All Congregation ceremonies have been postponed until further notice.
All Congregation ceremonies scheduled from April 2020 onwards have been postponed following the Vice-Chancellor’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) announcement on Wednesday 18th March 2020.
The College appreciates that many students and their guests will have been looking forward to graduating and will be disappointed not to be able to attend a ceremony. As the Vice-Chancellor has said, we are facing an unprecedented crisis and must respond accordingly. The Praelector’s Secretary will be in touch with all Members who had previously applied to graduate on Saturday 25th April 2020, Saturday 16th May 2020 and Friday 17th July 2020 to provide further information.
If you choose to graduate in person at the Senate House, you are required to wear academical dress at the Graduation Ceremony.
Please read the following details carefully, the Proctors have given notice that anyone inappropriately dressed will not be allowed to proceed to their degree that day.
Gown and Hood
If you choose to graduate in person at the Senate House, you are required to wear the following Cambridge academical dress at the ceremony.
- Undergraduates and affiliated students: undergraduate gown of your College and the hood of the highest degree that you are about to receive
- Postgraduate candidates: either the gown and hood of your highest existing Cambridge degree or, if not already a Cambridge graduate, a B.A. or M.A. status gown and the hood of the highest degree you are about to take
- Candidates for degrees by Incorporation or the M.A. under Statute B.II.2 the gown and hood of the degree that you are about to receive
Further detailed information on gowns can be found on the university Gown Guide.
What to wear at graduation
As graduation is a formal occasion, an appropriate standard of dress is expected. The dress code below is strictly enforced at ceremonies, and if you do not observe it, you may not be permitted to graduate on a particular occasion. The Praelector is able to offer further advice on dress. A female University Constable will check your dress on arrival in the Senate House and will adjust if required.
Dress Option 1
- A dinner jacket or black, very dark grey or very dark blue lounge suit. These must be dark enough not to contrast obviously with a black gown
- A plain, long-sleeved, collared, white shirt
- Formal black shoes. Sandals are not permitted
- Unpatterned black or very dark grey socks
- White bow-tie and bands must be worn
Graduands Dress Option 2
- A black, very dark grey or very dark blue skirt suit or trouser suit, or a dark skirt without a jacket, or a dark, long-sleeved dress. These must be dark enough not to contrast obviously with a black gown
- A plain, long-sleeved, white shirt or blouse (unless a long-sleeved dress is worn)
- Formal black shoes. Sandals are not permitted
- Unpatterned black, nearly-black, or natural coloured hosiery
- A white bow-tie and bands may be worn (optional) but only with a properly collared white shirt
A black cassock may be substituted for a dark suit, skirt or dress in either Dress One or Two, but it must be worn with either a white bow-tie and bands or a clerical collar and bands.
The square cap, or 'mortarboard', is optional for graduands at Cambridge. If you do decide to wear one on the day, you should take it off and carry it in your left hand inside the Senate House.
Conspicuous jewellery and hair accessories are not permitted.
The overall effect should be formal and tidy. Dyed hair (other than natural colour) is not acceptable. Graduands are expected to be wearing clean shoes.
Garments with polka dots/stripes/patterns are not appropriate for the Senate House ceremony. Any belts, if worn, must be plain, black, very dark grey, or very dark blue to match the trousers or skirt with which they are worn. Very short skirts or very high heels should be avoided as you will need to kneel during the course of the ceremony.
Besides your gown and hood, graduands must meet the dress code above. The Proctors have given notice that anyone inappropriately dressed will not be allowed to proceed to their degree that day. Exceptions to the above dress code will only be considered for religious or cultural reasons and must have prior written approval.
For further information please see the university information on Academical dress.
Academical dress hire
You may hire or buy academical dress from the following Cambridge suppliers:
If you have any questions regarding the above please contact the Praelector’s Secretary or the Academic Office (in the case of General Admission).
Once you have decided upon your graduation date, we recommend that you arrange your gown hire with one of the gown hire companies above as soon as possible as stocks are limited.
The staff at each outfitter are highly experienced and will be able to tell you what you require when you inform them which degree you are getting. In general postgraduate candidates wear either the gown and hood of their highest existing Cambridge degree, or if not already a Cambridge graduate, a B.A. or M.A status gown and the hood of the highest degree they are about to take.
The College does not get involved with arranging, storing, collecting or returning gowns for any graduations. You will need to collect and return your hired gown to the store on the day of the ceremony.