Spring 2023 Commencement

The spring 2023 commencement ceremony for the College of the Liberal Arts will take place at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 6 in the Bryce Jordan Center. Students should arrive by 3:30 p.m. More details can be found at

In late April, you will receive an email from Liberal Arts Student Records letting you know when you can pick up your name card. You are required to bring your name card with you to the commencement ceremony and carry it with you to the stage platform. Please be sure to fill out the back of the card as this is how Grad Images will contact you regarding the photos taken at commencement. Please do not fold or alter the card in any way. If this happens, the cards may stick together and as a result, your name might not be called. If you misplace your card, do not make a replacement card. You may obtain another card immediately prior to the ceremony at the registration tables located as you enter the event floor. 

Academic regalia (i.e., cap and gown) is required and can be ordered through the Penn State Bookstore. No other adornment is approved. Due to the formality of the occasion, it is suggested that students wear a suit; slacks, a dress shirt, and a tie; slacks with a blouse; or a dress. Flip flops and extremely high heels are not recommended. 

Update your permanent home address via LionPATH prior to commencement so that you receive your diploma. Diplomas are not distributed at the commencement ceremony because graduation certification takes place during the following weeks. Students who have completed all requirements will receive their diplomas in the mail. 

Complete your post-grad survey. In April, you will receive a link to a brief five-minute, confidential survey. The questions in the survey focus on your undergraduate experiences, as well as your current or future career plans. 


Traffic may be congested on commencement day due to other ceremonies on campus; therefore, we recommend that you plan to be in the vicinity of the Bryce Jordan Center by 3:30 p.m. in order to find parking. Please do not arrive any earlier than this as you may disrupt an earlier ceremony already in progress. Parking is available in Lot 44, Stadium West, and Porter North. Drivers will be directed to the appropriate lot by University Police and event parking staff based on the traffic and parking conditions at the time of their arrival. Please use caution while traveling through this area of campus and allow extra time to reach your destination. There is no fee for parking. ADA parking is available in the section of Lot 44 near Gate B, just across from the All-Sports Museum, and in the first row of spaces along Curtin Road at Stadium West, across from the Bryce Jordan Center’s ticket office. View the Bryce Jordan Center Commencement Parking Interactive Map. Get directions to the Bryce Jordan Center. 

Bag Policy
The Bryce Jordan Center utilizes walk-through metal detectors at all entry gates and restrictions on the size and type of bag that may be carried into the arena for all events.

Permitted bags include:

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12” x 6” x 12”.
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
  • Small clutch bags, with or without a handle or strap, that do not exceed 4.5” x 6.5” x 1”.

An exception will be made for medically necessary items that cannot fit into a clear bag, after proper inspection. No backpacks allowed.

Fans will be asked to return non-approved bags or other prohibited items to their vehicle prior to arena entry. There is no check-in location for prohibited bags or items at the Bryce Jordan Center.

All media representatives with necessary bags and equipment must enter the Bryce Jordan Center at the media entrance to have each item inspected and tagged prior to entering the Bryce Jordan Center.

Limit one bag per guest.

View the Bryce Jordan Center’s bag policy for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.                

Seating for guests with disabilities
Reserved seat tickets will not be needed, but guests with disabilities should arrive by 3:30 p.m. in order 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. Due to space limitations, only one person may accompany the guest with a disability in the accessible seating area. The chairs in this seating area are plastic, armless, and portable to allow for the movement of wheelchairs. Other family members may sit in the regular seating located throughout the arena. 


Enter the Bryce Jordan Center through Gate B or C. (Your guests may enter through any gate.) Ushers will direct you to your seat on the event floor. Look for signs for your major on the back of the first chair in each row. You may sit in any chair in the appropriate section unless it is marked “reserved.” 

A seating chart is included in the digital program for the event. It is very important to sit in the section designated for your major. Failure to do so will result in your name being called with the incorrect major. 

Remain seated in your major area until college staff usher you to the stage platform during the ceremony. Students will walk to the stage platform within their major groups. (Students in concurrent majors will cross the stage platform once, each in the Liberal Arts major with which they are seated.) Your name card will be scanned, which will trigger your name being said over the speakers.  

Remain seated after the ceremony until your row is called by college staff marshals. When called, you will recess in single file down the main center aisle. Prior to the ceremony, please arrange to meet your family and guests outside the Bryce Jordan Center after the ceremony. You will not be permitted to re-enter the main event area. Additionally, remember that you are expected to remain in attendance for the duration of the ceremony. It is disrespectful to the college, to the families in attendance, and to your fellow graduates to leave early.  

Cell phone use is not permitted during the formal academic ceremony. If you must bring your phone to the ceremony, please turn it off before the ceremony begins. 

For graduates with disabilities
Penn State encourages graduates with disabilities to participate in the commencement ceremonies. It is very important that you notify Steven Sherman in Liberal Arts Student Records (814-863-3870) by April 21 if you anticipate needing any type of special accommodation or have questions about accessibility.

Two students dressed in academic regalia smile at someone taking their photo at the Liberal Arts commencement ceremony.
Two students dressed in academic regalia smile at someone taking their photo at the Liberal Arts commencement ceremony.

Please visit or contact Steven Sherman at 814-863-3870 or

Three students dressed in academic regalia smile at someone taking their photo at the Liberal Arts commencement ceremony.
Three students dressed in academic regalia smile at someone taking their photo at the Liberal Arts commencement ceremony.

Department Receptions

Graduating students and their families are invited to attend the College of the Liberal Arts commencement receptions on Saturday, May 6 on the Pattee Mall. Students received an email from the College of the Liberal Arts at the end of March with the link to register for the receptions below. All times are in Eastern Time.

Reception Parking: Students and their families are encouraged to park at the Nittany Parking Deck and then walk down to Pattee Mall. Those who need to be dropped off closer can get dropped off behind Sparks Building. Handicap parking is also available behind Sparks Building.

9:00–10:00 a.m.
Tent 1
Paterno Fellows Program
10:30–11:30 a.m.
Tent 1
Labor and Human Resources and Organizational Leadership
Tent 2
Tent 3
Tent 4
Criminology and Sociology
Tent 5
Communication Arts and Sciences, Organizational and Professional Communication, and Philosophy
Noon–1:00 p.m.
Tent 1
Integrated Social Sciences, International Politics, Law and Society, Political Science, and Social Data Analytics
Tent 2
Asian Studies, Chinese, Comparative Literature, French, German, Global and International Studies, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Linguistics, Russian, and Spanish
Tent 3
Anthropological Science and Anthropology
Tent 4
Tent 5
Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies; History; Jewish Studies; Latin American Studies; Letters, Arts, and Sciences/Multidisciplinary Studies; Medieval Studies; and Middle East Studies

Graduating Students Week

During Liberal Arts Graduating Students Week, the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network provides graduating students with events and programming focused on finding and preparing for your first job, updating your LinkedIn profile, budgeting for life after graduation, and more.

Monday, April 10
Graduation Open House

Noon–2:00 p.m.

Sparks Building patio or lobby (weather dependent)

Calling all graduating students! Join us for a celebration! Wrap up any questions you have prior to commencement with representatives from:

  • Academic Advising
  • Alumni Career Services
  • Career Enrichment Network
  • Chaiken Center for Student Success
  • Financial and Life Skills Center
  • Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity
  • Student Records

You will also have a chance to complete your post-grad survey and enter in to win a Penn State Bookstore diploma frame. Other giveaways, prizes, and treats will also be available!

Tuesday, April 11
Still Searching? Interviewing 101

12:15–1:00 p.m. EDT

Whether you’ve never had an interview before or you’ve had countless interviews and are looking to fine tune your skills, we invite you to join us for our Interviewing 101 workshop. Hear directly from Rosa Booker, a human resources specialist at Delaware River and Bay Authority, on what companies look for in candidates and how you can stand out during the process, ultimately landing the job!

Watch the recording

Wednesday, April 12
Drop-In or Pop-In Career Support

1:00–4:00 p.m. EDT

101 Sparks Building or via Zoom

Thursday, April 13
Budgets and Life After Graduation

1:30–2:30 p.m.

Have you begun to consider your budget after college? Student loans? Join the Sokolov-Miller Family Financial and Life Skills Center to prepare for life after graduation when it comes to your budget and finances.

Watch the recording

Friday, April 14
Still Job Searching? What to do Next

12:15–1:00 p.m.

Penn State career support doesn’t disappear after you graduate! Join Alumni Career Services as they talk about strategies for how to continue your job search as you approach graduation, as well as how they can help after your time at Penn State! Holly Stoltzfus, assistant director of Alumni Career Services, will present.

Watch the recording

Post-Grad Survey

Spring 2023 graduates, please complete this brief five-minute, confidential survey. The questions in the survey focus on your undergraduate experiences, as well as your current or future career plans.

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