Commencement FAQs

If you have any additional questions, please visit the University’s commencement website or email Liberal Arts Student Records.

Open House—Friday, May 3

The college’s Commencement Open House will be held in the Hintz Family Alumni Center.

Students are permitted to invite up to six guests to attend the college’s Commencement Open House with them. Tickets are not required, but attending graduates and guests should RSVP via the email invitation by Wednesday, April 17.

You can park anywhere on campus that provides visitor parking unless it is explicitly restricted. The Nittany Parking Deck is the closest parking garage on campus. Street parking downtown is also available.

Graduating students and all guests are invited to wear casual attire for the college’s Commencement Open House.

No, providing an RSVP allows the college to plan, but it is not a binding agreement. We understand that things can come up unexpectedly, but we’d love to see you there.

Ceremony—Saturday, May 4

The Liberal Arts commencement ceremony is at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 4. Students and their guests should arrive at the Bryce Jordan Center by 3:30 p.m. EDT to ensure that guests can be seated and that students can be checked in with time to spare.

There is no rehearsal for the Liberal Arts commencement ceremony. A senior information packet will be emailed from to all students who have applied to graduate in late March. which should address all questions related to commencement.

The Liberal Arts ceremony is located in the Bryce Jordan Center (BJC). Parking is available in the lots surrounding the BJC. There will be signs and parking attendants to help you find the appropriate parking. A parking map is available on the University’s commencement website, and one will also be included in the senior information packet that is sent out to graduating students in late March.

The average length of the Liberal Arts commencement ceremony is 2 hours and 10 minutes but does occasionally last longer, so we advise not to make dinner reservations until at least 7:30 p.m.

Students sit with their major on the main floor of the Bryce Jordan Center (BJC). The seating sections will be marked, and a seating chart will be included in the senior information packet sent to all graduating students in late March from There will also be a QR code for a digital program at the BJC, which will include a seating chart. This will allow guests to have a general idea of where to find their graduate.

There is no limit on the number of guests students may invite to the commencement ceremony, and tickets are not required. Seating is not assigned and available on a first-come, first-served basis, so you will want to arrive by 3:30 p.m. EDT to ensure your group can sit together.

Students are required to wear academic regalia or the uniform of one of the U.S. Armed Forces. Tassels should be worn on the right front edge of the cap.

You can purchase a cap and gown at the Penn State Bookstore in the HUB-Robeson Center.

We encourage all persons with disabilities to participate in our programs and activities. Information about commencement is available in alternative media on request.

If you and/or your guests anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided for the commencement ceremony, please notify Steven Sherman in Liberal Arts Student Records (814-863-3870 or by Friday, April 19.

For an ADA access map of campus, visit the ADA Access Interactive Map. Parking in these lots is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please allow extra time for traffic and parking. A valid, state-issued ADA placard or license plate is required for ADA parking.

No, students are not required to attend. Diplomas are not handed out at commencement. Final graduation checks will occur in the weeks following commencement, and all students who have successfully completed all of the requirements for their degrees will have their diplomas mailed to them.

That is entirely up to you. All of the ceremonies are celebrations of your accomplishments. You should feel free to attend any and all ceremonies to which you are invited.

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