Which Side Do You Have Your Tassel Before Graduation


Which Side Do You Have Your Tassel Before Graduation?

As graduation day approaches, students are not only excited about receiving their diplomas but also about the traditional graduation cap and tassel. However, there is a common question that often arises among graduates – which side should the tassel be placed before graduation? In this article, we will explore the significance of the tassel and answer some frequently asked questions related to this age-old tradition.

The graduation tassel holds a significant meaning. It is a symbol of accomplishment and transition from student life to the next phase. The placement of the tassel is an important aspect of the graduation ceremony, representing a distinction between being a candidate for graduation and officially graduating.

Traditionally, the tassel is worn on the right side of the graduation cap before the official moment of conferring degrees. This signifies that the student is still a candidate for graduation and has not yet received their diploma. However, at a specific point during the ceremony, the graduates are instructed to shift the tassel to the left side of the cap. This movement symbolizes the official conferral of degrees and the transition into the status of a graduate.


Q: Why is the tassel initially placed on the right side?
A: The tradition of wearing the tassel on the right side before graduation is believed to have originated from European universities. It represents the journey as a candidate for graduation, indicating that the student has completed the necessary coursework and requirements but has not yet officially graduated.

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Q: When should I move my tassel to the left side?
A: The exact moment to move the tassel to the left side is generally instructed by the commencement speaker or the ceremony’s officiant. It usually occurs after all the graduates’ names have been called, and the diplomas have been conferred.

Q: Can I move my tassel to the left side before it is officially instructed?
A: It is recommended to follow the instructions given during the graduation ceremony. Moving the tassel prematurely might disrupt the flow of the event or confuse other participants. It is best to wait for the official announcement before shifting the tassel.

Q: Can I wear my tassel on the left side before the ceremony ends?
A: It is customary to wait until the end of the ceremony to move the tassel to the left side. This ensures that all graduates experience the symbolic moment together, signifying the official conferral of degrees.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the tassel placement tradition?
A: While the tradition remains consistent in most educational institutions, some universities or colleges may have variations or unique customs. It is advisable to check with your specific institution or consult the graduation guidelines provided to you.

Q: Can I keep my tassel after graduation?
A: Absolutely! The tassel serves as a cherished memento of your academic achievement and can be kept as a symbol of your accomplishments. Many graduates choose to display their tassels alongside their diplomas or in graduation memory boxes.

Q: Can I personalize my tassel?
A: Some institutions allow graduates to personalize their tassels with charms or decorations that represent their field of study or personal interests. However, it is important to check with your school’s guidelines to ensure compliance with their policies.

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In conclusion, the placement of the tassel before graduation holds significant importance, symbolizing the transition from being a candidate for graduation to an official graduate. Remember to follow the instructions given during the ceremony and wait for the official announcement to move your tassel to the left side. Cherish your tassel as a reminder of your hard work and dedication throughout your academic journey. Congratulations to all the graduates!