I already have a PhD, but now I'm graduating with a Master's in another field from another university.

Question: What academic robes do I wear?

I know it is normal to wear the regalia from the highest award but that seems strange in this case.

  • 4
    Asking the important questions. What country is that? Here anyone wearing "academic regalia" would be laughed at, generally.
    – user9646
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 7:37
  • 6
    @NajibIdrissi Folks don't dress up where you're from? Here in the US, it's traditional for everyone to pretend to be a wizard. We get long robes, fancy hats - the works!
    – Nat
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 7:41
  • 3
    @Nat As far as I know this kind of thing only happens for medicine and law, in France. In fact, there is no "graduation ceremony" to speak of most of the time - you see the results on the wall along with everyone else, then you go out with your friends to celebrate or drown your sorrows. I went to my PhD defense with jeans and a dress shirt. When I see what academic regalia used to be like, I'm thankful for that.
    – user9646
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 8:11
  • 2
    @Nat Also in my country no one dresses up (luckily). Yes, most students dress more elegantly with respect to an ordinary day, but that's all, and jeans and t-shirt are fine too. Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 8:36

2 Answers 2


It varies from university to university. In Cambridge, for example, you wear the academic dress of the highest Cambridge degree you hold, if you do already hold one, but if you are not already a Cambridge graduate you wear the garb appropriate to the degree that is about to be conferred on you. So, in a case such as yours, suppose you hold a PhD from London and are about to take a Cambridge master's degree, you would wear the Cambridge gown and hood.

  • Thank you. That is what I thought. I will ask the second university for their protocols, however.
    – Cameron
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 12:05

You should probably contact your graduate school to ask them. Ceremonial matters like this have some tradition behind them, so it'd seem to depend on what traditions your school cares about.

And if they don't care, then I suppose that you'd get to decide! Then it's really a matter of personal preference.

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