Encaenia Garden Party
Encaenia Garden Party
Credit: John Cairns

Encaenia Dress Code

Encaenia is the ceremony at which the University of Oxford awards honorary degrees to distinguished men and women and commemorates its benefactors. It is held annually on the Wednesday of ninth week during Trinity Term.


If you hold a degree from the below Universities you may choose to wear academic dress of your highest degree honour.

  • University of Oxford 
    Follow the procession members guidance below. 
  • University of Cambridge or Trinity College Dublin 
    Academic dress from their University – gown, hood, subfusc


  • Members of Congregation who do not have a degree from the University of Oxford, Cambridge or Trinity College Dublin 
    Plain black MA gown, with MA hood, over subfusc


Smart day wear


  • It is not compulsory to wear academic dress to the ceremony.
  • Gowns from all other Universities are not permitted. 
  • Traditionally subfusc is worn, but guests tend to wear smart day wear under their robes. 
  • Academic dress is only mandatory for Lord Crewe’s Benefaction/procession members

Lord Crewe’s Benefaction/Procession members

You must wear the University of Oxford academic dress of your highest degree honour. Subfusc is mandatory for procession participants. 

  • Higher doctorates 
    Scarlet robe over subfusc, bands and the appropriate cap.
  • DPhils 
    Scarlet robe over subfusc.
  • Bachelors and Masters’ 
    Black gown over subfusc, hood and mortarboard/soft cap.
  • Outgoing Presidents of JCR & MCR of the colleges of the current Proctors and Assessor 
    Commoners, scholars or graduate gown over subfusc.
  • Members of Congregation who do not have a degree from the University of Oxford 
    Plain black gown, with hood, over subfusc.

Garden Party

Guests holding degrees from any University are encouraged to wear the academic dress appropriate to their degrees - gowns and hoods. 


Clerical, national dress and military uniform.


Smart day wear 

Note: gowns are not mandatory.

Full academic dress guidelines, including a description of subfusc, are available here.