See a video of the morning ceremony that was streamed on May 7.
See a video of the afternoon ceremony that was streamed on May 7.
Spring 2021 Commencement FAQ
What times are the two ceremonies?
The morning ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. and the afternoon ceremony begins at 1:00 p.m. Graduates will receive their ceremony designation via email. Seating will open one hour prior to each ceremony and please arrive no later than 30 minutes before your assigned ceremony as the Registrar will be providing instructions at this time. Each ceremony will take place rain or shine.
Do my guests and I need tickets to attend the ceremony?
Yes. You will receive your personal graduate ticket via email and your guests’ tickets in a separate email. Each graduate is responsible for forwarding tickets to their guests. There will be no admittance to the ceremony without a valid ticket.
Will I be able to walk across a stage at the ceremony?
Yes. Each graduate will have their name read and will walk across the stage. Masks will continue to be required as graduates process.
When will I receive my diploma?
Diplomas will be mailed to students during the week of June 14, 2021.
Will masks and physical distancing be required at spring commencement?
Yes. Our ceremony will follow state and federal guidelines for gatherings. All students, guests and employees are required to wear face masks and maintain physical distancing from others to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. Penn State staff will be on site to answer questions and provide guidance; please follow their instructions about health and safety protocols. All guests who will be attending a commencement ceremony are expected to take health and safety precautions when traveling and during commencement. In addition, please do not attend an in-person ceremony if within the last 14 days you think you have been exposed, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, are awaiting test results or have tested positive for COVID-19.
How many tickets will each graduate get?
Each graduate will receive two tickets.
Will the in-person commencement ceremonies be livestreamed?
Yes. Both the 10:00 a.m. and the 1:00 p.m. ceremonies will be livestreamed.
Will there be a virtual ceremony for graduates and guests who are not able to attend or prefer to participate online?
Yes. To help make commencement celebrations accessible to all our graduating students and their friends and families, Penn State is planning a University-wide virtual ceremony for students and guests who are unable to attend or prefer to participate online. The University-wide virtual ceremony celebrating graduates from all campuses will be streamed on May 9 at 6 p.m. at virtual.commencement.psu.edu. The virtual ceremony will celebrate all undergraduate and graduate students at Commonwealth Campuses, University Park, and World Campus — including those also attending an in-person ceremony — and will feature the conferral of degrees, induction into the Alumni Association, and more.
Do I need to do anything in advance to be included in the University-wide virtual ceremony?
All graduating students will be celebrated during the virtual ceremony — including those also attending an in-person ceremony — and will have personalized digital slides available. Students will need to follow instructions in the email from MarchingOrder via [email protected] to make sure your information is correct on the slide for virtual ceremonies. All digital slides will include each student's name, degree, and major.
Can the in-person ceremony plan change?
Yes, we must adhere to the PA Department of Health guidelines for large gatherings. If these guidelines change we may have to adjust our plan accordingly.
I graduated in 2020 and I’m still waiting for an in-person celebration. When will that occur?
Virtual ceremonies served as a first step in recognizing the academic achievements of members of the class of 2020 during this global pandemic. The University is committed to inviting all 2020 graduates and their guests back for an in-person celebration. We are currently working on those plans. Details will be shared once the plans are finalized.
Where do graduates and guests park for commencement?
Please see the designated parking lots for graduates and guests on the campus map.
Is handicapped parking available?
Yes. Please email Gina Montgomery ([email protected]) to reserve a spot in the handicapped parking area.
More information can be found on the University's Commencement FAQ Page.