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.

Fall 2021 commencement will take place on Saturday, December 18, 2021. As Penn State continues to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, plans for fall commencement ceremonies are being finalized. Graduating students will receive additional details as fall commencement approaches, and can also check for more information.

All 2020 graduates and their families and friends are invited to attend a celebration at University Park during the weekend of April 29 to May 1, 2022. The celebration will be specifically for the Class of 2020 and will include commencement ceremonies and other activities and events throughout the weekend. More information is available in this Penn State News article and on the University’s commencement website. A detailed schedule of events and activities for the weekend is forthcoming.

Graduates should make sure their email address is up to date to receive future email updates and event details from the University about the weekend. 

Setting your intent to graduate - Commencement - Receiving your diplomaUndergraduate 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.

To set your intent to graduate in LionPATH, go to the Degree Planning and Progress section and select “Apply for Graduation.” View a tutorial to learn how to do this.


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.

Plans for fall 2021 commencement ceremonies are still being finalized. As fall commencement approaches, students who filed their intent to graduate will receive information about attending in-person commencement ceremonies, including details about reserving your seat at commencement, if needed.

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.

Undergraduate Students

Review our information about attending commencement for undergraduate students.

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

Graduate students are invited to participate in the Graduate School’s commencement ceremony at University Park. 

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.

Commencement Programs

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. Penn State World Campus graduation celebration plans for fall 2021 are still being finalized.

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.