What Do the Different Colors of Doctoral Gowns Mean?


The colors for your college graduation are not all the same. In some schools like Penn state caps & gowns have different color schemes for specific majors. For example, some students wear Oxford blue, others black velvet. Here are some guidelines to make your graduation gown choice easier. You might also be wondering what color your Doctoral regalia will be. Below are some colors that represent various academic disciplines.

Oxford blue

The whole outfit worn at Oxford University is called the sub-fusc. It is often spelled as “sub-fusc” on the university’s website. The sub-fusc outfit includes a black gown (commoner’s gown, short), a white shirt or blouse, and black trousers. Some students will also wear a black bow tie. It is possible to hire a sub-fusc outfit if you do not have enough money to purchase a formal gown.

The Oxford blue graduation gown is a traditional color that originated in Oxford University, England. Though it has become commonplace worldwide, the tradition of wearing this blue hood has a rich history and continues to be used by many universities today. The Oxford blue color symbolizes humanity so that it will appear on a student pursuing liberal art, fine arts, or literature degree. Although it is traditionally the color of hoods, more schools choose to use degree-specific colors.

Black velvet

A doctoral premium black velvet graduation gown for evening graduation is a popular choice. This gown is accented in gold and has a tassel. The lapels and sleeve bars are velvet. Graduates wear hoods, which represent the academic discipline they are completing. They can also be worn at home. This type of dress can be worn once and is still very affordable. In addition to being beautiful, doctorate hoods are durable and an excellent option for outfitting a large graduating class.

Doctoral-level graduation gowns are made with hoods and faced with black velvet. The hoods are trimmed with the same color as the degree the graduate is working towards. The hood must match the degree the wearer is pursuing, as it must match the doctorate gown. In the U.S., professors typically wear doctoral-level gowns. Some colleges and universities opt to dispense with hoods since they are unnecessary.

Doctoral regalia

Most doctoral degrees are conferred in black, but some schools use a unique color scheme. While most universities use black alone, some customize it to match the specific subject area. Doctoral gowns are also worn by governing body members and the Board of trustees. Although they do not signify a graduate’s degree, trustee regalia symbolizes their role. Typically, trustee gowns are decorated with four chevrons.

Depending on the degree, different doctoral gowns may also have hoods. Hoods are different, ornamental folds. The colors of the hood and the lining vary from degree to degree. Traditionally, students earning master’s or bachelor’s degrees do not wear hoods, but they can purchase them if they so choose. The hood itself also contains the colors of the school that conferred the degree.

Academic discipline color

Graduates of various disciplines wear different colors for their graduation gowns, depending on the type of degree. Doctoral candidates often wear blue, which represents wisdom and truth. This color represents scholarship and scholarship, and most academics wear this color. While blue is the traditional color for doctoral degrees, it is becoming more common for graduates of other disciplines to choose the same color for their graduation gowns.

Graduates in history, for example, typically wear a gold-yellow graduation gown. In some cases, history graduates wear a yellow gown to represent their studies, while others choose white. While this seems counter-intuitive, academic institutions typically assign a color to each graduate’s degree, so a Bachelor of Science in history can wear a gold gown to distinguish themselves from their peers. However, the colors vary from school to school, and some institutions do not assign a specific color to graduate degrees in history.

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