How to Put the Tassel on a Graduation Cap

by Elizabeth Mott

After years of study, you're finally ready to receive your baccalaureate or advanced degree. You've ordered your cap and gown and picked out a special outfit to wear on commencement day. When your graduation garb arrives, your decorative tassel is in a plastic bag instead of attached to your mortarboard, the flat cap you'll wear during commencement. You can't exactly walk to your seat holding the tassel on top of your head, but that doesn't mean you're out of luck.

Unwrap your mortarboard and set aside any packaging materials. Try on the mortarboard to see if you'll need bobby pins to hold it in place.

Remove your tassel from its protective sleeve. Hold it up and check for any tangled strands.

Slide the loop at the top of the tassel onto the button at the center of the top of your mortarboard. Tug gently on the tassel to make sure it's firmly seated under the button.

Arrange your tassel so it drapes over the right side of your mortarboard while you're wearing it. If you're an undergraduate, you'll be instructed to move the tassel so it drapes over the left side when you're officially declared a graduate of your degree program. If you're receiving a graduate degree, your tassel belongs on the left side throughout commencement.


  • Take extra bobby pins with you to your graduation ceremony. You may need more than you expect and you'll have a chance to help out a classmate who's not prepared.

About the Author

Elizabeth Mott has been a writer since 1983. Mott has extensive experience writing advertising copy for everything from kitchen appliances and financial services to education and tourism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English from Indiana State University.

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