Breaking Down the Cap and Gown

Atlanta, GA

Academic regalia, also known as the “cap and gown,” varies according to the degree conferred and the level of scholarship attained. The bachelor’s gown is a simple robe that covers the entire body. The master’s gown has longer, closed sleeves. The doctoral robe usually is the most elaborate; it is made of velvet, has three stripes on the arms, and includes a hood.

For faculty and doctoral robes, the robe itself is usually specific to the university, while the hood trim indicates the academic discipline. In addition, the faculty member wears the robe indicative of his or her highest degree. If the highest degree is an honorary degree, the faculty member has a choice of wearing the robe of the school that conferred the honorary degree, or the one that conferred the highest earned degree. Bachelor’s and master’s candidates wear a square mortarboard. Doctoral students and faculty usually wear a tam.

In this feature we look at the details of Tech’s bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral regalia. We also highlight some of the faculty regalia — explaining why they wear what they wear.

Let’s commence!

Last revised December 11, 2019