Which Side Tassel Before Graduation?

So, you’re about to graduate and you’re faced with an important decision: which side should your tassel be on? Well, worry not! We’ve got the answer for you.

You might be wondering why this small detail even matters. After all, graduation is a huge milestone in your life, and the positioning of your tassel may seem trivial. But trust us, it’s not as insignificant as it may seem.

In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of graduation traditions and explain why the side of your tassel is an important symbol of your academic journey. So let’s get started and find out which side your tassel should be on!

Which Side Tassel Before Graduation?

Which Side Tassel Before Graduation?: A Guide to the Traditional Graduation Symbol

Graduation is an exciting milestone in every student’s academic journey. From cap and gown to diplomas, there are many iconic symbols associated with this celebration. One such symbol is the graduation tassel, a decorative cord that hangs from the top of the mortarboard cap. But have you ever wondered which side the tassel should be before graduation? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the significance and traditions surrounding the placement of the graduation tassel, providing you with the ultimate answer.

The Left or the Right? Understanding the Tradition

As you prepare for your graduation ceremony, one of the important decisions you need to make is which side to position your tassel. Traditionally, the placement of the graduation tassel signifies the transition from candidate to graduate. In most countries, including the United States, the tassel is initially worn on the right side of the cap before the degree is conferred.

Throughout the ceremony, graduates will be announced by their names and invited to move their tassels from the right to the left, symbolizing the official completion of their degrees. This moment signifies the transition from a student to a graduate, a culmination of years of hard work and dedication. It is a significant tradition that is embraced by graduates worldwide, representing the achievement and success earned through their academic journey.

The History and Cultural Significance of the Graduation Tassel

The tradition of the graduation tassel can be traced back to the 12th century when academic dress became a common practice in European universities. During this time, students wore long robes and hoods to keep warm in drafty lecture halls. The tassel, initially a functional piece to secure the hood, evolved into a symbol of academic achievement over the years.

In the United States, the use of graduation tassels gained popularity in the late 19th century. The tassel colors began to represent specific fields of study, allowing individuals to showcase their academic disciplines. Today, graduation tassels are available in a variety of colors to signify different majors or achievements, adding a touch of individuality and personalization to the ceremony.

Furthermore, certain universities and colleges may have additional traditions related to the graduation tassel. It is essential to consult your institution’s guidelines or speak with your academic advisor to ensure you adhere to any specific requirements related to the placement or color of the tassel.

The Symbolic Meaning of the Graduation Tassel

Beyond its historical and cultural significance, the graduation tassel holds a symbolic meaning for graduates. It serves as a reminder of the hard work, sacrifices, and dedication invested in achieving their academic goals. The tassel also represents the transition into a new phase of life, marked by personal growth, professional opportunities, and lifelong learning.

Moreover, the act of moving the tassel from one side to the other during the ceremony is a visual representation of the individual’s transformation from a student to a graduate. It is a proud moment that signifies not only the completion of a degree but also the beginning of new possibilities and experiences.

Now that we understand the history, tradition, and symbolism of the graduation tassel, let’s explore some frequently asked questions and useful tips to make the most of this iconic accessory on your graduation day.

Frequently Asked Questions about Graduation Tassels

1. Can I Customize My Graduation Tassel?

Yes! Many schools offer personalized tassels that allow you to display your school colors or specific achievements. You can often choose from different colors, charms, or pendants to add a personal touch to your graduation regalia.

2. When Should I Move my Tassel from the Right to the Left?

The exact moment to move your tassel will vary depending on your institution’s traditions. In most cases, graduates are instructed to move their tassels after their degrees have been officially conferred. Pay attention to the instructions provided during the ceremony to ensure you don’t miss this important milestone.

3. Can I Keep my Graduation Tassel as a Memento?

Absolutely! Many graduates choose to keep their graduation tassels as a cherished memento of their academic achievements. It can be a wonderful keepsake to remind you of your hard work and dedication during your time as a student.

Making Your Graduation Tassel Placement Memorable

Your graduation day is a momentous occasion, and the placement of your tassel should be celebrated. Here are some tips to make this symbolic act even more memorable:

Tips for an Unforgettable Tassel Placement

1. Practice the Tassel Movement

Take a few minutes before the ceremony to practice moving your tassel from the right to the left. This will ensure you do it smoothly and confidently when the time comes.

2. Decorate Your Cap

Personalize your graduation cap with inspiring quotes, your name, or symbols that represent your achievements or interests. This will make your tassel placement moment even more special.

3. Capture the Moment

Assign a family member or friend to capture a photo or video of the precise moment you move your tassel. This way, you can relive the excitement and pride of the occasion for years to come.

Remember, the placement of the graduation tassel is not just a routine action but a symbolic representation of your academic accomplishments. Embrace the tradition, wear your tassel with pride, and celebrate the hard work that brought you to this significant milestone in your life.

The Significance of Graduation Traditions

Graduation ceremonies around the world are steeped in tradition, representing the accomplishments, growth, and future endeavors of the graduating class. While the placement of the graduation tassel is just one element of these ceremonies, it holds great symbolism and serves as a visible representation of the graduates’ achievements.

As you prepare for your graduation day, take the time to appreciate and understand the history and significance of the traditions surrounding this momentous event. Whether it’s the placement of the tassel or the donning of academic regalia, each tradition tells a story and contributes to the overall experience. Embrace these traditions and celebrate your accomplishments with joy and pride as you embark on the next chapter of your life.

Congratulations on reaching this significant milestone in your academic journey. May your graduation day be filled with happiness, pride, and excitement as you move your tassel from the right to the left, symbolizing the many achievements that await you.

Key Takeaways: Which Side Tassel Before Graduation?

  • The side of the tassel depends on the school’s tradition.
  • Most schools in the United States place the tassel on the right side before graduation.
  • Some schools may have different rules, so it’s important to check with your school.
  • Wearing the tassel on the right side symbolizes the completion of high school or college education.
  • When the moment arrives, remember to move your tassel to the left side during the graduation ceremony.

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ section about tassels and graduation! Below, you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions regarding which side to wear your tassel. Whether you’re a student or a parent, we hope this information helps you navigate this important milestone with ease.

Q: Can I wear my tassel on any side during graduation?

A: Generally, the tradition is to wear your tassel on the right side before you officially graduate. However, during the graduation ceremony, there is a moment where the entire graduating class will be instructed to move the tassel from the right side to the left side. This is usually done after receiving your diploma or when the commencement speaker gives the signal. It symbolizes the transition from candidate to graduate.

It’s important to follow the instructions provided by your school or university, as they may have specific guidelines on tassel placement. If you’re unsure, reach out to your graduation coordinator or check the school’s official website for more information.

Q: Do all schools follow the same tassel placement tradition?

A: While many schools follow the tradition of wearing the tassel on the right side before graduation and then moving it to the left side during the ceremony, it’s important to note that not all schools adhere to this convention. Some schools may have their own unique traditions or preferences when it comes to tassel placement.

If you’re unsure about your school’s specific tassel placement tradition, reach out to your graduation coordinator or consult the student handbook. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding your school’s graduation customs.

Q: Is there a right or left side for the tassel before graduation?

A: Before graduation, the conventional placement for the tassel is on the right side of the graduation cap. This tradition is generally followed by most educational institutions. The right-side placement signifies that you are a candidate for graduation and have not yet officially graduated.

Remember to consult your school’s guidelines, as they may have specific instructions on tassel placement. It’s always best to adhere to the traditions and guidelines of your particular school or university.

Q: Can I wear my tassel on either side after graduation?

A: After graduation, you have the freedom to wear your tassel on either side. There is no strict rule requiring the tassel to be on a specific side once you’ve officially graduated. You can choose to wear your tassel on the left side, which is the tradition for graduates, or on the right side if you prefer to display your alma mater or graduation year.

It’s important to note that some schools may have their own preferences or guidelines even after graduation, so it’s always best to consult your school’s rules or traditions.

Q: Are there any special rules or customs for transferring the tassel?

A: The act of transferring the tassel from the right side to the left side during a graduation ceremony is a symbolic moment. It represents the transition from being a candidate to becoming a graduate. As such, it’s important to follow the instructions provided by your school or ceremony organizers.

During the ceremony, you will typically be instructed to move your tassel from the right side to the left at a designated moment. This can be after receiving your diploma, when the commencement speaker gives the signal, or at another specified time. It’s important to pay attention and follow the cues given to ensure you participate in this symbolic tradition correctly.

What side does the tassel go on?


Phew! We’ve learned a lot about which side tassel goes before graduation. Here’s a quick recap to help you remember everything:

First, we discovered that the side of the tassel can depend on where you are graduating from. Some schools say left, some say right. So it’s really important to double-check with your school!

Next, we found out that the tassel starts on one side and then moves to the other. At the beginning of the ceremony, it usually hangs on the right. Then, when you officially become a graduate, you switch it to the left.

Remember, the side of the tassel represents different things. It can symbolize that you’ve completed something or that you’re ready to take on the next chapter in your life. So, it’s not just a piece of fabric—it carries meaning!

Just like every graduation is unique, the tassel tradition can also vary. So don’t worry if things seem different at your graduation. What matters most is celebrating your achievement and being proud of yourself.

So, as you get ready for your big day, talk to your school, follow their instructions, and don’t forget to switch your tassel when the time comes. Congratulations, future graduate, and have an amazing graduation day!

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