Penn State hosted its first virtual commencement on Saturday, May 9, 2020. The ceremony was livestreamed, with more than 15,000 diplomas awarded University-wide, and is available for viewing on the Spring 2020 Commencement website. Penn State remains committed to inviting the Class of 2020 back to campus for in-person celebrations when public health guidelines permit this to occur. The College of Agricultural Sciences is making plans to host an on-campus celebration in conjunction with the University event.

Commencement Coordinators:

Student Information

Graduates with Disabilities

Any spring graduates with disabilities must notify Sheryl Flick, 101 Ag. Admin. Building, , by April 24 if you anticipate needing any type of accommodations at the ceremony. For your guests with disabilities, see section below for Guest Information.

Graduate Arrival

*Graduates must arrive, in appropriate academic regalia, between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm. Plan to be in your seat by 12:30 pm as the ceremony begins promptly at 1:00 pm.

Academic Regalia

Academic regalia (cap and gown) or the dress of uniform of one of the U.S. Armed Forces is required to take part in the ceremony.

The cap should be worn flat on your head with the tassel on the right. Due to the formality of the occasion, it is recommended to not decorate your cap.

It is requested that men wear slacks, a dress shirt and tie. For women, dress pants with a blouse or a dress is appropriate. Due to safety concerns walking on the steps and stage, please wear appropriate and professional footwear.

The only approved cords that you can wear with your regalia are Academic Distinction and Military Honor cords (see next category).

Academic Distinction Cords

Seniors who have earned an academic distinction are eligible to receive an academic distinction cord to wear with your approved academic dress at commencement. You will be notified by the College to pick up your honor cord if you are eligible to receive one. Distinction levels are determined by the cumulative GPA at the end of the Fall 2019 session. If students earn a higher level once final grades are received, then adjustments will be made.

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.

Military Honor cords are red, white, and blue and are issued by either your ROTC office or Office of Veteran's Programs.

Name Cards

Graduates are to bring their name cards with them to the ceremony. These will be included in the graduation packets distributed in April.

Commencement Program

A commencement program is available at the ceremony, listing the names of those intending to graduate and who filed their intent to graduate prior to the filing deadline earlier in the semester.

Ceremony Overview

The ceremony will last approximately 2 hours and will include remarks by University administrators, an address by the commencement speaker, conferring of degrees, and individual recognition of each graduate while crossing the stage.

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 the 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".

Diploma Distribution

Diplomas will be mailed to the graduate's address several weeks after the ceremony.

Guest Information

No tickets are required to attend the ceremony.

The Pegula Ice Arena doors will open at 11:30 am.

Parking is free and will be available in the following lots:

  • East Deck
  • Jordan East (overflow)
  • Stadium West (overflow)

University Police will be directing traffic to the appropriate lot based on the traffic and parking conditions at the time of their arrival. Please use caution while traveling and allow extra time to reach your destination.

Seating will be available to guests with disabilities. 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.

Live Stream Available for College of Agricultural Sciences Commencement Ceremony

The University will provide live streaming for undergraduate commencement ceremonies. See the schedules and the live stream link listed at the University's Commencement website to find our ceremony.

Visit the University's Commencement website for general commencement information such as lodging and transportation.