Summer 2017 Undergraduate Commencement



Please note: Graduates are to arrive by 9:30 a.m. Doors open at 9:00 a.m.


Please read and keep these instructions. These instructions will answer many questions you may have concerning commencement and help to make the conferral of your degree a memorable and joyous experience for you, your family and friends.

Congratulations on achieving your academic goal—conferral of your degree. We strive to make commencement enjoyable for you and your guests, in keeping with Penn State’s proud academic heritage. If you have questions about whether you have met all degree requirements, contact your dean's office.

For friends and family who cannot attend but would like to join you in celebrating your achievement, the ceremony will also be available for viewing on the Summer Commencement Live Stream at


Doors open at 9:00 a.m. Graduates should arrive by 9:30 a.m. and enter Gate B. Once in the building, enter the arena floor via Portal 15 and sit in your college's section; alphabetical arrangement is not necessary. Be in your seat at least 20 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. At the appropriate time during the ceremony, you will be directed to the stage. Be sure to have your name card with you as you approach the stage. Your name card will be mailed to you at the end of July. If you misplace your name card, a name card will be provided at the registration tables on the event floor. Carry your name card with you when you approach the stage; your name will be read as you cross. If your name tends to be misprocounced, help the nomenclator by writing appropriate cues on the card (for example, Ryan Kufta as in "Koofta"). The ceremony will last approximately 90 minutes and include remarks by President Eric Barron, the conferring of degrees, individual recognition of each graduate while crossing the stage, and a welcome into the Penn State Alumni Association.

A seating chart is available as a PDF:


Academic dress or the uniform of one of the U.S. Armed Forces is required. 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. Candidates for the baccalaureate and associate degrees should wear the tassel of the cap on the right front edge. 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. Thank you for your cooperation.

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 814-863-3589.

PLEASE NOTE: Ornamentation representing honorary societies or nationalities is not approved attire for Penn State academic ceremonies.


Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. It is extremely important that graduates notify the Office of Campus and Community Events at or call 814-865-2501 by Friday, July 28, 2017, if they anticipate needing any type of special accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided. This information is available in alternative media on request.


General parking will be available in the Stadium West, Jordan East and Orange E (near Shields Building) 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. Guest seating will be available on a first-come first-served basis. Tickets are not required and there is no guest limit. 


Penn State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Parking for guests with disabilities is available in the Founders Parking Lot (Orange L), east of the Jordan Center located off Curtin Road. Parking attendants will be on duty to guide you. The driver may drop the passenger off at the Founders Lounge entrance and then park the vehicle. No parking placards are needed for this lot and there is no fee for parking.

Reserved seat tickets will not be needed, but guests with disabilities should arrive early to avoid the last-minute rush. Inside the Founders Lounge entrance, ushers will be available to assist in taking individuals via elevator to the appropriate seating located on the concourse level. The ADA requires that we provide one companion seat immediately adjacent to an accessible seat for a person with a disability. Due to space limitations, only one person may accompany the guest with disability in the accessible seating area. The chairs in the accessible seating area are plastic, and are armless portable chairs to allow movement for wheelchairs. Other family members may sit in the regular seating located throughout the arena.


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.


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.

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


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

See the Registrar's Transcripts web site for additional information and instructions on how to obtain your transcript.


If you have any questions regarding the ceremony, please contact the Office of Campus and Community Events at, or call 814-865-2501. Visit our home page at

graduating student in cap and gown


Campus and Community Events
Office of Strategic Communications
The Pennsylvania State University
USB I, Suite B, Room 126
University Park, PA 16802