Caps and Gowns

Please check back for 2015 Cap and Gown information and order form

All J.D. graduates who participate in the Hooding Ceremony are required to wear authorized Juris Doctor caps and gowns.

Caps and gowns can be ordered by e-mail, fax, or mail at the OSU Bookstore: (614) 292-2991.  You are responsible for ordering your own cap and gown. Be sure to include your height on the order form.

All academic attire will be collected after Hooding.

If you have questions about Hooding regalia, contact Bill Butts at the OSU Bookstore: (614) 292-2991.

Academic Attire History

Academic attire was prescribed as early as 1321 in Portugal, and by the mid-14th century, certain English colleges forbade “excess in apparel.” Some authorities say academic garb was influenced heavily by the fact that monks or clerics made up the great majority of the scholarly community. Thus hoods came about, it is said, to cover the shaved head. Others suggest that academic attire merely reflects certain facts of life in former times. The unheated rooms of medieval buildings, for example, made long gowns a practical necessity.

Ultimately, distinctive caps, gowns, and hoods developed for the institution, the field of learning, and for the level of academic achievement. American colleges and universities first established a code of academic dress at the end of the 19th century. Bachelors’ gowns have pointed sleeves and are worn closed. The gown for the doctor’s degree has bell-shaped sleeves and may be worn open or closed. Black is the usual color for the gown, although some colleges allow those receiving the Ph.D. to wear gowns of the color of the institution.

The Hood

Trimmings in black velvet or in the distinctive color of the discipline are on the gown and the hood. The lining color of the academic hood identifies the university that granted the highest degree held by the wearer. Scarlet and gray symbolizes The Ohio State University. The color of the trim signifies the field of learning in which the degree was received. The color of the legal profession is purple.

Today, the investment of the Juris Doctor hood and the presentation of the diploma case, soon to be filled with the official diploma, acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and academic achievement of the graduates of the Class of 2010. The investment of the hood also carries with it a continuing commitment to the values and responsibilities represented by the Juris Doctor degree. This ceremony marks the passage from the status of student to that of practitioner in the learned profession of the law.