Academic CostumesAcademic Costumes

Academic Costumes

Curious about what colors and other academic costume details symbolize? Read on!

Gowns

The gown for the bachelor's degree has pointed sleeves, with no trimming, and is worn closed.

The gown for the master's degree has oblong sleeves, open at the wrist, with the rear part of its oblong sleeve square cut, and is worn open or closed.

The gown for the doctorate degree has bell-shaped sleeves and is faced down the front with velvet and three bars across the sleeves. The facing and crossbars of velvet may be of the color distinctive of the field to which the degree pertains.

For all academic purpose, including trimmings of doctors' gowns, edgings of hoods and tassels of caps, the colors associated with the different subjects are as follows. Only a single degree from a single institution should ever be indicated by a single garment.

Agriculture

Maize

Allied Health

Green and Gold

Arts, Letters, Humanities

White

Commerce, Accountancy, Business

Drab

Dentistry

Lilac

Economics

Copper

Education

Light Blue

Engineering

Orange

Fine Arts, including Architecture

Brown

Forestry

Russet

Journalism

Crimson

Law

Purple

Library Science

Lemon

Medicine

Green

Music

Pink

Nursing

Apricot

Oratory (Speech)

Silver Gray

Pharmacy

Olive Green

Philosophy

Dark Blue

Physical Education

Sage Green

Public Administration, including Foreign Service

Peacock Blue

Public Health

Salmon Pink

Science

Golden Yellow

Social Work

Citron

Theology

Scarlet

Veterinary Science

Gray

Hoods

The length of the hood worn for the bachelor's degree is 3 feet, for the master's degree, 3½ feet, and for the doctoral degree, 4 feet. The doctoral degree has side panels. The linings of the hood represent the official color of the college or university conferring the degree. The binding or edging of the hood is 2 inches, 3 inches and 5 inches for the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, respectively. The color is distinctive of the degree held by the wearer.

Caps

The cap or mortarboard has a tassel fastened to the middle of the cap. Wearing over the left side indicates the completion of a degree. The doctoral cap is indicated by a tassel of gold thread.

Prepared by a Committee on Academic Costumes and Ceremonies appointed by the American Council on Education, 1960