The pageantry and dress of the university occasions have been inherited from the medieval universities of the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
The gown has become symbolic of the democracy of scholarship, for it covers any dress of rank or social standing. The original color of the gown has been black for all degrees, although some universities use school colors. Gowns have pointed sleeves for the bachelor’s degree, long closed sleeves with a slit in the arm or wrist for the master’s degree, and full bell double sleeves for the doctor’s degree. Bachelor’s and master’s degree gowns have no trimming. For the doctor’s degree, the gown is faced down the front with velvet and has three bars of velvet across the sleeves in the color distinctive of the faculty or discipline to which the degree pertains.
When Roman law freed the slave, it accorded the privilege of wearing a cap. And so the academic cap is a sign of freedom of scholarship and the responsibility and dignity with which scholarship endows the wearer. The cap of scholarship is square to symbolize the book. The color of the tassel denotes the discipline.
The hood is trimmed with one or more chevrons of a secondary color on the ground of the primary color of the college. The color facing of the hood denotes the discipline represented by the degree; the color of the lining designates the university or college from which the degree was granted.
Colors Associated with Graduate Academic Disciplines
|White||Arts, Letters, Humanities|
|Royal Blue||Commerce and Business|
|Sage Green||Physical Education|
|Peacock Blue||Public Administration & Foreign Service|
|Salmon Pink||Public Health|
Green ribbon — Students wearing a green ribbon pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job they consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which they work.