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Family of graduate

Academic Regalia

The colorful and distinctive garb conspicuous at Idaho State University's commencement ceremony has its origin in the High Middle Ages, the 12th and 13th centuries, when universities first came into being. These first universities grew up in the shadow of the church – they obtained papal charters, most of the knowledge they disseminated was theological or ecclesiastical, and their scholars and pupils were largely clerics or aspiring clerics. It should not be surprising, therefore, that the cap, gown, and hood grew out of the clerical dress of that period.


Graduated student being hooded at ceremony

In 1896, the colleges and universities in the United States adopted a uniform code governing academic dress. Those who are receiving a master's or doctor's degree from Idaho State wear hoods lined with ISU orange and black. The velvet border of the hood indicates the degree and usually follows the same code as the color of the tassels.

Graduates throwing mortar board into the air

The Oxford cap, commonly referred to as a mortarboard, has a long tassel that is fastened by a button on the top. Candidates for baccalaureate degrees wear the tassel pendant over the right front of the cap before the degree is conferred, and over the left thereafter. The color of the tassel on the bachelor's cap indicates the field of study.

Tassel Colors

White – Arts, Letters, Humanities

Drab – Accounting, Business

Copper – Economics

Light Blue – Education

Orange – Engineering

Brown – Fine Arts

Crimson – Journalism

Pink – Music

Apricot – Nursing

Silver Gray – Rhetorical Studies

Olive Green – Pharmacy

Dark Blue – Philosophy

Sage Green – Physical education

Peacock Blue – Public Administration

Golden Yellow – Science

Citron – Social Work

Black - College of Technology