A Guide to the Graduation Wardrobe


Photo courtesy of CSU Creative Services.

Erin Douglas

Ever wonder what different parts and colors of the graduation wardrobe represent? Well, we have your answers:

Bachelor’s Degrees

Designed to be worn closed
Black:Traditional bachelor’s degree gown
Green:University Honors Program Scholar
Gold: Latin Honors gown for graduates with distinction

Black: Honors Scholar

Gold: Honor cord

Master’s Degrees

Oblong sleeve: Rear part of oblong shape is square cut, and the front has an arc cut away.

Supplied with fasteners to be worn open or closed

Doctor’s Degrees

Bell-shaped sleeves

Supplied with fasteners to be worn open or closed.


  • Agriculture – Maize
  • Arts, Letters, Humanities – White
  • Commerce, Accountancy, Business – Drab
  • Dentistry – Lilac
  • Economics – Copper
  • Education – Light Blue
  • Engineering – Orange
  • Fine Arts, including Architecture – Brown
  • Forestry – Russet
  • Journalism – Crimson
  • Law – Purple
  • Library Science – Lemon
  • Medicine – Green
  • Music – Pink
  • Nursing – Apricot
  • Oratory (Speech) – Silver Gray
  • Pharmacy – Olive Green
  • Philosophy – Dark Blue
  • Physical Education – Sage Green
  • Public Administration, including Foreign Service – Peacock Blue
  • Public Health – Salmon Pink
  • Science – Golden Yellow
  • Social Work – Citron
  • Theology – Scarlet
  • Veterinary Science – Gray

For more information on the history of academic regalia, visit CSU’s commencement website.

This article was created for the 2014 Fall Graduation Guide produced by College Avenue Magazine staff.