The colors and fabrics of a graduate’s gown vary depending on the degree awarded. A Bachelor of Science degree, for example, will have a velvet trim in light or golden yellow. Similarly, a Master of Science in Science and Technology degree will have a velvet trim in peacock blue or light orange. The colors for doctorates vary wildly, but the same principle applies. But, the hood has been around for centuries, and there are many different kinds. So, let’s explore some of the different types. And find out how they have come to represent the highest levels of degrees.
European influence on academic regalia in the United States
In a traditional sense, academic hoods symbolize an advanced degree, such as a master’s or doctoral degree. While the United States has always had its interpretation of the academic dress tradition, it owes much to the traditions of the European universities. The first American university, Penn, developed internal standards for its regalia in 1887. Regardless of the origins, wearing regalia has been a symbol of academic success and dedication.
The Penn state caps & gowns of professors and university officers are typically formal, with a long gown, a white tie, and a velvet mortarboard. Some professors wear a scarlet cappa clausa, while others wear plain cotton. The colors of the academic field are also distinct, with daffodils worn by professors of literature and amaranth worn by scientists. Other colors are scarlet red and violet for law and theology, which university rectors wear.
The academic hood is a traditional garment worn during graduation ceremonies. It is meant to hang low on the back and envelop the wearer. It is sometimes trimmed with a colored lining. Academic hoods are traditionally attached to the gown and can be worn over the head for warmth. The hoods differ in length and feature cape-like facing across the back. The colors of the lining and facing represent the university or academic discipline that awards the degree. A doctorate may also wear a doctoral hood.
The color of the academic hood can identify the difference between a bachelor’s and doctoral gown. Typically, the hood is a solid color, but some schools use chevrons and bars to create a more exciting look. The hood also indicates the degree earned. The color of doctorate hoods and gowns may differ from the Code standards. Bachelor’s and associate’s gowns are typically black or gray, while doctorate-level gowns are often scarlet or peacock blue. Several American colleges have adopted colored academic gowns as early as the late nineteenth century. While the Code sanctions only black as the color for academic wear, some colleges have begun to incorporate colors. Stony Brook University, for instance, has a scarlet-colored undergraduate gown, while Stanford has a bottle-green doctoral gown.
Generally, hoods are made of fabric approved by the American Council on Education (ACE). Usually, souvenir quality hoods are made with the same fabric as the shell, with velveteen colored trim instead of velvet. Academics often wear it at university ceremonies, professionals at conferences, and teachers during school assemblies. Because academic hoods are so specific to the university, they also symbolize where you studied.
The chimere is the robe worn by clergy members, bishops and clerics. Its origins can be traced back to post-Reformation England, where the Hampton Court Conference authorized it. It is usually made of corded ottoman silk, and the best examples are black or scarlet. The chimere may be worn over the rochet of the liturgical dress.
The tradition of academic regalia has roots in colonial colleges. The Intercollegiate Code sets a uniform scheme for academic regalia, but not all institutions follow it. In the United States, the tradition dates back to the colonial period but has been influenced by different styles.
The robe undergraduates wear black with a white or gold tassel and mortarboard. On the other hand, doctorate holders wear a four-foot hood with a five-inch hood opening. Both types of hoods are formal and prestigious. In addition, the hoods are trimmed with a hood color that corresponds to the school’s academic degree program.
The two types of academic gowns differ in style and material. A bachelor’s gown has long, pointed sleeves and is closed at the front. A master’s degree gown has oblong sleeves and a square cut down the rear of the robe. Doctoral gowns have bell-shaped sleeves. In addition, the doctoral gown is usually trimmed with three vertical bars of black velvet.