We take great pride in our graduates — many of us at Penn State World Campus either were or are adult learners, and we understand the tremendous sacrifices you and your families make for you to obtain your degree. As your graduation approaches, review the following information to learn what you can expect and what actions you’ll need to take.
Penn State will hold its spring 2021 commencement ceremonies in person the weekend of May 7-9, 2021. Attendance will be limited and ceremonies will be conducted in accordance with all state and federal guidelines. Graduating students will receive additional details, and more information is also available at commencement.psu.edu.
Note that for spring 2021 commencement, all graduating Penn State World Campus students will be invited to attend commencement at the University Park campus. Students will not be able to request to attend commencement at an alternative site.
In spring 2022, the University also plans to welcome 2020 graduates and their families back to campuses to celebrate their graduation. More specific information and a date will be announced as plans develop.
Setting your intent to graduate - Commencement - Receiving your diploma - Undergraduate student information - Graduate student information - Commencement attire and other items - World Campus Graduation Celebration - Staying connected after graduation
Setting Your Intent to Graduate
In the semester in which you plan to graduate, your first step is to officially set your intent to graduate. You can check the academic calendar to find the intent to graduate activation period for the semester in which you plan to graduate.
Commencement is your academic college’s official graduation ceremony. World Campus students are invited to attend Penn State’s commencement ceremonies. Many Penn State World Campus programs hold commencement at University Park, but some programs typically have commencement at other campuses.
For spring 2021 commencement, all graduating Penn State World Campus students will be invited to attend commencement at the University Park campus. Students will not be able to request to attend commencement at an alternative site.
You will receive more information about commencement after you set your intent to graduate. You may need to submit a form to reserve your seat at commencement.
Receiving Your Diploma
Your diploma will be mailed approximately four weeks after commencement to your permanent address or to the diploma address you have entered in LionPATH.
Review our information about attending commencement for undergraduate students. For spring 2021 commencement, students will not be able to request to attend commencement at an alternative site.
If you miss the deadline to set your intent to graduate, or if your plans change and you no longer expect to graduate, you will need to contact your appropriate college office.
Graduating with Distinction
World Campus undergraduate degree students are eligible to graduate with distinction. Your diploma will include any academic distinctions you have earned.
For more information, including requirements, visit the Office of the Registrar website.
Graduate students are invited to participate in the Graduate School’s commencement ceremony at University Park. For spring 2021 commencement, students will not be able to request to attend commencement at an alternative site.
If you miss the deadline to set your intent to graduate, or if your plans change and you no longer expect to graduate, you will need to contact the Graduate School.
Commencement Attire and Other Items
Cap and Gown
You can order a cap and gown online from the Penn State Bookstore, by ordering online, calling the Bookstore at 814-863-0205, option 9, or placing an order in person.
Academic Distinction Cords and Military Honor Cords
Students who are eligible to receive academic distinction cords will receive more information from their college. Military and veteran students will receive more information about military honor cords from Penn State World Campus.
Class Rings and Personalized Announcements
You can order a Penn State class ring and personalized announcements on the Jostens website or by calling Jostens at 800-854-7464. When ordering through Jostens, select the campus where you plan to attend commencement. You will need to allow two to three weeks for processing printed announcements.
Unofficial programs are distributed at the commencement ceremony. If your intent to graduate is submitted late in the semester, your name will not appear in the program. To have your name included in the program, your intent to graduate must be submitted by the ninth week of the semester for spring, by the tenth week of the semester for summer, or by the eighth week of the semester for fall.
World Campus Graduation Celebration
Each semester, we host a Graduation Celebration for Penn State World Campus students, their families, and friends. This is typically a reception with a brief recognition program and time to meet other students, faculty, and staff members in person. This event is held at University Park, and students whose commencement ceremonies take place at University Park will receive an invitation. For spring 2021 commencement, there will not be a Penn State World Campus graduation celebration.
Staying Connected After Graduation
There are many ways alumni stay involved and active in Penn State life after graduation—joining the Penn State Alumni Association, joining the Penn State World Campus Alumni Society, giving to Penn State, and becoming an Alumni Ambassador. Be sure to access your profile in the alumni directory and update your contact information, so that you can receive alumni communications.