Commencement: Information for Graduates

Commencement Ceremony

Graduates must arrive at the Jordan Center and check in no later than 2:30 p.m. Please remember to bring the coded card sent to you in your commencement packet. This card must be presented to the nomenclator during the ceremony so that he can announce your name as you walk across the stage. If there is a doubt about how your name is pronounced, please contact the nomenclator, Douglas Ford at 814-863-6790 with the correct pronunciation. Please tell him the name of your major as well.

You will sit with your classmates on the floor of the Jordan Center according to the diagram enclosed in your commencement packet. To access the event floor, please enter the Bryce Jordan Center through gate B, portal 15. The processional will begin promptly at 3:00 p.m. The ceremony itself will include special remarks by the commencement speaker, the conferring of degrees, individual recognition of each graduate while crossing the stage, and a welcome into the Penn State Alumni Association. Diplomas will be mailed to the home address you have on file. Please arrange to meet your family outside the Jordan Center as guests for the next ceremony will be arriving.

Important Note about Academic Regalia

Academic regalia or the uniform of one of the armed forces is customary. Graduates 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.

Ornamentation representing honorary societies or nationalities is not approved attire for Penn State commencement ceremonies.

Due to the formality of the occasion and safety issues 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.

Graduates may pick up and purchase their caps, gowns, and personalized announcements by ordering them from the Penn State Bookstore at their earliest convenience. Allow two to three weeks for processing printed announcements.< /br>

If you need assistance, please contact the Penn State Bookstore at 814-863-3589.

Academic Honor Cords

The supply of academic honor cords are currently with Kate Smerekar, Office of the Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education, 417 Old Main, 863-1864.

Contact Kate via email ( with the following information:

  1. College
  2. Contact name
  3. Email
  4. Phone
  5. Number needed for Highest Distinction (blue/white cord)
  6. Number needed for High Distinction (blue cord)
  7. Number needed for Distinction (white cord)

She will notify individuals once they are ready. Stop by 417 Old Main to pick up cords.

Full story

Medical Insurance Information

As a new college graduate, you’re taking the next steps on your professional and personal journeys. But to handle the bumps on those journeys, you also need health insurance. Check out the Graduate Health Insurance Fact Sheet.