Significance of the Graduate Hood
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GRADUATE HOOD
The origins of academic dress date back to the 12th and 13th centuries, when universities were taking form. The ordinary dress of the scholar, whether student or teacher, was the dress of a cleric. With few exceptions, the medieval scholar had taken at least minor orders, made certain vows and perhaps been tonsured. Long gowns were worn and may have been necessary for warmth in unheated buildings. Hoods seem to have served to cover the tonsured head until superseded for that purpose by the skull cap.
Today, hoods are the most expressive component of the academic costume. They serve to communicate the owner's school, degree and field of study through their length and the colors of the lining and binding. Today's hoods have evolved from a serviceable article of clothing to a type of elongated scarf draped over the shoulders and displayed down the back with the lining turned inside out.
UAA master's degree graduates and candidates receive their hood because of the level of education they have pursued beyond the baccalaureate degree. The University of Alaska Anchorage's colors are gold and green, hence these colors on the hood. The velvet trim on the hood signifies the scholar's field. For example, a Master of Education recipient will have his gold and green hood trimmed in light blue.