Which Way Do Graduation Tassels Go?

Upon placing your cap on for graduation, you may wonder, “Which way do graduation tassels go?” Keep reading to find out the answer to this question as well as some other interesting information.

Wearing Graduation Tassels on the Correct Sides

What is the direction of graduation tassels? Before you graduate, your graduation tassel goes on the right side of your cap. In some schools, you move the tassel to the left after shaking hands with the person who grants you your diploma.

Other schools will require you to wait until the principal announces that your class has officially graduated and instructs everyone to move it together.

The Symbolism of the Tassel

Graduation tassels are symbols of success. The tassel is placed on the right because you have earned the right to graduate, according to some. After graduating, moving the tassel to the left signifies crossing over from high school (or college) to the next phase of life.

When you receive a master’s degree or doctorate, you will place your tassel on the left side of your mortarboard cap. Tassels do not need to be flipped to the right before, during, or after graduation; they remain on the left. 

The reason for this is that candidates receiving their terminal degrees (i.e. master’s or doctorate) typically receive hoods that represent their academic field. At the high school and bachelor’s degree levels, the tassel replaces the hooding ceremony.

Be Camera Ready

Although tradition dictates that the tassel is worn on the right and moved to the left after receiving your diploma (or at the end of the ceremony), some schools direct you to place it on the left.

This is usually because they set up the photographer to take pictures from the right, so they want to be able to see your face fully. The last thing anyone wants is to have their tassel in the middle of their face in a graduation picture.

Save Your Tassel as a Sign of Achievement

After graduation, don’t throw your tassel in a box and forget about it. Embrace your achievement and display it to remind yourself how far you’ve come. The diploma can be framed with a picture of the graduate.

 The reverse view mirror of some cars will be draped with it. Look at your tassel often, as it will remind you of your success and give you hope for the future, wherever you place it.

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