Penn Graduate Information

Congratulations on your upcoming Penn graduation!

Penn's 264th Commencement ceremony will take place on Monday, May 18, 2020 in Franklin Field at 10:15 a.m., and is preceded by student and academic processions through campus. 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, who will be announced in the spring.

1. Instructions for Student Assembly

If you plan to participate in Commencement, arrive at Hamilton Village (39th Street and Locust Walk) no later than 8:45 a.m. in your academic regalia. Signs will direct you to the assembly area for your school. M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. candidates should meet by the sign reading "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 across campus 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. Below is a diagram of the procession route, from Hamilton Village to Franklin Field.

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 on 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.

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.

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 Hamilton Village and around campus
  • Announcements on (215) 898-MELT and (215) 898-7006
  • Announcements on radio station KYW (1060 AM)
  • A notice on this website

In the event of severe weather conditions, the student procession across campus may be cancelled. If it is cancelled, you should arrive at the Palestra 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.

Franklin Field Policies

Smoking and alcoholic beverages are prohibited in Franklin Field.

Guests and students are asked not to use cellular phones during the procession across campus and during the ceremony.