Penn Graduate Information

Class of 2024

grads in regalia cheering

Congratulations on your upcoming Penn graduation!

Penn's 268th Commencement ceremony will take place on Monday, May 20, 2024 in Franklin Field at 10:15 a.m., and is preceded by student and academic processions to the stadium. Students should arrive at 8:00 a.m. to check in for the procession.  The ceremony will end at approximately 12:15 p.m. and 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.

1. Instructions for Student Assembly

Graduates will assemble for the student procession in Penn Park on Dunning Cohen Champion’s Field. You can access Penn Park from Walnut Street, or by walking through Shoemaker Green and across the Paley Bridge. The entrance to the line-up area will be at the south end of Dunning Cohen Field.

Graduates should arrive at 8:00 a.m. for check-in. All graduates need a Penn ID for entry to the line-up area and to Franklin Field. There will be long lines, so plan to get there early.

All graduates will go through airport-style security screening before entering the stadium, and will be asked to unzip regalia, consistent with airport level security.

NO bags are permitted. Only small items, including phones, wallets, and small clutches are allowed. In addition to bags, the following are not permitted: artificial noisemakers (including airhorns or bullhorns), flags, signs, or posters. No golf umbrellas are permitted. Small collapsible umbrellas are allowed. Please see the full list of prohibited items on the Commencement website.

Anyone who attempts to enter the stadium with prohibited item(s) will be asked to dispose of them prior to entering. Security personnel will deny access to any individual who does not comply.

Staff will be on site to scan your Penn ID upon arrival. If you are an August 2023 or December 2023 graduate without an active Penn ID, please bring a valid photo ID (e.g., passport, driver’s license), and we will have a separate area to check you in.

Candidates for degrees in May, as well as graduates who completed degree requirements in August or December 2023, are invited to march in the procession and attend the Commencement ceremony. Students participating in the procession should wear academic regalia, and arrive no later than 8:00 a.m. The student procession will enter Franklin Field at approximately 9:15 a.m.

Graduates must be on time for the procession line-up to be seated on the field with fellow graduates. Anyone who arrives late, after the procession has departed, will be seated in the guest sections of Franklin Field. The ceremony will start at 10:15 a.m. and end at approximately 12:15 p.m.

Signs will direct you to the assembly area for your school. M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. candidates should meet in the section "Graduate Faculties," regardless of school. Marshals will be on hand to direct you.

Please be prompt! If you arrive late or are not wearing academic regalia, you will not be able to march and sit with your classmates.

2. Instructions for Student Procession

As you process to Franklin Field, walk briskly, and make sure there are no gaps in front of you. If you want to sit with friends on the field, line up in front of or behind the person you want to sit next to. The student procession will enter the stadium in four columns.

You will be seated on the field according to your school. When you reach your row, move into it quickly and do not leave any empty seats. Sit down immediately. There will be a stack of Commencement Programs on the end seats. If you sit in this chair, please take one Program and pass the rest down. There will be bottled water at the field for you.

3. Instructions for the Commencement Ceremony

When the academic procession arrives at Franklin Field, please rise and remain standing until the Chaplain finishes his invocation. Please remove your cap during the National Anthem.

During the ceremony, the Provost will acknowledge those receiving various honors, prizes, and awards. If you are being recognized, please rise and remain standing until the completion of his remarks.

diagram of commencement seating on franklin field

Penn Commencement Seating Download (PDF) 

Conferral of Degrees

Your dean will present the candidates for the degrees in your school. When your dean presents your degree, rise and remain standing until the President confers your degree. After all the degrees from your school have been conferred, lift your cap in salute to the President. Then place the cap back on your head, and move the tassel from right to left.

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.

Address & Phone

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