Where Does the Tassel Go on a Graduation Cap


Where Does the Tassel Go on a Graduation Cap?

Graduation day is a momentous occasion in the lives of students, as it marks the end of an educational journey and the beginning of a new chapter. Along with the traditional cap and gown, one important element of the graduation attire is the tassel. But where exactly does the tassel go on a graduation cap? In this article, we will explore the significance of the tassel and provide a step-by-step guide on how to properly position it. Additionally, we will address some frequently asked questions related to this topic.

The tassel is a decorative cord or thread attached to the top of a graduation cap. It holds great symbolism and represents the achievements and hard work put in by the graduating individual. The tradition of wearing a tassel during graduation ceremonies dates back many years and has become a universal symbol of academic accomplishment.

So, where does the tassel go on a graduation cap? The general rule of thumb is that the tassel is worn on the right side of the cap until the moment of the official commencement, after which it is moved to the left side. However, this tradition may vary depending on the specific protocols followed by each educational institution. It is essential to check with your school or college for any specific guidelines they may have regarding the placement of the tassel.

To properly position the tassel, follow these simple steps:

1. Begin by placing the graduation cap on your head, making sure it sits comfortably and securely. The mortarboard, the flat square part of the cap, should be parallel to the ground.

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2. Ensure that the front side of the cap, where the mortarboard is attached, is facing forward.

3. Locate the tassel, which is usually attached to a button or loop at the center top of the cap.

4. Before the official commencement, the tassel should be positioned on the right side of the cap. This means that it should hang down over your right temple.

5. Once the commencement has taken place and you are officially declared a graduate, move the tassel from the right side to the left. This signifies the transition from candidate to graduate.

It is important to note that these instructions are general guidelines and may differ depending on your educational institution’s specific traditions. Always consult your school’s guidelines to ensure you are following the appropriate protocol.


Q: Can I wear my tassel on whichever side I prefer?
A: While there may be some flexibility in certain institutions, it is generally recommended to follow the traditional placement of the tassel. This ensures consistency and allows for a unified visual representation during the commencement ceremony.

Q: Is there a specific time during the ceremony when I should move my tassel?
A: The official moment to move the tassel to the left side is typically indicated by the commencement speaker or the ceremony’s program. It is important to pay attention to these cues and make the transition at the appropriate time.

Q: Can I keep my tassel as a keepsake after the ceremony?
A: Absolutely! Many graduates choose to keep their tassels as a memento of their academic accomplishments. You can attach it to a graduation photo or display it in a shadow box alongside your diploma.

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Q: What color should the tassel be?
A: The color of the tassel can vary depending on the educational institution and the field of study. It is often coordinated with the school’s colors or represents the specific degree earned. It is best to check with your school to determine the appropriate color for your tassel.

In conclusion, the tassel on a graduation cap holds significant symbolism and represents the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. By following the general guidelines of wearing it on the right side before the commencement and moving it to the left afterward, you can properly honor this tradition. Remember to consult your school’s specific guidelines to ensure you adhere to their protocols. Congratulations on your achievement, and may your graduation day be filled with joy and pride!