Academic Ceremony Symbols & Traditions

Registrar

Academic Colors

Since the Middle Ages, color has been a key element in academia. In addition to the beauty that colorful regalia add to academic ceremonies, the colors carry great meaning. In academia today, colors are used to designate areas of study. At Southern Methodist University, we refer to these colors as "discipline colors," but the term may vary depending on the institution.

Discipline colors, which are regulated by the Academic Costume Code of the American Council on Education, are displayed on the tassels of mortar boards, hoods, school gonfalons, and occasionally on the chevrons of Doctoral gowns. By a quick glance of the color of a graduate's tassel, you can tell which type of degree he or she has earned.

A detailed list of approved discipline colors is located on the far right hand column of the Inventory of Approved Academic Programs, maintained by the Office of the University Registrar. The colors used at each of the college's at Southern Methodist University are found below

Cox School of Business

All Degrees – Drab

Dedman College

Ph.D. – Dark Blue
Arts – White
Sciences – Science Gold

Dedman School of Law

All Degrees – Purple

Lyle School of Engineering

Ph.D. – Dark Blue
D.E., Sciences – Orange

Meadows School of the Arts

Fine Arts – Brown
Music – Pink
Arts – White

Perkins School of Theology

All Degrees – Scarlet

Simmons School of Education & Human Development

Ph.D. – Dark Blue
Dispute Resolution – Drab
Counseling – Science Gold
Education – Light Blue
Liberal Studies - White
Applied Physiology and Sports Management - Science Gold

The Guildhall at SMU

Art Creation – Orange
Level Design – Orange
Software Development – Orange

Future Ceremony Dates

2014-2015 Events


Opening Convocation
Sunday, August 24, 2014
5:30 p.m.

December Commencement 
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Moody Coliseum
10:00 a.m.

Honors Convocation
Monday, April 13, 2015
McFarlin Auditorium
5:30 p.m.

Baccalaureate Service
Friday, May 15, 2015
McFarlin Auditorium
8:00 p.m.

May Commencement 
Saturday, May 16, 2015
Moody Coliseum