Families and Guests Ceremony Overview

spectators in stadium seats watching grads on franklin field

Penn's 268th Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2024 will take place on Monday, May 20, 2024 in Franklin Field. The ceremony will feature the conferral of degrees, the awarding of honorary degrees, greetings by University officials, and remarks by the Commencement speaker, Siddhartha Mukherjee, renowned physician, researcher, and best-selling author.  The gates to Franklin Field will open at 8:00 a.m. for guest entry.

Before entering Franklin Field, graduating students will assemble at 8:00 a.m. for a procession to the stadium, which will begin at 9:00 a.m.  The ceremony will begin at 10:15 a.m. upon the entrance of the academic procession (the president's party and the faculty) and will conclude at approximately noon. 

This year, due to added safety requirements, all graduates and guests must clear airport-style security screening for admittance to Franklin Field, which will slow entry into the stadium. Please plan your arrival accordingly.  Please visit Franklin Field Policies for a list of prohibited items for the ceremony in Franklin Field.  Guests and graduates will not be permitted inside Franklin Field if they have any of these prohibited items.

In addition to the Commencement ceremonies, each school also hosts a ceremony for the students enrolled in that particular school. During this ceremony, the student's name will be called and the student will walk across the stage. For information on the school ceremonies, visit the School Ceremonies page.


Commencement Webcast and Multimedia Archives

If you are unable to attend the University Commencement ceremony, you may view the webcast live. For more information, visit the webcast page. Coverage from Franklin Field will begin at 8:30 a.m. EST on Monday, May 15, 2023.

Commencement Webcast and Multimedia Archives
overhead view of franklin field commencement

Franklin Field Policies and Prohibited Items

Prohibited Items

This year, due to added safety requirements, all graduates and guests must clear airport-style security screening for admittance to Franklin Field, which will slow entry into the stadium. Please plan your arrival accordingly.

The following items are strictly prohibited within Franklin Field for 2024 (ceremonies):

  • All bags and packages (wallets and small clutches are acceptable)
  • Artificial noisemakers, including airhorns or bullhorns
  • Signs, banners, posters, or flags
  • Large golf-style umbrellas (small collapsible umbrellas will be permitted)
  • Sticks or poles, including tripods or selfie sticks
  • Glass bottles, soda cans, and all outside food / beverages (bottled water ok) (Note: concessions are sold inside the stadium)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Coolers
  • Firearms, knives, scissors, needles, razor blades, or weapons of any type
  • Multiuse or similar tools or screwdrivers
  • Toy guns, toy weapons or similar props
  • Fireworks and open flames
  • Pepper spray / mace
  • Laser pointers
  • Aerosol containers
  • Hazardous, chemical, radiological, or biological materials
  • Sports balls or sporting equipment of any type
  • Animals or pets – except for service animals
  • No face coverings or ski masks. KN95 style masks for health reasons are permitted.

Guests attempting to enter with any prohibited item(s) will be asked to dispose of such items prior to entering. Security personnel reserves the right to deny access to any individual who does not comply with such policies.

Anything brought to the stadium will be pre-screened before entry.  Please do not bring items with you that are not needed for the ceremony – leave them in your car, hotel room, dorm, or apartment.  Pre-screening items slows the entry of guests into the stadium.


Inclement and Severe Weather Plans

Commencement will be held rain or shine.  In the event of inclement weather, you are encouraged to wear rain gear to protect yourself. The dye in the regalia may bleed onto clothing when wet.

If weather requires changes to the Commencement ceremony schedule, information will be found on:

  • Signs at 39th & Locust Walk
  • Announcements on (215) 898-MELT
  • Announcements on radio station KYW (1060 AM)
  • A notice on this website

In the event of severe weather conditions, the academic procession across campus may be cancelled. If it is cancelled, you should arrive at Weightman Hall no later than 9:30 a.m.

In the event of dangerous weather conditions, the ceremony may be delayed or relocated to the Palestra. If the ceremony is moved indoors to the Palestra, seating would be limited to the academic procession and graduating students. Please know that the decision to move the Commencement ceremony indoors would be made in only extreme conditions.

Disability Seating at Commencement

If you require special seating due to a wheelchair, limited physical mobility or other medical conditions, you may make arrangements for seating on the field or in the lower stands. Please be aware that the stadium is bench seating. Due to space constraints, guests with disabilities who are seated on the field may be accompanied by only one escort.

Accessible seating for School ceremonies is coordinated separately, by each School. Please see the School ceremonies page for contact information.

Please visit the Accessible Seating page for more information on accessible seating for the main University Commencement on Franklin Field.

If you require Commencement information materials in alternate formats, advance notice is required.

Address & Phone

1 College Hall, Room 211
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-7006