WE ARE…

students

WE ARE…

students

Congratulations!

You have achieved your academic goal—conferral of your degree. These instructions1 will answer many of the questions you might have concerning commencement and help to make the conferral of your degree a memorable and joyous experience for you, your family, and your friends. For future commencement ceremonies, please see the general schedule. For commencement ceremonies located at one of our other campuses, please see the instructions for your campus. For Spring Commencement, please see further instructions for your college.

Information for Baccalaureate and Associate Degree Candidates

Summer 2018

Time: Saturday, August 11, 2018 @ 10:30 AM

Location: The Bryce Jordan Center

Please Note: Doors open 90 minutes prior to the ceremony. Graduates are to arrive 30 minutes before the ceremony start time.

 

The Day of the Event

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 Commencement
Summer & Fall Commencement

Academic Dress

Academic dress or the uniform of one of the U.S. Armed Forces is required in order to participate in graduation exercises. Candidates for the baccalaureate and associate degrees should wear the tassel of the cap on the right front edge. Students may order and purchase their caps and gowns from the Penn State Bookstore. If you need assistance, please contact the Penn State Bookstore at 814-863-0206.

Due to the formality of this occasion and safety concerns regarding walking on the steps and stage, please wear appropriate footwear; flip flops, clogs and loose fitting shoes are not recommended. In addition, it is requested that men wear slacks and a dress shirt with tie. For women, slacks with a blouse or a dress is appropriate.

Please Note: Ornamentation representing honorary societies or nationalities is not approved attire for Penn State academic ceremonies. Thank you for your cooperation.

Academic Distinction Cords

All graduating seniors who have earned academic distinction are eligible to receive an academic distinction cord to wear with approved academic dress at commencement ceremonies. Students who are graduating Summa Cum Laude will receive a blue and white cord, students who are graduating Magna Cum Laude will receive a blue cord, and students who are graduating Cum Laude will receive a white cord. Students will receive notification on how to receive their academic distinction cords from their college or campus. Questions regarding academic distinction cords should be directed to the Office of Undergraduate Education within your college or campus. Distinction levels for cords and commencement programs are determined by the student’s cumulative GPA from the semester prior to declaring intent to graduate. If students earn a higher distinction level once final grades are received, then a new cord can be requested by contacting the Office of Undergraduate Education within your college or campus.​

Please Note: Diplomas and final official transcripts will reflect the distinction level based on the final overall cumulative grade point average.

Military Recognition

All graduating students who are military veterans, currently serving on active duty, in the reserve, or National Guard, or who will be granted a commission obtained through Penn State Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) are eligible to receive a red, white and blue cord to wear with approved academic dress at commencement ceremonies.

Those personnel who have already been granted priority registration status are automatically eligible for an honor cord and may visit or contact (814-863-0465) the Office of Veteran’s Programs at 325 Boucke Building during normal business hours to receive it.  ROTC personnel may pick up their honor cord from their ROTC representative/office.  Those personnel who have not been granted priority registration, please visit this website for instructions on required proof of service and where to submit the required documentation:  https://equity.psu.edu/veterans/priorreghonorcord.

Students receiving commissions in the armed forces will stand with their classmates when the academic degree is conferred, and also when receiving acknowledgment as a group.

Parking & Seating

Open seating will be available for guests. Tickets are not required, and there is no guest limit.

Spring Parking

Please find parking and seating information for your designated venue:

Or visit our Spring 2018 Commencement Interactive Map, with commencement venues and parking already added.

Summer & Fall Parking

General parking will be available in the Stadium West and Jordan East lots. There is no fee for parking. Admittance into the Jordan Center will be permitted 90 minutes prior to the ceremony. Guests are to enter Gates A, B, C or D. Inside the building, seating is accessible from the concourse level.

Please Note: Lots alternated based on traffic and ceremony. You will be directed to the appropriate lot upon your arrival.

Accessibility

Graduates with Disabilities

Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Information about commencement is available in alternative media on request.  

Parking for Guests with Disabilities

Parking for guests with disabilities is available. For an ADA access map of campus, visit https://transportation.psu.edu/sites/transportation/files/ada_access_map.pdf.

Bryce Jordan Center and Pegula Ice Arena: Parking attendants will be on duty to guide guests to the appropriate areas. No parking placards are needed to access the ADA-designated lots, and there is no fee for parking.

Eisenhower Auditorium: Parking placards will be required for accessible parking spaces in the Eisenhower Parking Deck.  

Seating for Guests with Disabilities

Reserved seat tickets will not be needed, but guests with disabilities should arrive early to avoid the last-minute rush.

Bryce Jordan Center: Guest Relations Representatives will be available to assist individuals to the appropriate seating located on the concourse level. The chairs in the accessible seating area are plastic, armless portable chairs that allow movement for wheelchairs and high-backed chairs.

Pegula Ice Arena: Ushers will be available to assist individuals to the appropriate seating located on the concourse level. The chairs in the accessible seating area are plastic, cushioned chairs with armrests (some with wheels some without) that allow movement for wheelchairs. 

Eisenhower Auditorium: Wheelchair seating is available in Eisenhower Auditorium, and a number of appropriately located seats have been reserved for patrons with disabilities. Please call 814-865-4727 to make accessible seating arrangements.

The ADA requires that companion seating be provided immediately adjacent to an accessible seat. However, due to space limitations, only one person may accompany the guest with a disability in the accessible seating area. Other family members may sit in the general seating located throughout the venue.

Other

If you have questions about the physical access provided for Spring Commencement, please contact your college commencement coordinator at the information provided on commencement.psu.edu/about/colleges.

If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation not mentioned above or have questions about the physical access provided for Summer or Fall Commencement, please contact the Office of Campus and Community Events at graduation@psu.edu or call 814-865-2501.

Accommodation arrangements should be made at least 2 weeks prior to commencement to allow sufficient time to effectively meet your access needs.

Photos & Video

Photos

Photographers from GradImages™ will be at each 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 and an opportunity to purchase additional photos, please provide your U.S. mailing and email addresses on the reverse side of the name card that you will receive with your graduation instructions. GradImages™will be in touch with you soon after graduation.

Video

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. 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 area.

Diplomas

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 web site for additional information on making corrections. Diplomas will be mailed, at no cost, approximately four to six weeks after the ceremony. If you have questions regarding your diploma please contact the Office of the University Registrar.

Office of the University Registrar
Penn State University
112 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-865-6357

Email: registrar@psu.edu
Administrative Fax: 814-863-1929

Transcripts

The official transcript is the University’s official statement of your academic record. It lists all courses completed, all grades earned, and the semester in which they were received. The official transcript also contains notations of distinctions, minors, options, and degrees received. The official transcript is printed on security sensitive paper and contains the University seal and signature of the University Registrar. You may be asked to provide a copy of your official transcript to potential employers, graduate schools, professional organizations, and so on. It is very common for these employers and organizations to request that the University send your transcript directly to them. For your protection, we will not release an official transcript without your permission and signature. The degree conferral message will not appear on the transcript until approximately two weeks after the graduation ceremony. If you ordered an end of semester transcript, it will not be processed until the degree conferral message has been posted. For ordering transcripts, visit https://www.registrar.psu.edu See the Registrar’s Transcripts web site for additional information and instructions on how to obtain your transcript.

Office of the University Registrar
Penn State University
112 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-865-6357

Email: registrar@psu.edu
Administrative Fax: 814-863-1929

Questions

If you have any questions regarding the ceremony, please visit our FAQ page or contact the Office of Campus and Community Events by email at graduation@psu.edu or 814-865-2501 by phone.

Information for Advanced Degree Candidates

Summer 2018

Time: Saturday, August 11, 2018 @ 2:30 p.m.

Location: The Bryce Jordan Center

Please Note: Graduates are to arrive 1 hour before the ceremony start time.

 

Important Notices

Ceremony Etiquette

The ceremony will begin promptly at the above start time and will last approximately 2-2.5 hrs (Spring) 1.5 to 2 hrs (Summer & Fall). 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!”

Degree Requirements

If you have questions about whether you have met all degree requirements, please contact your department.

Reserving Graduate Seating

In order to reserve a seat, all graduating students planning to attend the ceremony, must go to https://secure.gradsch.psu.edu/cosign/registrations/commencement and register.

The Day of the Event

Master’s Candidates

Check in at the Bryce Jordan Center 1 hour prior to the ceremony start time. Enter at Gate B; then enter the event floor via Portal 15. Please wear your academic regalia, including hood.

Doctoral Candidates

Report to the Auxiliary Gym of the Bryce Jordan Center 1 hour prior to the ceremony start time. Enter Portal 15 and, once on the event floor, ushers will direct you to the Auxiliary Gym. 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 at this time. Personal belongings can be left in the Auxiliary Gym (security will be provided during the ceremony).

General Information for Graduates

At check-in, you will receive a card with your name and degree on it to be used in the ceremony. This card will be collected by a University Marshal when you approach the stage. After check-in, Master’s students will join other graduates by college in the processional directed by University Marshals. 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.

Academic Dress

Academic regalia or the dress uniform of one of the U.S. Armed Forces is required in order to participate in graduation exercises. Advanced degree candidates wear the tassel of the cap on the left front edge. Doctoral candidates should carry their hoods over their left arms during the processional; master’s candidates should wear the hoods over their shoulders (velvet toward chin). Caps and gowns may be ordered from the Penn State Bookstore. Rental cap and gown orders need to be placed six to eight weeks in advance to obtain proper hood color. If you need assistance, please contact the Penn State Bookstore at 814-863-0206.

Please Note: Ornamentation representing honorary societies or nationalities is not approved attire for Penn State academic ceremonies. Thank you for your cooperation.

Military Recognition

All graduating students who are military veterans, currently serving on active duty, in the reserve, or National Guard, or who will be granted a commission obtained through Penn State Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) are eligible to receive a red, white and blue cord to wear with approved academic dress at commencement ceremonies.

Those personnel who have already been granted priority registration status are automatically eligible for an honor cord and may visit or contact (814-863-0465) the Office of Veteran’s Programs at 325 Boucke Building during normal business hours to receive it.  ROTC personnel may pick up their honor cord from their ROTC representative/office.  Those personnel who have not been granted priority registration, please visit this website for instructions on required proof of service and where to submit the required documentation:  https://equity.psu.edu/veterans/priorreghonorcord.

Students receiving commissions in the armed forces will stand with their classmates when the academic degree is conferred, and also when receiving acknowledgment as a group.

Procedures

  1. 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.
  2. Following the commencement address and the authorization by the Trustee for conferral of degrees, the Vice Provost for Graduate Education/Dean of the Graduate School will be recognized.
  3. Degree conferral:
    • Master’s candidates. University Marshals will direct the movement to the stage. Candidates give the card with their name and degree on it to the staff as you approach the stage. The University Nomenclator will then announce each candidate as he/she moves onto the stage. The candidate will shake hands with the President, Vice Provost/Dean of the Graduate School, Trustee, and College Dean. The process moves quickly, allowing no time for conversation. University Marshals will direct graduates back to their seats.
    • Doctoral candidates. At the conclusion of the conferring of master’s degrees, candidates for the doctoral degree and their faculty escorts will rise and hooding will take place. University Marshals will direct the movement to the stage. Candidates give the card with their name and degree on it to the staff as you approach the stage. The University Nomenclator will announce each candidate and escort by name and program as they move onto the stage. Diplomas will be awarded on stage for doctoral candidates. The candidate and escort will shake hands with the President, Vice Provost/Dean of the Graduate School, Trustee, and College Dean. The process moves quickly, allowing no time for conversation. University Marshals will direct graduates back to their seats.
  4. The recessional will include all those who participated in the processional and will be directed by the University Marshals.

Parking

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

You can also visit our Spring 2018 Commencement Interactive Map, with commencement venues and parking already added.

Accessibility

Graduates with Disabilities

Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Information about commencement is available in alternative media on request.

Parking for Guests with Disabilities

Parking for guests with disabilities is available. Parking attendants will be on duty to guide guests to the appropriate areas. No parking placards are needed for this lot and there is no fee for parking. For an ADA access map of campus, visit https://transportation.psu.edu/sites/transportation/files/ada_access_map.pdf.

Seating for Guests with Disabilities

Reserved seat tickets will not be needed, but guests with disabilities should arrive early to avoid the last-minute rush. Guest Relations Representatives will be available to assist individuals to the appropriate seating located on the concourse level. The ADA requires that companion seating be provided immediately adjacent to an accessible seat. However, due to space limitations, only one person may accompany the guest with a disability in the accessible seating area. The chairs in the accessible seating area are plastic, armless portable chairs that allow movement for wheelchairs and high-backed chairs. Other family members may sit in the general seating located throughout the arena.

Other

If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation not mentioned above or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the Office of Theses and Dissertations at gradthesis@psu.edu or call 814-865-5448 at least 2 weeks prior to commencement to allow sufficient time to effectively meet your access needs.

Photos & Video

Photos

Graduate students will have the opportunity to provide their mailing address on-site at the registration tables prior to graduation. GradImages™ will be in touch with you soon after graduation.

Video

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. 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 area.

Other

For more information about commencement, visit our FAQ page, call 814-865-5448, or email gradthesis@psu.edu. To order transcripts, visit the Registrar’s home page at https://www.registrar.psu.edu/.

Information for World Campus Students

Penn State World Campus students interested in attending commencement may visit the World Campus student site. For more information call 814-863-5256 or email WDGraduationCoordinator@outreach.psu.edu.

Related Events for World Campus Students

Prior to commencement, Penn State World Campus also hosts a Graduation Celebration which is an informal reception for graduates, their families and friends. This is a separate event from your commencement ceremony.

  1. Select your degree type to learn more about your particular ceremony.