The wearing of gowns by teachers and scholars is an ancient custom. The history of academic dress reaches far back into the early days of the oldest universities. Caps, gowns, and hoods indicate the highest degree the wearer has earned.
The black Oxord or mortarboard style cap is worn for all degrees, but only the doctor’s cap may be made of velvet.
The hood is the most important and distinctive feature of the academic dress. The hoods for all the degrees are lined with silk in the official academic color or colors of the institution conferring the degree.
The binding or trim of all the hoods is of velvet or velveteen. The color of the velvet trim indicates the department or faculty to which the degree pertains. Each department having been assigned a different color; for instance, white is for arts, blue for philosophy, and so on.
This system is established by the Intercollegiate Commission, when understood enables anyone attending an academic function in this country to distinguish at a glance the bachelors, masters and doctors, and at the same time recognize the University which has given the degree. View the disipline colors at American Council on Education.
Bakersfield College graduate wear the associate stoles, caps and gowns. Honor graduates are distinguished by the gold tassel on the cap and the gold cord around the neck.