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All graduating students (Undergraduate and Advanced Degrees) are required to wear a cap and gown during the main Commencement ceremony. All regalia needs (caps, gowns, hoods, and tassels) can be purchased at the UGA Bookstore. Contact the University of Georgia Bookstore at 706-542-3171 or via email at for purchasing information.

The history of academic dress reaches far back into the early days of the oldest universities. The costume worn today originated in the Middle Ages but was not adopted in this country until the mid-nineteenth century. In the late 19th century, American colleges and universities desired to adopt some suitable system governing academic apparel. Accordingly, on May 16, 1895, representatives from governing boards of various interested institutions met at Columbia University for such a study. From this meeting came the recommendations for the standards from which the academic dress code for the colleges and universities of the United States was established. The code regulating academic dress continues to be administered by an intercollegiate commission.


The bachelor's, master's, and doctor's gowns differ slightly in pattern only. Bachelors’ gowns have closed fronts and long pointed sleeves. Masters’ gowns have oblong sleeves open at the wrists. The rear part of the oblong shape is square cut, and the front part has an arc cut away. Gowns may be worn either open or closed. 

Doctors’ gowns have bell-shaped sleeves, have facings down the front of black velvet, and have three bars of the same across the sleeves. Only the doctor's gown bears trimmings. These are a velvet facing down the front and three velvet bars across each sleeve; the velvet may be black, or it may be the color appropriate to the subject in which the wearer holds his degree. The robe is worn with a specifically designed hood and velvet academic bonnet.

A fourragere (braided cord) will be worn on the left shoulder of each First Honor Candidate.


Hoods are the most distinctive feature of the American code and are generally black. All are lined in silk with the official color or colors of the university or college conferring the degree. The University of Georgia colors are red and black. The binding or edging of the hood is velvet with the color indicative of the subject to which the degree pertains.


The cap is the "mortarboard" type with black cloth cover. The gold tassel may be worn by holders of a doctor's degree. Candidates should wear their tassels over the right eye until the degree is awarded and over the left eye afterward. The mortarboard on the cap should be parallel to the ground.

With the exception of the honors tassels, the color of tassels as well as the color of the velvet on the hoods worn by master and doctorate candidates are indicative of the academic subject area. The colors associated with these subjects areas are as follows:

Agriculture   maize
Arts, Letters, Humanities   white
Business and Accountancy   drab
Education   light blue
Engineering   orange
Fine Arts and Landscape Architecture   brown
Forestry and Natural Resources   russet
Family and Consumer Sciences   maroon
Journalism and Mass Communication   crimson
Law   purple
Music   pink
Pharmacy   olive green
Philosophy   dark blue
Public Administration   peacock blue
Public Health   salmon pink
Science   golden yellow
Social Work   citron
Veterinary Science   gray

Anticipated undergraduate students graduating with honors wear an honors tassel:

  • Summa Cum Laude:  red, silver, and black tassel
  • Magna Cum Laude:  red and silver tassel
  • Cum Laude:  red and black tassel