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Day of Commencement

Commencement photoThe 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

Please Note: Both ceremonies 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”.

Spring 2024 commencement

Sunday, May 5, 2024, at 4:30 p.m.   

  • Master’s Degree Commencement: Bryce Jordan Center
  • Doctoral Degree Commencement: Pegula Ice Arena

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 at least two weeks prior to commencement to allow sufficient time to effectively meet your access needs.

Doctoral candidates:

  1. Doctoral candidates should report to entrance C of Pegula Ice Arena by 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, 2024.
  2. Report to the registration counter, where you will be given a card with your name, degree, and major. Please fill out the information on the back if you would like to be contacted for ceremony photos by Grad Images.
  3. Once you have received your card, staff will be directing you to your designated college areas where you will meet your adviser. These areas will be marked with banners hanging on the wall. Candidates in intercollege degree programs will meet at the college of the faculty adviser. 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. During the ceremony, advisers will be instructed to hood the candidates.
  6. The Marshals will then direct and lead the candidates to the platform area. Escorts will be accompanying the candidate across the stage platform. Please be sure to take you card along with you as you approach the stage platform.

Master's Candidates

  1. Master's candidates should arrive at gate B of the Bryce Jordan Center (BJC) by 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, 2024. Remember to wear your academic regalia, including hood.
  2. Enter the event floor via Portal 15.
  3. Pick up your name card at the registration tables. Fill out the back of the card with your contact information if you would like to be notified when commencement photos are available from Grad Images
  4. You will find your seat in the main arena. Look for your program’s college or academic home, and you may sit anywhere in those rows. Your seating area is also listed on the back of your commencement card, and if you have questions, staff will be on hand to assist you. 

Bryce Jordan Center Parking — Master’s Ceremony  

See parking map 

To manage the significant congestion expected around the Bryce Jordan Center, Pegula Ice Arena, Medlar Field, Beaver Stadium, and University Drive during spring commencement weekend, drivers will be directed to the appropriate lot by University Police and event parking staff based on the traffic and parking conditions at the time of their arrival. Please use caution while traveling through this area of campus and allow extra time to reach your destination. 

General parking for Penn State spring commencement ceremonies being held at the Bryce Jordan Center will be available at one or more of the following parking areas, as directed by University Police and event parking staff: 

  • Jordan East – located east of the Bryce Jordan Center, and accessible from Porter Road (via Park Avenue or College Avenue) and Dauer Drive (via University Drive) 
  • Stadium West – located west of Beaver Stadium, and accessible only from Park Avenue 
  • Porter North – located north of Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, and accessible from Porter Road (via Park Avenue or College Avenue) 

ADA parking will be available at the following Jordan East and Stadium West areas: 

  • Northwest corner of Jordan East near Bryce Jordan Center Gate B, across from the Penn State All-Sports Museum (accessible from Porter Road)
  • Section of Lot Orange L located between the Bryce Jordan Center and Jordan East (accessible from Dauer Drive via University Drive) 
  • Southwest corner of Stadium West near University Drive/Curtin Road intersection (accessible only from Park Avenue) 

To ensure the safety of all guests and to assist with traffic flow between each ceremony, drivers are discouraged from dropping off or picking up guests outside of the designated ADA parking areas. These areas are ADA accessible and located just a short distance from entrances to the Bryce Jordan Center. Curtin Road will also be closed to vehicle traffic between University Drive and the entrance to Jordan East throughout most of the commencement ceremonies to allow safe pedestrian access between Stadium West and the Bryce Jordan Center. 

Pegula Ice Arena Parking — Doctoral Commencement Ceremony 

See parking map 

General parking for those attending commencement ceremonies at Pegula Ice Arena are directed to park at following areas: 

  • East Parking Deck, Jordan East, Stadium West 
  • ADA Parking at Yellow H Shields Yellow H 

Note: With commencement ceremonies also being held at the Bryce Jordan Center, those attending Pegula ceremonies are urged to park at East Deck. 

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.

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


This page was generated on April 21, 2024 at 3:42 AM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.