College graduation is a time of celebration and a symbol of the transition to the working world. The graduation ceremony can be exciting for all involved but can also be confusing to audiences with all the different robe designs and colors as well as different colored tassels. Here is a look at how to decode the ceremony.
Robes, robes and more robes.
During the graduation ceremony you’ll see two colors of robes: purple and black. The designs and what are added to the robes differ.
The Weber State University purple robes are worn by those graduating with an associate’s degree from WSU. That color is specific to Weber State. Their cap is also purple with a purple and white tassel. Unlike bachelor degree graduates, who have a different color tassel depending on the school they are graduating from, associate’s graduates all are the same color of purple and white.
Bachelor graduates wear black robes, black caps, a color tassel representing the college they’re graduating from and may or may not have honor cords. Honors cord for colleges are identical to high school honor cords, which are yellow.
Those graduating with their master’s or doctorate’s degree have a different look to their gowns. The master’s graduates will have long, draping sleeves.
Weber State does not award doctoral degrees, but faculty members who have a Ph.D. will wear their doctoral gowns. Those include hoods with a stripe for the college they graduated from and three stripes on the sleeve again with the color of the area they received their doctorate in. Down the front is velvet trim.
Just as students progress through school so does the gown. The higher the educational degree, the more there is to your graduation robe.
A sea of multiple colored tassels
According to Eugene Sullivan, American Council of Education, academic dress dates back to the 12th century England. It was standardized in 1895, with a color assigned for each field of learning.
The colors can be seen on the tassels at any university’s graduation. Whether you graduate in education from Weber State University or Colorado State University, you’ll have the same light blue tassel. The one exception is the associate degrees in general studies, which is purple and white at Weber State.
Below is a list courtesy of Gradfest’s webpage for WSU of what color each college is:
Applied Science & Technology: Black
Bachelor of Electronics Engineering: Orange
Arts & Humanities: White
Master of English: White
Master of Professional Communication: Crimson
Business & Economics: Brown
Master of Business Administration: Brown
Master of Accounting: Brown
Master of Taxation: Brown
Education: Light Blue
Master of Education: Light Blue
Master of Athletic Training: Light Blue
Health Professions: Apricot
Master of Nursing: Apricot
Master of Radiology: Apricot
Health Administration Services: Salmon
Science: Golden Yellow
Social & Behavioral Sciences: Cream
Master of Criminal Justice: Citron