Undergraduate Commencement

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation from Penn State! This is a wonderful occasion not only for you and your family but for all of us at the College of IST.

The Summer 2020 commencement ceremony will be held virtually on Saturday, August 15, at 2 p.m. EST. 

Additional information is available on the University's commencement website and is mailed to the student’s home address and Penn State email account.

General Commencement Details and Instructions

All College of IST students who have satisfied their requirements for graduation will be listed in the commencement program. If for any reason you do not want your name to appear in the program, please inform the associate dean for graduate and undergraduate studies in writing requesting to have your name omitted.

Summer 2020

Saturday, August 15
Penn State will confer degrees for summer 2020 graduates during a virtual ceremony. To learn more, visit commencement.psu.edu.

Fall 2020

Saturday, December 19
Time and location TBD

Spring 2021

Saturday, May 8
9:00 a.m.
Pegula Ice Arena
Baccalaureate and Associate Degrees ceremony at University Park

Parking is free. Please refer to the parking map for guest parking and ADA lot locations.

As there is another ceremony occurring at the same time, be sure your driver knows you are in the College of Information Sciences and Technology. Parking agents on duty will direct guests to park according to college. 

Students will enter Pegula Ice Arena at Gate C, and families will enter through Gate B (or Gate A for ADA lots). Guests who require door-to-door accommodations may use the Gate C entrance as a drop of spot only in the turn-around by the door. No guest or student parking will be permitted in the Gate C lot entrance.

Seating accommodations are available within Pegula Ice Arena for guests with disabilities.  Although reservations are not required, early arrival is recommended. Only one companion seat is provided adjacent to the accessible seat. Other family members may sit in the general seating area. 

At the conclusion of the ceremony, we ask our guests to please remain at their seats until the platform party, faculty, and graduates have left the arena floor. Students will directed from the arena floor to Gate C to exit the building. Family members are asked to meet their graduate outside the building, using both gates A and B to exit.

All graduates must check-in through the Gate C entrance to Pegula Ice Arena and be seated no later than 8:30 a.m. Check-in will open at 7:30 a.m. Students will be given a name card upon check-in to be used by the nomenclator to announce the student's name. No student will be permitted to enter the Arena without a name card.

College of IST staff will direct students to the appropriate hallway and into the Arena. Students may sit in any seat that is not marked as reserved. The student name card is the only item that should be carried to the seat.

Photographers from GradImages™ will be at the ceremony to take photographs of students as they individually approach, cross, and exit the stage. If you are interested in being contacted by GradImages™ with an offer for a free photo and an opportunity to purchase additional photos, please provide your U.S. mailing and email addresses on the reverse side of your name card. GradImages™ will be in touch with you soon after graduation.

Academic dress or the uniform of one of the U.S. Armed Forces is required in order to participate in graduation exercises. Students may order and purchase their caps and gowns from the Penn State Bookstore. If you need assistance, please contact the Penn State Bookstore at 814-863-0206.

The cap should be worn flat on your head with the tassel on right, front edge. Due to the formality of this occasion and safety concerns regarding walking on the steps and stage, please wear appropriate footwear; flip flops, clogs, and loose-fitting shoes are not recommended. It is requested that men wear slacks and a dress shirt with a tie. For women, slacks with a blouse or dress are appropriate.

Ornamentation representing honorary societies or nationalities is not approved attire for academic ceremonies. Do not decorate your robe or mortarboard. Students will be checked by staff for correct academic regalia. 

All graduating seniors who have earned academic distinction are eligible to receive an academic distinction cord to wear with approved academic dress at commencement ceremonies as follows:

  • Students who are graduating Summa Cum Laude will receive a blue and white cord
  • Students who are graduating Magna Cum Laude will receive a blue cord
  • Students who are graduating Cum Laude will receive a white cord

Students will receive notification from the College of IST on how to receive their academic distinction cords. Distinction levels for cords and commencement programs are determined by the student’s cumulative GPA from the semester prior to declaring intent to graduate. If students earn a higher distinction level once final grades are received, then a new cord can be requested by contacting the College of IST's Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies.​

Diplomas and final official transcripts will reflect the distinction level based on the final overall cumulative grade point average.

All graduating students who are military veterans, currently serving on active duty, in the reserve, or National Guard, or who will be granted a commission obtained through Penn State Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) are eligible to receive a red, white, and blue cord to wear with approved academic dress at commencement ceremonies.

Personnel who have already been granted priority registration status are automatically eligible for an honor cord and may visit or contact the Office of Veteran’s Programs to receive it. ROTC personnel may pick up their honor cord from their ROTC representative.

Personnel who have not been granted priority registration, please visit Veteran's Programs website for instructions on required proof of service and where to submit the required documentation.

Students receiving commissions in the armed forces will stand with their classmates when the academic degree is conferred, and also when receiving acknowledgment as a group.

Following the conferral of degrees by President Eric J. Barron, the individual procession across the stage will begin. University Marshals will direct students to leave their seats and walk to the right side aisle.

Please wait to stand until the Marshal directs your row to do so. Take your name card with you when you leave your seat and be sure it is handed name side up to the University Marshal assisting the Nomenclator. Ascend the steps and shake hands with the Platform Party as you cross the stage. Continue off stage down the steps, where your photo will be taken by GradImages™. Follow the Marshal’s directions to return to your row after your photo is taken. Please be quiet at all times.

As instructed by the dean of IST, graduates will stand at their seats and recess down the center aisle, following the platform party and faculty. Students will continue down the hallway, exiting through Gate C. Guests will be asked to stand and remain standing until the end of the recessional. Students should plan to meet their family members outside the building at exit doorways Gates A and B.

It is the expectation that all students will remain on the floor until the conclusion of the ceremony out of respect for the importance and dignity of this occasion. Early departures are disruptive to other graduates and their families. Remaining to share equally in every graduate’s moment says much about who we are as a community of Penn Staters, and is a true demonstration of “We Are Penn State!"