One of the questions that students and parents often ask after purchasing their cap and gown is: how do I wear the tassel at the graduation ceremony, and does it matter which side it falls on?

Surprisingly enough, there is not one answer to this question. According to the American Academic Costume Code, the placement of the tassel is often used to indicate the presentation of your degree. Depending on the degree you"re graduating from, here"s how you should wear your tassel before & after the ceremony:

High School Graduation

For a high school graduation ceremony, tassels should be worn on the right side of the graduation cap before the ceremony. Once directed by the graduation speaker or diploma presenter, the tassel will be moved from the right to the left, which signifies that you have earned your high school diploma. Therefore, it is also the best to take your graduation photos with the tassels on your right as well, indicating the achievement of your high school diploma. 

College - Associate or Bachelor Degree

When receiving an undergraduate degree at a college or university, the tassel will start on the right side of the cap. During the commencement, you will be instructed to flip the tassel from the right side to the left when you are handed the Associate or Bachelor"s degree certificate; or you will be ordered to flip the tassel with all students of your class after all certificates are awarded. Similarly, you can take the graduation photos wil the tassels on your right to commemorate the degree you worked hard for!

College - Post-Graduate Degrees

For a Master or Doctoral degree, tassels should be worn on the left side of the cap and stays there during the entire commemcement ceremony.


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The different tassel placement, along with different masters or doctoral gowns, distinguishes you from the undergraduate students when the college hosts one commencement ceremony for all degrees.

To make this easier, we offer many Master"s and Doctoral Degree Tams with tassels at Cap and Gown Direct, including the Octagon (8-side) Tam, Hexagon (6-side) Tam, and Square (4-side) Tam. The tassels are already fixed to the side of the tam, so you won"t need to worry about your tassel moving around as you walk to the stage! 

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Do you have any questions on how to wear your graduation cap and gown? We"re here to help! Leave a comment below or hit the chat button to get in touch with a graduation specialist at Cap and Gown Direct.