Belcher in regalia-medium

The academic regalia worn by the faculty represent a tradition handed down from the universities of the Middle Ages. Academic dress in the United States is an outgrowth of British practice but is much more standardized than in British institutions. With some variations, the forms of academic costume used by American institutions today are based on a code adopted in 1895.

The Cap
Caps are black, made from mortarboard and worn flat on the head with one corner of the square facing the front. The tassels for the doctoral degree are gold, and those for other graduate and professional degrees may correspond to the trimmings on the hoods.

The Gown
The cut of the gown indicates whether the wearer holds a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree. The bachelor’s gown is a simple, unornamented robe with long pointed sleeves. The master’s gown is more elaborate and many styles have slits in the sleeves. The doctor’s robe is ornamented with three bars on each bell-shaped sleeve and panels on the front of the robe. The standard color of the robe is black, although some institutions have adopted other colors. The white robes and caps worn by the student marshals and student delegates at Western Carolina University are an indication of their undergraduate status.

The Hood
The institution at which the degree was awarded and the field of study in which the degree was earned are represented by the hood. The lining of the hood identifies the institution that awarded the degree. However, because of the large number of degree-granting institutions, there is much duplication, even though a variety of patterns have been introduced. For example, more than 30 institutions are represented by purple and gold. The length of the hood and the width of its border vary in relation to the degree held.

The Colors
The color of the tassel on the cap and of the border on the hood represents the field of study in which the degree was earned.

Arts, letters, humanities
Commerce, accountancy, business
Construction management
Fine arts
Library science
Oratory (speech)
Physical education
Public health
Social work
light blue
silver gray
dark blue
sage green
salmon pink
golden yellow




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