The Significance of an Academic Regalia Hood Color

An academic regalia hood color is an important detail on the overall academic regalia. Like the graduation gown, the color represents your certain field of study and academic level.  Academic regalia hood colors by discipline also follow the standard academic regalia hood colors list set by the American Council of Education. This means that Maize is still used for Agriculture courses, White for the Arts, Drab for Business courses and so on.

Academic regalia hood colors may vary from school to school but most of the Universities follow the standard color requirement. The hood may consist of different other colors; the color of its velvet edge represents the college discipline and the satin colors represent the color of the school.

Aside from the academic regalia hood color, the hood also differs in length to represent a candidate’s academic achievement. The longer it is, the higher the academic achievement is.

When one is allowed to wear a graduation hood and have purchased the right academic regalia hood color, wearing it is not a problem. The velvet lining should just be attached on one’s shoulders and allow the rest of the hood to drape smoothly at your back. In a traditional graduation ceremony, a mentor usually puts on your Academic Regalia hood as part of the ceremony’s symbolism.

The academic regalia hood is not the only graduation piece that exudes symbolism and color meaning. Everything from the cap, gown and even the tassel is colored according to a candidate’s field of study and academic achievement. They also have certain cuts and may differ in fabric to distinguish certain academic achievements and levels.

Nowadays, academic regalia hoods represent achievement and success but little do we know that in the beginning, hoods had no academic significance at all. Although it is of clerical origins like the rest of the graduation apparel we know today, hoods only served as head coverings, protection from the cold weather and even as a bag for alms!

The hood was adopted by medieval scholars sometime in the 13th century and in the Renaissance period onwards and was assigned particular patterns and style. It was then adopted around in 15th century as tokens for graduation in England.

Even though this simple addition to our graduation outfit has very humble beginnings, it is now replaced with a feeling of pride and self-fulfillment to anybody who’s finally donning their very own academic regalia hood.

Before trying to purchase one’s very own graduation hood, ask the school first about the colors they require its students to follow. However the general rules for the hood’s length are as follows:

1.) Bachelor’s degree candidates must have their hood at three feet.

2.) Master’s degree holders should have their hoods at three and a half feet.

3.) Doctorate holders should have theirs at four feet long. A doctorate’s graduation hood is the only one which is allowed to have panels at its sides.

Moreover, some schools don’t require their bachelor’s degree candidates to wear an academic regalia hood. So better yet, ask the school first if it is indeed necessary to have one.

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