The color, material and design of academic robes, caps, and hats is steeped in tradition and meaning. Traditional doctoral dress includes a black academic gown with velvet trim down the front, colored velvet across the sleeves and a cap.
Traditions regarding the nature of academic dress began in the 12th and 13th centuries. In 1321, the University of Coimbra required that all doctors, licentiates and bachelors wore gowns. The standardization of colors for the gowns didn't come until much later, when the United States designated colors to indicate academic discipline in the 19th century.
The gown for doctoral degree candidates usually is black and has bell-shaped sleeves. The gown may be worn open or closed. The material can be light or heavy depending on climate as long as it follows the other rules. The front of the gown is trimmed with velvet and there are three bars of colored velvet along the sleeves. The three colored bars indicate the candidate's academic discipline. For example, white bars signify humanities, while law students get purple bars and journalism candidate's bars are crimson.
The colors of the trim of the hood are the colors of the university that is giving the degree. Although the tassels on the caps for bachelor's and master's degree students designate the student's discipline, the tassel for doctoral candidates typically is gold. Hoods for doctoral candidates also should be four feet long and have panels at the sides.
There are a few exceptions to the standard academic regalia. Members of religious orders are allowed to wear their customary religious habits. Likewise, military uniforms and outfits that are customary to a civil office also are acceptable.
What Are Corn Tassels?
Rows of bright green corn stalks fill fields during the summer months. As the summer progresses, branching flowers will grow at the...
Rules About Faculty Academic Regalia
They do not have belled or pointed sleeves or stripes. ... What Do the Colors on Doctoral Robes Mean? The color, material...
How to Wear a Doctoral Tam
Academic dress for those graduating with a doctorate includes the graduation gown, doctoral hood and academic hat. The hat most often worn...
Where Can I Buy Gold Bars?
Gold has for centuries been the desire of countries and governments, to showcase their power and wealth. Little has changed since those...
What Are the Color Meanings in Graduation Stoles?
Most college students wear some type of graduation stole to their commencement ceremonies. Stoles are pieces of colored cloth with ceremonial significance;...
Differences in Attire at a Graduation Ceremony
Doctoral robes are usually black, but some schools use their colors for the gown or the trim. Doctoral gowns are similar to...
How to Put on a Graduation Gown With a Hood
Graduation gowns worn by students graduating with a master's or doctoral degree generally have a hood on them, hanging down the back....