Commencement

faq

Commencement

faq

Where do I get my cap and gown?

All Penn State academic regalia is provided by Jostens and available through the Penn State Bookstore. If you need assistance, please contact the Penn State Bookstore at 814-863-0206.

How do I put on my cap and gown?

Instructions on how to wear academic regalia can be found on our Student page. If you would like more information, you can find a detailed description of the symbolism and proper use of academic regalia on the American Council on Education’s Academic Costume Code website.

Will there be a rehearsal?

There is no formal rehearsal for Penn State Commencement. However, if you or your guests would like more information on the ceremony, there are many resources available to you. Both our Student and Family pages describe procedures of the ceremony. You can also look through our streaming archive to view past commencements in your college.

When will I get my diploma?

It depends on your degree.

  • Undergraduate—Diplomas will be mailed, at no cost, approximately four to six weeks after the ceremony.
  • Master’s—Diplomas will be mailed, at no cost, approximately four to six weeks after the ceremony.
  • Doctoral—Diplomas for doctoral candidates will be presented to the candidates at the Spring, Summer, and Fall Commencement ceremonies.

If you have further questions regarding your diploma please contact the Office of the University Registrar by calling 814-865-6357.

Please Note: It is critical for the University to have the correct information for the diploma and an accurate diploma mailing address for each student. Visit the Registrar’s Graduation website for additional information on making corrections.

How should I store my diploma?

Special inks are used in the printing of your diploma, which deteriorate when exposed to cedar. To ensure that you can continue to display your Penn State diploma proudly, you should not store your diploma in a cedar chest or display.

How do I get a distinction cord?

Distinction is determined by your individual college, and each college has its own procedure for distributing distinction cords. Ask your academic advisor about the policy in your college.

Can I request attendance at the commencement ceremony of another campus?

The option to request attendance at the commencement ceremony of a campus other than the assigned commencement campus is available to undergraduate students. There are restrictions that apply—contact your campus registrar for further details. You will need to complete an Alternate Commencement Site form at any Penn State Registrar’s office at least four weeks prior to commencement. If the request is approved, information on commencement details will be provided to the graduating student by the new commencement campus.

How do I get tickets for commencement?

There are no tickets for any of the Penn State Commencement Ceremonies. Open seating is available for all guests. You are welcome to invite as many people as you would like.

Is accessible seating and parking available?

Yes! Accessible seating and parking is available for guests. Please see our Family page for a description of available accommodations.

Can I reserve accessible seating?

No, reserved seat tickets will not be needed, but guests with disabilities should arrive early to avoid the last-minute rush. Please see our Family page for more information on what we have available for accessible and companion seating.

How do I get to University Park?

You can get to State College and University Park by airplane, bus, and car. Please find driving directions from common points of departure (including New York City and points east; Philadelphia; Pitsburgh; Washington, DC and points south; and Chicago and points west) on our Family page.

Where can I find a place to stay?

Parents and families of graduating students who are looking for overnight accommodations for commencement at University Park may contact the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau for assistance. The Bureau monitors a large selection of member hotels, bed and breakfasts, and motels throughout Centre County for lodging availability. The Bureau does not take reservations, but you may obtain a list of available lodging (with phone numbers) by visiting www.visitpennstate.org or by calling 800-358-5466 or 814-231-1400. The Bureau also offers maps and directions.

How far in advance should I make travel and lodging arrangements?

The Central Pennsylvania Convention & Visitors Bureau recommends you make travel and lodging arrangements as soon as you know your graduate’s commencement date.

Is live streaming available?

Yes! In the event that you are unable to attend commencement at University Park but would like to join in celebrating your graduate’s achievement, the ceremony may also be viewed on our simulcast Commencement Live Stream, at https://www.commencement.psu.edu/live, or afterwards in our Commencement Video Archive.

What accessibility accommodations are available for the Commencement Live Stream and Video Archive?

All Commencement Live Streams will feature live captioning. Closed captioning will also be available for all archived videos. Please contact us if you have further questions about accessibility accommodations for remote viewing.

Will professional photos and video be available for purchase?

GradImages™ will take photos of each student as he or she crosses the stage. Live Streaming video from the ceremony will also continue to be available following the simulcast. Please see our Family page for more details.

How can I participate in commencement?

Thank you for choosing to celebrate the achievement of Penn State graduates! To participate in commencement, all you need to do is show up at least 20 minutes before the ceremony. Learn more about your role on our Faculty page.

Where can I rent Penn State regalia?

If you wish to rent regalia, contact the Penn State Bookstore (814-863-0206).