Day of Commencement
The Graduate School is excited to celebrate your achievements and graduation at commencement! Read below for more information you'll need to know on the day of commencement. For questions, email email@example.com.
Please Note: The ceremony will begin promptly at 4:30 p.m. It is the expectation that all students will remain on the floor until the conclusion of the ceremony out of respect for the importance and dignity of this occasion. Early departures are disruptive to other graduates and their families. Remaining to share equally in every graduate’s moment says much about who we are as a community of Penn Staters and is a true demonstration of “WE ARE…PENN STATE”.
Fall 2023 commencement
Saturday, December 16 at 4:30 p.m.; Bryce Jordan Center
Learn more about day of commencement below
Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Information about commencement is available in alternative media on request. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks prior to commencement to allow sufficient time to effectively meet your access needs.
Master's Candidates: Check in at the Bryce Jordan Center one hour prior to the ceremony start time. Enter Gate B; then enter the event floor via Portal 15. Please wear your academic regalia, including hood. After you check-in and pick up your name card, master’s candidates will join other graduates by college in the main arena.
Doctoral Candidates: Report to the Auxiliary Gym of the Bryce Jordan Center one hour prior to the ceremony start time. Enter Portal 15 and, once on the event floor, ushers will direct you to the Auxiliary Gym where you will pick up your name card. Please wear your academic regalia (the hood will be carried over the left arm, and hooding will take place during the ceremony). Faculty advisers for doctoral candidates should meet their advisees in the Auxiliary Gym. Personal belongings should not be brought to the Auxiliary Gym (security will not be provided during the ceremony). Doctoral candidates and their faculty escorts will be paired for the processional and will be seated together. Doctoral candidates who do not have a faculty escort should inform the University Marshal at check-in.
Follow the below steps once you arrive at commencement:
- Pick up your commencement card. If you aren’t able to pick up your card in advance, we will have it waiting for you at the Commencement ceremony.
- Fill out your commencement card. On the back of the card, write your contact information if you would like to be notified when Commencement photos are available.
- Find your seat. Graduates will be seated with the college or campus that is the curricular home for their program. Your seating area will be listed on your commencement card.
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.
Photographers from GradImages will be at the commencement ceremony to take photographs of students as they individually approach, cross, and exit the stage. If you are interested in being contacted by GradImages with an offer for a free 5 x 7 print and an opportunity to purchase additional photos, please provide your U.S. mailing and email addresses on the reverse side of the name card. GradImages will be in touch with you soon after graduation.
The ceremony may also be viewed on the Commencement Live Stream.
Guests are welcome to bring any hand-held photo and video device that can be used from their seats. Only graduates are permitted on the event floor. Commencement ceremonies are live streamed and available following commencement on Penn State’s YouTube Channel and the Commencement Live Stream Archive. Breaking news regarding commencement ceremonies may also be available from Penn State Live, our official news source.
- Stand for the procession of the doctoral candidates, faculty escorts and the platform party. Remain standing for the National Anthem. At the end of the program, rise and remain standing for the singing of the Alma Mater.
- Following the authorization for conferral of degrees, the Interim Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School will be recognized.
- Degree conferral - Master's Candidates. University Marshals will direct the movement to the stage. Candidates give the card with their name and program on it to the staff as the graduate approaches the platform stage. Each candidate will be announced by name and program as they move across the stage platform. The process moves quickly, allowing no time for conversation. University Marshals will direct graduates back to their seats.
- Degree conferral - Doctoral Candidates. At the conclusion of the conferring of master's degrees, candidates for the doctoral degree will stand for the conferral of their degrees. The faculty advisers will then be asked to stand to hood the graduate. After the hooding, faculty escorts will be seated while the University Marshals direct the doctoral candidate to the stage platform. Candidates give the card with their name and program on it to the staff as the graduate approaches the stage. Each candidate will be announced by name and program as they move across the stage platform. The process moves quickly, allowing no time for conversation. University Marshals will direct graduates back to their seats.
- The recessional will include all those who participated in the processional and will be directed by the University Marshals.
Diplomas will be mailed by the Office of the University Registrar to the graduate’s home address or LionPATH diploma mailing address approximately four weeks after graduation. For more information, visit registrar.psu.edu.