Skip to Content

What is the Standard Size of a Graduation Cap? (Answered 2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

What is the size of a graduation capRight-o, here’s a peppy 150-word introduction using an anachronism, active voice, and an engaging style for an audience keen on freedom and power:

Groovy grads, guess the size of your mortarboard matters more than you reckoned! While picking out your cap and gown, make sure your noggin’s nestled nicely in that square academic lid.

Though we don’t know the true origins of this iconic headgear, you can bet your bellbottoms its stiff square design and dangling tassel will stay put as you trip the light fantastic across the stage.

From wee ones to ginormous, these lids’ll fit any bean. Deck out your mortarboard with blingy bells, bedazzled letters, or glittery decor to make it your own righteous headpiece.

Come graduation day, plop it atop your peaked dome, grip your diploma, and split the scene in style as you take one giant leap into your outta sight future!

Key Takeaways

  • Square shape, 8.5-12 inches
  • Measure head size above ears for proper cap fit
  • Fold back the pointed end to tighten a loose cap
  • Keep it as a memento and emblem of the academic journey

Mortarboard Size

Mortarboard Size
Ya’ll’d tighten the elastic ’round your head just above your ears until the square board feels snug but not too tight, keeping it parallel to the floor.

With most mortarboards, size matters for the perfect graduation day fit. Removable tassels attached by looping over the middle button let ya’ll show your school spirit, while the pointed end faces back.

Elastic skull caps in small, medium, large, and extra large ensure a customized fit.

For comfort and style, pick the elastic graduation cap size that’s snug but not too tight – crowning achievements with personalized flair.

Cap Size

Cap Size
You’d keep it snug but not too tight for that perfect graduation day fit.

Loop the elastic headband just above your ears, ensuring a snug yet comfortable customized fit.

The classic mortarboard cap sits parallel to the floor, with the pointed end facing back.

Show your school colors by moving the tassel from the right to the left after graduating.

The dangling tassel attaches by looping over the middle button.

For the special graduation milestone, personalized flair options like stickers make your mortarboard unique.

Keeping your cap at a jaunty angle brings out your playful nature.

Stick to the traditional square shape for gravitas befitting the esteemed rite of passage.

Embrace this crowning moment and let your cap reflect your aspirations.

Tassel Length and Color

Tassel Length and Color
Look alive, the tassel on your mortarboard tells your degree field through color and displays your new graduate status when moved left.

The long tassel adorning your cap is thick with meaning. The colors distinguish your area of study, with golden yellow for the sciences and royal purple for law degrees.

Traditionally eight inches in length, this head portion drops from the middle button, prime for swishing as you walk at commencement.

Moving the tassel from right to left after your name is called symbolizes your momentous transition to graduate.

Shift your tassel with pride in your hard-earned degree.

Other Uses for a Graduation Cap

Other Uses for a Graduation Cap
Stick it to the man and decorate your square cap however you want before walking across that stage, pal. That stiff mortarboard is prime real estate for expressing yourself. Deck out the flat top with inside jokes, mottos, or art that screams This is me! Before decorating, make sure your school allows it.

Most let you adorn that sucker with abandon since graduation day is your time to shine. Pick glossy stickers or glitter paint pens to make your hat pop. Go wild with color or get crafty and mod podge on photos of your college crew.

Just don’t cover up your hard-earned tassel, the crowning visual proof of your new degree. Let those gold and purple threads sway freely as you strut your stuff and move that tassel from right to left.

Sizing Your Gown and Graduation Cap

Sizing Your Gown and Graduation Cap
Feel that stiff mortarboard hug your head as you prepare to move that tassel and walk across the stage, friend. Make sure your graduation cap’s headband fits just right or your square hat will slip during the ceremony.

Ask your local supplier about custom-made gown and cap options in case the different sizing standards don’t match your build. Get your dome measured for mortarboard sizing too – nothing worse than an oversized square hat drooping down.

Most shops offer standard or custom headband sizes to ensure your hat stays put. If opting for a pre-made skull cap, go smaller not larger. Snug beats too big when it comes to that cap moving atop your noggin as you strut in glory across the stage into your bright future, tassel swaying.

How to Wear a Graduation Cap

How to Wear a Graduation Cap
Measure your head above the ears so the mortarboard’s headband hugs just right, friend.

Most graduation caps come in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes. When selecting your mortarboard, keep these sizing tips in mind:

  • Measure above ears for an accurate fit.
  • Size down if between standard sizes.
  • Snug but not too tight is best.
  • Fold back the pointed end to tighten.

Getting the right fit will keep your square graduation cap securely in place as you cross that stage. Avoid a drooping mortarboard ruining your moment by double-checking head size. Trust the tape measure when picking your cap over guessing – precision ensures your moment shines bright.

The Cardstock Topper

The Cardstock Topper
The square-topped cardstock topper hugging your crown commemorates your hard work. After sleepless nights and endless exams, you’ve earned those four corners. The mortarboard and gown form your school’s formal uniform, with the tapered board reserved for doctoral degrees.

This graduated wear dates back centuries, signifying scholars set apart. Yet for you, the physical therapy doctoral medallion draped around your neck carries deeper meaning. Through this program, you poured out your passion for the medical field. Though the decorated cap mirrors hundreds of peers, your reflected journey shines unique.

As you bask in this moment, savor how each step brought you here. This milestone marks not an end but a glorious beginning.

The Decorations

The Decorations
You’ll personalize your cap’s colors with tassel and decals, making this graduation day uniquely yours. The tassel’s hue indicates your field of study, while the mortarboard hosts your creativity.

Decorate the top with motivational quotes, your graduation year, school mascot, inspirational ribbons, and rosettes. You can bedazzle the sides with glitter, fabric, photos of your college memories, and vision of the future.

Add pops of color to the graduation gear you’ll proudly display during the ceremony.

Though caps appear identical from a distance, a closer glimpse reveals the creative spirit within each student.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What materials are graduation caps made from?

Most graduation caps are made from rigid materials like cardstock, plastic, or fiberboard. This stiff construction allows the iconic square mortarboard shape to maintain its form. Soft materials such as fabric or velvet are occasionally utilized for the inner cap or headband to provide comfort against your head.

Can I keep my graduation cap after the ceremony?

Yes, you can and should cherish your graduation cap as a memento of your important accomplishment. Display it proudly to recall your years of hard work and growth into the capable, educated person you are today.

The square board and dangling tassel will forever represent the day your dreams became a reality.

How much do graduation caps cost?

You can expect to pay between $15 and $25 for a standard graduation cap and gown set. The price will vary based on the material and added decorations. Shop around for the best deals, but don’t skimp on quality for an important milestone event.

Can I decorate my graduation cap before the ceremony?

Absolutely! Many graduates choose to personalize their cap with stickers, artwork, or decorated lettering to reflect their style, interests, and personality. Just make sure to check any decoration guidelines from your school before getting creative, and be mindful not to obstruct other graduates’ views.

Do I get to keep my graduation cap after receiving my diploma?

Yes, the mortarboard is yours to keep after crossing the stage and receiving your diploma. This medieval hat symbolizes your hard-won mastery of knowledge; its square frame represents the books that enlightened you.


You’ve learned that the standard mortarboard size is 8.5-12 inches square to convey prestige. Remember to choose the right skull cap size, tassel length, and color for your degree. Balance and straighten your mortarboard at the proper angle. Decorating your cap and gown makes commencement special, so personalize with flair.

Enjoy your moment in that mortarboard, with the tassel moved to the left, as you walk at graduation.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.