Tassel Placement – things you should know before graduation

Arguably, the one thing we look forward to in any school is actually graduating from the same school. And no, it is not always for the negative cause. On the contrary, graduation also signifies the end of a phase and the beginning of another level in life. It is a symbol of moving forward in life and discovering new opportunities to excel and soar.

So yes, many of us look forward to graduating, not just formal education, but also anything we have committed to doing for a particular period. And sometimes we get to dress up and attend formal events to mark our graduation, receiving accolades amid families and friends; other times, we enjoy the victory behind closed doors or without the outward shenanigans.

But this article is not about the latter, but the former.  Formal graduation from an academic institution is the entire rave for the grandaunts. A lot of planning goes into the event. You’re your graduation gown and cap, to your graduation outfit, the foods to be served after the event, guests to invite, after party, and a whole lot.

However, people take little thought about how to appear in the graduation garb, especially on how to put tassel on a cap. If you do not know that there is a right and a wrong way, you are in the right place.

Here, we have rounded up the essential things you ought to know on everything about the right tassel graduation side.

3 things you need to know about tassel placement on graduation

  1. Graduation tassels are symbolic

Dating back to the 14th century, tassels were used to represent varying learning levels and differentiate people in the military or religious fields.

Today, It’s a widespread belief that graduation tassels are symbolic (as well as their placement, which we will get into in a bit) for success.  They are not just there as elements of decoration on the graduation cap or mortarboard, but they symbolize various things, from their color to the placement. For example, the color may represent the primary color of the institution, and the order signifies your level of academic graduation.

  • The rules differ for each type of graduation

Dating years back, those graduating have always placed their tassels on the front right side, moving it to the front left only after receiving their diploma or when their principal or the curator of the graduation ceremony asks them to shift it to the left side.  For high school and college undergrads, this is the usual practice.

However, for those receiving their doctorates or master’s degree, the tassels are placed on the front left side throughout the ceremony. The logic behind this is that high school and college undergrads are receiving a graduate degree. T

Thus the right-hand placement is symbolic for earning the right to be graduating, and after receiving the degree, the left side placement specifies crossing over to the next phase. On the flipside, doctorate candidates need not switch placement orders as they are already recipients of graduate degrees. They also receive a hood representing their academic discipline (equivalent to tassel at high school and bachelor degree levels).

  • Placement matters before the camera

What’s a graduation ceremony without loads of professional pictures and videos for keepsakes? So besides personal photographers and friends and family scrambling to get the perfect images and videos of you, institutions also invest in a camera crew to capture the moment.

The placement of the tassel may conflict with an otherwise terrific picture. Therefore, it is advisable to leave the tassel in its proper position but in a way that it isn’t obstructing the cameraman’s view from capturing your face – like the tassel being opposite from the camera.


You should look proper at your graduation. This entails not just wearing the appropriate graduation garb but also wearing it in the appropriate order. Knowing that there is more to your graduation tassel than a mere wire of threads is enough to motivate you to get the placement right. So share this to whoever you know may need it or might be graduating anytime soon, so they know too.