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Commencement - Faculty

Commencement photoThe Graduate School staff takes great pride in the accomplishments of those earning their graduate degrees this year, as we are certain you do as well. If you have any questions regarding the Graduate School commencement ceremony, please email directly.

Fall 2023 Commencement

Saturday, December 16 at 4:30 p.m.; Bryce Jordan Center

New Commencement Ceremony Schedule Starting in Spring 2024

Beginning in Spring 2024, the Graduate School will host two concurrent spring commencement ceremonies annually, one ceremony for master's degree graduates and one ceremony for doctoral degree graduates. University leadership has made this change to accommodate and celebrate the growing number of spring semester master's and doctoral degree graduates, taking into account factors such as venue capacity and ceremony duration.

No changes are being made to summer and fall Graduate School commencement ceremonies.

The Graduate School Commencement ceremonies will follow this schedule beginning in spring 2024:

Number of Ceremonies
Two concurrent ceremonies:
  • Master’s Degree Commencement
  • Doctoral Degree Commencement
Master’s Degree Commencement:
  • Bryce Jordan Center
Doctoral Degree Commencement:
  • Pegula Ice Arena
One ceremony for master’s and doctoral graduates:
  • The Graduate School Commencement
Bryce Jordan Center
One ceremony for master’s and doctoral graduates:
  • The Graduate School Commencement
Bryce Jordan Center

More Information

Faculty planning to attend the ceremony do not need to register in advance. 

Ideally, each graduate program should have a faculty member in attendance. These representatives, known as Faculty-At-Large or Robed Faculty, wear the traditional academic regalia and march in the processional and recessional. They must be faculty members who are not escorting doctoral candidates. Thank you for helping to make this commencement a memorable experience for everyone involved.

Arrival Time: Faculty-At-Large will gather in the Bryce Jordan Center greenroom at 4:00 p.m. for instructions and preparation. The ceremony will begin promptly at 4:30 p.m.

A doctoral candidate must be escorted by a member of the graduate faculty.

If you advise a doctoral candidate who is scheduled to receive their degree, you should ask the candidate if they will be attending the ceremony. If attending, you will need academic regalia representative of your highest earned degree. If you are unable to attend, please make arrangements for another member of the committee to take your place.

The deadline for ordering regalia for fall 2023 commencement is October, 31. You can order your regalia from the Penn State bookstore here. If you have questions, please contact Susan Glad from the Penn State Bookstore at

Please note: The regalia is due back within two weeks of commencement. Please make sure all packages have a name on them so they can be checked in once they are returned.

Bryce Jordan Center Commencement Parking Interactive Map

General parking will be available in Stadium West and Jordan East. Guests should enter Gates A, B, or C. Degree candidates should enter Gate B, Portal 15. There is no fee for parking.

Parking for guests with disabilities is available. Parking attendants will be on duty to guide guests to the appropriate areas. The driver may drop the passenger off at the Founders Lounge entrance and then park the vehicle. A valid, state-issued ADA placard or license plate is required for ADA parking, and there is no fee for parking.

  1. Advisers (faculty escorts) and doctoral candidates should report to the Auxiliary Gym of the Bryce Jordan Center by 3:30 p.m. on December 16.
  2. Candidates will be given a card on which is printed their name, degree, and major.
  3. Doctoral candidates and escorts should then report to the area designated for the student’s college (interdisciplinary candidates will be seated in the college of the advisor). Candidates and escorts will be paired up for the processional and will be seated together.
  4. University Marshals will direct the processional. Seating will be by college. Please listen to the instructions and assist the Marshals in any way you can.
  5. At the conclusion of the conferring of master’s degrees, all doctoral candidates and their escorts will rise. Escorts will be instructed to hood the candidates. The Marshals will then direct exit from the rows and lead the candidates to the platform area. Escorts will not be accompanying the candidate across the stage platform. Please remind the candidate to take the card along with them.
  6. As the candidate approaches the platform area, they will hand the card to a Marshal.
  7.  The candidate will then proceed across the stage platform, exit, and return to their seats.
  8. After all are seated, the doctoral candidates will be asked to rise and face the audience to receive applause. There will then be some brief remarks, the singing of the Alma Mater, and the Marshals will direct the degree recipients, escorts, and platform party in the recessional.

Below are emails sent to students related to fall 2023 commencement:

This page was generated on December 5, 2023 at 11:20 AM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.