accordingly.

Rules for decorations:

  • No vulgar language
  • No inappropriate verbiage or pictures
  • Decorations cannot obstruct the view of those behind you
  • Any cap deemed inappropriate by the University Coordinator will be taken and you will be provided a new cap

Do I get to keep my gown?

Your gown must be returned to the Student Recreation Center within 45 minutes of the conclusion of the ceremony. After that time, the doors will be locked and you will have to mail your gown back to the University at your own expense.

Mail to:
Kaley Coulter
Marketing & Communication
Northwest Missouri State University
800 University Drive
Maryville, MO 64468

If you would like to keep your gown or if your gown has not been returned within two weeks of the ceremony, your account will be charged an additional:

  • $100 for an undergraduate (bachelors) gown
  • $125 for a graduate (masters) gown 
All other items listed are yours to keep:
  • Cap
  • Tassel
  • Diploma Cover
  • Honor Cords/Stoles (eligible undergraduates)
  • Hood (masters/specialists only)

Approved Academic Honor Societies

Alpha Chi medallion with green and blue ribbon
Alpha Psi Omega Honorary Fraternity blue/gold honor cord
Alpha Sigma Lambda burgundy/gold honor cord
Alpha Sigma Pi platinum/black cord
Beta Beta Beta Biological Society green/red honor cord
Blue Key National Honor Fraternity medallion with blue ribbon
Cardinal Key National Honor Society red/gold honor cord
Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society purple/gold honor cord
Delta Tau Alpha Honor Fraternity green/gold cords
Gamma Sigma Epsilon National Honor Society blue/white honor cord
Gamma Theta Upsilon International Honor Society blue/gold/brown cord
Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity blue/white honor cord
Kappa Omicron Nu National Honor Society burgundy/ivory cord, medallion for active members
Kappa Pi International Honorary Society purple/gold honor cord
Lambda Pi Eta National Honor Society red/white honor cord
Mortar Board National Honor Society (Turret Chapter) silver/gold honor cord
National Residence Hall Honorary blue/white honor cord
National Society of Collegiate Scholars maroon/gold honor cord
Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society white stole
Order of Omega National Honor Society gold/white honor cord
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia red/black/gold honor cord
Pi Mu Epsilon National Honor Society violet/gold/lavender honor cord
Pi Omega Pi National Honor Society blue/silver/gold honor cord
Pi Sigma Alpha National Scholastic Honorary red/white/black honor cord
Psi Chi National Honor Society gold honor cord with blue/gold tassels
Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity red/white honor cord
Sigma Gamma Epsilon Professional Honorary Society gold/blue/silver honor cord
Sigma Tau Delta International Honor Society red/black honor cord
Upsilon Pi Epsilon National Honor Society medallion with maroon ribbon

How do I receive my stole?

If you are involved in any honor society or organization the provides stoles for graduates, you must work directly with your organization to receive those.