What Side Is the Tassel on Before Graduation


What Side Is the Tassel on Before Graduation?

Graduation is a momentous occasion in a student’s life, symbolizing the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. From securing a cap and gown to preparing a graduation speech, there are numerous details to consider. One common question that often arises before the big day is, “What side is the tassel on before graduation?” In this article, we will explore the significance of the tassel, its placement, and provide answers to frequently asked questions.

The Significance of the Tassel:
The tassel is an essential component of the graduation cap, also known as a mortarboard. It is typically made of strands of silk or rayon and attached to the crown of the cap by a button or a loop. The tassel holds symbolic meaning and serves as a visual representation of a student’s academic journey.

Traditionally, the color of the tassel corresponds to the field of study or academic achievement. For example, a gold tassel may be worn by students graduating with honors, while a white tassel might signify a student’s participation in a specific academic society. However, the placement of the tassel itself holds a deeper significance.

The Placement of the Tassel:
Before graduation ceremonies commence, the tassel is typically positioned on the right side of the mortarboard. This signifies that the student has not yet officially graduated. However, there is a specific moment during the ceremony when a symbolic act occurs, prompting a shift in the tassel’s placement.

The Turning of the Tassel:
One of the most anticipated moments during a graduation ceremony is the turning of the tassel. This act symbolizes the transition from student to graduate. When instructed by the speaker or given a cue, graduates move their tassels from the right side of the cap to the left.

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The turning of the tassel is a symbolic gesture that represents the completion of the academic journey and the beginning of a new chapter in the graduates’ lives. It is a moment of celebration and pride, as students officially become alumni.


Q: When do I move my tassel from the right side to the left during the graduation ceremony?
A: The turning of the tassel typically occurs after the conferring of degrees or when instructed by the speaker. Pay close attention to the cues given during the ceremony to ensure you move your tassel at the appropriate moment.

Q: Can I turn my tassel before the official turning of the tassel?
A: It is generally recommended to wait for the official cue to turn your tassel. This ensures that all graduates participate in the symbolic act simultaneously, creating a unified moment of celebration.

Q: What if I forget to move my tassel during the ceremony?
A: If you forget to move your tassel during the designated moment, do not worry. You can still move it afterward as a personal celebration of your achievement.

Q: Can I keep my graduation cap and tassel as a memento?
A: Absolutely! Many graduates choose to keep their cap and tassel as a reminder of their academic accomplishments. It serves as a cherished keepsake and a symbol of their hard work and dedication.

Q: Can I wear my tassel on the opposite side of the cap after graduation?
A: While there are no strict rules regarding the placement of the tassel after graduation, tradition dictates that it is typically worn on the left side as a symbol of completion.

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In conclusion, the placement of the tassel before graduation serves as a visual representation of a student’s ongoing journey. The turning of the tassel is a significant moment during the ceremony, symbolizing the transition from student to graduate. As you prepare for your graduation day, remember the symbolic significance of the tassel and ensure you follow the proper protocol to mark this momentous occasion.