Graduation Procedures

At the start of the semester or session in which a student expects to satisfy University degree requirements, he/she should follow these graduation procedures.

Graceful Exit provides help for students as they transition from undergraduate status through graduation and on to the next phase of their lives. This site offers modules on Leaving Penn State, Consumer Debt, and Budgets.

Details on graduation ceremonies are on the University's official commencement website.

Notifying the University

Students are responsible for notifying the University of their intent to graduate. At the beginning of the semester in which they will meet degree requirements and plan to graduate, they should notify the University by using the Graduating This Semester application on eLion.

The graduation activation period for a semester typically begins a week before the beginning of classes and continues for two weeks into the semester. During this period, students may determine if their college has added or removed them from the graduation candidate list for that semester, and they may enter their intent to graduate or remove their name from the list. After this period, students may check their status through eLion, but they must contact the appropriate dean's office to change their status.

The Graduating This Semester application on eLion also prompts students to review the complete names that will appear on their diplomas and provides instructions on changing or making corrections. In addition, it permits students to review their diploma mailing address and make revisions if necessary.

Diploma Distribution

Graduates receive their diplomas by mail, at their diploma address, if any, or their permanent residence, at no cost, approximately four to six weeks following their commencement ceremonies.

Graduation at Alternative Campus

Students may ask to attend commencement exercises at Penn State campuses not assigned to them. To make this request, the student should submit the appropriate alternate commencement site form, associate degree or baccalaureate degree, to the graduation coordinator in the college offering his/her major. Requests must be submitted before the eleventh week of the semester the student is graduating.

Registrar's Graduation Information

Detailed information on graduation procedures can be found on the Registrar's website.


Reviewed: June 2013
Last Update: January 2012

Reference(s): Senate Policy 86-00