Smeal Commencement

Find information about academic regalia, the ceremony, parking for guests with disabilities, photography services, diplomas & distinction cords, & etiquette for the Smeal Commencement ceremony.

The Bryce Jordan Center
Saturday, May 4, 2024
9:00 a.m.

Congratulations on achieving your academic goal – conferral of your degree! To participate in the commencement ceremony, it is expected that you have satisfied all University, college, and major requirements in effect at the time of your admission as a degree candidate to the University.

Guest Tickets

Tickets will be required for guests due to a high number of graduating students and capacity limits at the Bryce Jordan Center this spring. Each graduate will be able to receive up to six tickets for their guests to attend commencement. This will provide each graduating student with the same opportunity to invite their friends, family, and loved ones. We ask that you please reserve only the tickets you need, so we can accommodate as many people as possible.

Only students who are officially set to graduate in the spring 2024 semester will be permitted to participate in the ceremony.

Graduating students will receive an email after March 22, 2024 with directions on how to reserve tickets.

Questions? Please email SmealCommencement@smeal.psu.edu

Academic Regalia

Academic Regalia - (cap and gown) or military uniform is required for participation. Extra adornments on caps and gowns are not permitted. Business professional attire is recommended for all graduates. Dress shoes are appropriate and very high heels or flip flops are not recommended due to safety concerns. Academic regalia (or military uniform) is available for purchase at the Penn State bookstore.

The Ceremony

For friends and family who are unable to join us at University Park, the ceremony may be viewed on the Spring Commencement Live Stream

Bryce Jordan Center Bag Policy

In line with the best practices at major entertainment venues, the Bryce Jordan Center utilizes walk-through metal detectors at all entry gates and restrictions on the size and type of bag that may be carried into the arena for all events. Check out the Bryce Jordan Center Bag Policy website for more information. 

Personal belongings should be given to family or friends to hold during the ceremony. Students may not bring water bottles or other liquids onto the event floor.

Parking at the Bryce Jordan Center

General parking will be available at one or more of the following parking areas, as directed by University Police and event parking staff:

  • Lot 44– located east of the Bryce Jordan Center, and accessible from Porter Road (via Park Avenue or College Avenue) and Dauer Drive (via University Drive)
  • Stadium West– located west of Beaver Stadium, and accessible only from Park Avenue
  • Porter North– located north of Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, and accessible from Porter Road (via Park Avenue or College Avenue)

Accessibility

Accommodations for guests with disabilities may be arranged. For more information, please visit the Commencement Accessibility website. 

ADA parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please allow extra time for traffic and parking.  A valid, state-issued ADA placard or license plate is required for ADA parking.

Parking attendants will be on duty to guide guests to the appropriate areas.

View a map of the parking options for commencement.

Ceremony Photography Services

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 of 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 nomenclator card.

Diplomas and Distinction Cords

Diplomas will be mailed to your home address, approximately 4-6 weeks after commencement. Please be sure to update your permanent home address via LionPATH prior to commencement.

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 Smeal College of Business 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 their final semester. If students earn a higher distinction level once final grades are received, then a cord can be requested by emailing the Smeal College of Business at .

A Note on Etiquette: Commencement is a formal academic ceremony. We encourage you and your guests to celebrate your graduation, however, we request that graduates behave with the decorum the occasion deserves. Please do not leave the commencement floor prior to the end of the ceremony; early exiting is very disruptive and disrespectful to others.

Questions? Call the Smeal College of Business Undergraduate Education Office at 814-863-1947 or e-mail SmealCommencement@smeal.psu.edu.

Congratulations & best wishes in your future endeavors!

Future Graduation Dates

Summer 2024: Saturday, August 10th, 2024

Fall 2024: Sunday, December 22, 2024