Regalia – What you need to know:
American colleges and universities chose to adopt a suitable system of academic apparel half a century ago. They found it best to agree on a defined system for all to follow. A statute for the establishment of a suitable code of academic dress followed.
Bachelor’s degree gowns have pointed sleeves. They are designed to be worn closed. Master's degree gowns have oblong sleeves, open at the wrist, but with fasteners that allow them to be worn open or closed.
For both bachelor's and master's degree recipients, gowns are made of cotton poplin or similar material. For the doctor's degree, they are of rayon or silk ribbed material. Black is the recommended color.
For all academic purposes, including the trimmings of doctors' gowns, edging of hoods, and tassels or caps, the colors associated with the different subjects are as follows:
Hoods are made of the same material as the gown, are black in color, and vary in size and additional color (indicating the faculty or school).
The binding or edging of the hood is to be of velvet or velveteen, with a width of two inches, three inches, or five inches for the bachelor's, master's or doctor's degrees, respectively; while the color code should be as noted above. It is not allowed to have academic hoods with borders that are divided to represent more than a single degree.
Hoods should be lined with the official color or colors of the college or university conferring the degree. AUB's hoods have the red and white colors of the University flag in the inside and another color on the outside that is specific to the division or the school seal, such as yellow for Agriculture, etc.
Caps should be made of cotton poplin, broadcloth, rayon, or silk to match the gown, and of velvet only for doctor's degree recipients. Mortarboards are generally recommended, although soft square-topped caps are permissible for women. A long tassel is fastened to the middle point of the top of the cap and is black in color or is colored according to the subject of study. Caps of doctor’s degree recipients may have tassels of gold color thread.
Wearing the costume
There is no general rule for the position of the tassel on a mortarboard. However, numerous institutions have adopted the practice, during commencement exercises, of requiring candidates for degrees to wear the tassels on the right front side before degrees are conferred and to shift them to the left at the moment when degrees are awarded to them.
It is proper for the candidate to wear the gown that matches with the degree to be received.
If a person holds more than one academic degree, he/she may wear only one hood at a time. The hood worn should match the gown worn.