Academic Regalia

Traditional academic regalia shall be worn by the student during commencement.  Undergraduate attire will consist of the traditional black gown and cap with tassel.  Master’s attire will consist of the traditional black gown with closed sleeves, cap with tassel and hood with the degree and Arkansas Tech University colors. 

No decorations, writings, necklaces, braids, pins, cords, medallions or other items other than the Arkansas Tech University gold honors cord and medallion shall be worn or placed on the academic regalia. 

Students will order their academic regalia through the Bookstore on campus or online

Academic Heraldry 

A time-honored tradition of great dignity is the wearing of academic apparel.  The history of academic dress reaches far back into the early days of the oldest universities.  The apparel is a survival of the ecclesiastical garb of the late Middle Ages as well as earlier civilian fashions.  The three characteristic elements of academic regalia are the gown, the hood and the cap. 

Gowns may have been necessary for warmth in the unheated buildings frequented by medieval scholars.  Hoods seem to have served to cover the shaven crowns of the monks until superseded by the skull cap.  The custom of wearing the gown, hood and cap was first regularly adopted in the thirteenth century at the University of Cambridge with the University of Oxford soon to follow.  

In 1895, American universities and colleges decided to standardize their academic styles and an intercollegiate code for academic custom was developed.  The standards in their original code were followed precisely until 1932 when a committee was appointed by the American Council on Education (ACE) to study possible revisions.  The code approved by that committee remained intact until 1959 when the Committee on Academic Costumes and Ceremonies was appointed by the ACE.  This academic costume code contains criteria for each item of academic apparel.  Only the costume of the chief marshal may be specially designed by the institution-all others must follow traditional guidelines. 

The gown is usually of black material-serge, cotton poplin or worsted for bachelors and masters, and rayon or silk for doctors.  Bachelors’ gowns have pointed sleeves; masters’ have long, closed sleeves, lunate at the bottom, with slits at the elbow; the doctors’ have wide, round, open sleeves.  Doctors’ gowns are faced with panels of velvet down the front with three bars across each sleeve.  The facings and crossbars may be black, or of the color distinctive of the degree category and agreeing in color with the binding on the hood. 

The hood, worn around the neck to hang down the back, is the principal emblem of the nature and source of the degree held.  It is edged with velvet in the color of the degree, while its lining of silk bears the colors of the institution which granted the degree.  No academic hood should ever have its border divided to represent more than a single degree.   The binding of the hood should be in widths of two inches, three inches and five inches for the bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s degrees, respectively.  In some institutions it is customary for the hood to be dispensed with by those receiving bachelor’s degrees. 

The cap is the square mortarboard of black cotton poplin, rayon or silk to match the gown or, for the doctor’s degree only, velvet.  The tassel may be black for all ranks and degrees or may be of gold thread for doctors and the color of the degree for bachelors and masters.  There is no general rule for the position of the tassel on a mortarboard; however, numerous institutions have adopted the practice of  the tassels on the right front side before the degrees are conferred and to shift them to the left when the degrees are awarded. 

For all academic purposes, the colors associated with the different subjects are as follows: 

Accountancy / Business - Drab
Agriculture - Maize
Arts/Letters/Humanities -White
Dentistry -Lilac
Economics - Copper
Education -Light Blue
Engineering - Orange
Fine Arts/Architecture - Brown
Forestry -Russet
Journalism - Crimson
Law - Purple
Library Science - Lemon
Medicine - Green
Music - Pink
Nursing - Apricot
Oratory (Speech )
- Silver Gray
- Olive Green
Philosophy -
Dark Blue
Physical Education 
- Sage Green
Public Adm. / Foreign Svcs 
- Peacock Blue
Public Health 
- Salmon Pink
- Golden Yellow
Social Work -
- Scarlet
Veterinary Science 
- Gray
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