The Significance of Graduation Tassels

Tassels are a sign of accomplishment

Graduation tassels consist of a series of colored threads, bound together by a metal clip and hung from a long corded loop. The graduation tassel has significance within the graduation ceremony, serving as a symbol of rank and accomplishment.

1 History

Traditional academic dress dates from the middle ages. In 1896, colleges and universities across the United States adopted a uniform code for commencement regalia that included the use of tassels.

2 Where it's Worn

The tassel is part of the traditional head wear worn by a graduating student, which is called a mortarboard. The tassel is affixed by a loop to a button on top of the center of the mortarboard.

3 School Affiliation

The graduation tassel can indicate a school affiliation, bearing the colors of the school the student is attending.

4 Type of Degree

A graduation tassel can also indicate the type of degree being received. For example, those receiving a Bachelor's degree in education may wear a light blue tassel while an engineering degree may warrant an orange tassel or a pink tassel for a degree in music.

5 Level of Degree

Those holding Doctoral degrees commonly wear tassels made of gold threads, while those with Master's degrees typically wear black.

6 Position

For high school and university graduations, the tassel is usually worn on the right prior to receiving the diploma or degree. After receiving a diploma, the tassel is moved to the left side to signify that one has graduated.

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