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 with instructions for placing a cap and gown order. Emails will not be sent until after the middle of February and must be completed no later than Wednesday, March 15. Phone orders are not accepted. 

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

Cap and Gown PICKUP and return

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

More notes on cap and gowns:

Will I have honor cords?

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

Honors 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)

The Registrar's Office maintains the listing of 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 invited to decorate your keepsake cap and show your Bearcat pride, creativity and style. The top of your cap is 9" by 9".

Make sure 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 people 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?

Gowns must be returned to the Student Recreation Center within 1 hour of the conclusion of the ceremony. After that time, the doors will be locked and you are required to mail your gown to the University at your own expense.

Mail to:
Kaley Coulter
University 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 (bachelor's) gown
  • $125 for a graduate (master's) gown 
All other items listed are yours to keep:
  • Cap
  • Tassel
  • Diploma cover
  • Honor cords/stoles (eligible undergraduates)
  • Hood (master's/specialist degrees)

Approved Academic Honor Societies

*Note that honor cords, other than your University GPA earned honor cords are not approved to wear at Commencement. However, your honor society can order and wear stoles as long as they are pre-approved by the Provost. 

Alpha Chi
Alpha Psi Omega Honorary Fraternity
Alpha Sigma Lambda
Alpha Sigma Pi
Beta Beta Beta Biological Society
Blue Key National Honor Fraternity
Cardinal Key National Honor Society
Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society
Delta Tau Alpha Honor Fraternity
Gamma Sigma Epsilon National Honor Society
Gamma Theta Upsilon International Honor Society
Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity
Kappa Omicron Nu National Honor Society
Kappa Pi International Honorary Society
Lambda Pi Eta National Honor Society
Mortar Board National Honor Society (Turret Chapter)
National Residence Hall Honorary
National Society of Collegiate Scholars
Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society
Order of Omega National Honor Society
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
Pi Mu Epsilon National Honor Society
Pi Omega Pi National Honor Society
Pi Sigma Alpha National Scholastic Honorary
Psi Chi National Honor Society
Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity
Sigma Gamma Epsilon Professional Honorary Society
Sigma Tau Delta International Honor Society
Upsilon Pi Epsilon National Honor Society

How do I receive my stole?

If you are involved in an honor society or organization that provides stoles for graduates, you must work directly with your organization to receive them.