Commencement Traditions

SGA president at the podium.

110th Commencement

Friday, May 10, 2024
7:00 PM

Bakersfield College Graduate Regalia

Bakersfield College graduates wear traditional black graduation gowns with traditional black graduation caps, also known as mortarboards. Those earning the associate degree wear the associate stoles, while those earning the bachelor degree wear the bachelor stole. Some students may wear additional sashes depending on what affinity or community groups they participated while at the college. Honor graduates are distinguished by the gold tassel on the cap and the gold cord around the neck.

Administrators, Faculty, and Staff will also be in their graduation regalia and will vary from the colleges they graduated and whether they have earned a Master's or Doctoral degree.

History of Academic Regalia

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 gown for the doctor's Degree has bell-shaped sleeves, and is faced down the front with black velvet with three bars of the same across the sleeves.
  • The gown for the master's Degree has an oblong sleeve open at the wrist like the others.
  • The gown for the bachelor's degree has pointed sleeves.


The black Oxford 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.

  • Doctor's hood, of black cloth matching the gown, is four-feet in length and made with a wide panel.
  • Master's are three-and-one half feet in length and made of black cloth.

Hood Trim Colors

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 discipline colors at American Council on Education.