What Side Is the Tassel on When You Graduate


What Side Is the Tassel on When You Graduate?

Graduation day is a momentous occasion filled with excitement, pride, and a sense of accomplishment. It is a time when students celebrate the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. As the day approaches, graduates often find themselves immersed in a whirlwind of preparations, including choosing the perfect outfit and accessories. One common question that arises during this time is, “What side is the tassel on when you graduate?” In this article, we will explore the significance of the tassel and its placement during graduation ceremonies.

The tradition of wearing a graduation cap, also known as a mortarboard, dates back centuries. The cap, typically made of black fabric, is square-shaped with a flat, rigid top and a tassel attached to it. The tassel itself is a decorative element made of silk or synthetic material, often matching the color of the graduate’s school or field of study.

Now, coming to the question at hand, “What side is the tassel on when you graduate?” The answer varies depending on the academic institution and the specific customs they follow. However, there are two main conventions observed in most countries.

1. Pre-Ceremony Position:
Before the graduation ceremony officially begins, the tassel is usually positioned on the right side of the cap. This signifies that the graduate has not yet received their degree. It is important to note that this convention is not universally followed, so it is crucial to consult with your specific institution or check the instructions provided by your graduation coordinator.

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2. Post-Ceremony Position:
Once the graduates have received their degrees and the commencement ceremony has concluded, the tassel is moved from the right to the left side of the cap. This shift symbolizes the transition from candidate to graduate and is typically done as a collective gesture at the direction of the ceremony’s speaker or the institution’s president.


Q: Why is the tassel moved from right to left after the ceremony?
A: The movement of the tassel from right to left signifies the completion of the graduation ceremony and the achievement of the graduate’s academic goals. It is a tradition that celebrates the transition from student to graduate.

Q: Can I wear my tassel on the left side before receiving my degree?
A: It is generally advised to follow the pre-ceremony convention and wear the tassel on the right side until you officially receive your degree. However, as mentioned earlier, customs can vary, so it is essential to consult with your institution’s guidelines.

Q: What if my tassel falls off during the ceremony?
A: If your tassel falls off your cap during the ceremony, it is considered customary to leave it on the floor until the end of the event. Afterward, you can reattach it to the cap on the appropriate side, as per your institution’s guidelines.

Q: Can I keep my graduation tassel as a keepsake?
A: Absolutely! Many graduates choose to keep their tassels as cherished mementos of their academic accomplishments. They can be stored in a shadow box, displayed on a graduation photo frame, or incorporated into other creative DIY projects.

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In conclusion, the placement of the tassel during graduation holds symbolic significance. Before the ceremony, it is typically positioned on the right side, signifying that the graduate has not yet received their degree. After the ceremony, it is moved to the left side, marking the transition from student to graduate. However, it is important to remember that customs may vary, so it is advisable to consult with your specific institution for accurate instructions. On this momentous occasion, the tassel serves as a tangible reminder of the hard work, dedication, and the achievements made throughout the academic journey.