Graduation - Frequently Asked Questions

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How will LPS be communicating with me about Graduation activities?

LPS graduate and undergraduate students who graduated in December 2016, or have applied to graduate in May 2017 or August 2017 will receive e-mail communication from LPS starting in early March that will include information regarding the LPS graduation ceremony and reception. In early April, graduating students are mailed a graduation packet, which will include the LPS Graduation details and Penn Commencement announcements. 

How do I order academic regalia?

Contact the Penn Bookstore at 215-898-7595 or attend the Graduation Fair at the Penn Bookstore on March 15-17.

Students who are unable to visit the bookstore during the Graduation Fair must contact the bookstore and place their regalia order by March 18th.

More information: Academic Regalia

Where is the ceremony and reception?

The 2017 LPS Graduation Ceremony will be held on May 14, 2017 at 4:00pm at Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (on Penn’s campus: 3680 Walnut Street).  A reception will immediately follow the ceremony at Annenberg Plaza.

What time should I arrive and where do I go?

It is imperative that graduating students arrive promptly by 3:00pm at Annenberg Center. Bring your academic regalia. Signs and LPS staff will direct you to the second-floor robing area (Room 511). Students should look for signage designating the meeting location for their particular program: AA, BA, BFA, MLA, M.Phil (Liberal Arts), MCS, MES, MSAG, MAPP, MMP, M.Phil (Dynamics), MSOD. Report to the administrator assigned to your program area to check you in on the clipboard, and to determine your place in the processional line. Students will process in proper order from the robing area into the theatre/ceremony.

What time does the ceremony start?

The LPS Graduation Ceremony will begin promptly at 4:00pm; doors will open at 3:15pm for ticketed guests. Please remember it is necessary for graduating students to arrive no later than 3:00pm for robing and procession lineup.  LPS staff will direct you to the second-floor robing area.

Where can I park?

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is located on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania at
3680 Walnut Street.  Information on parking and directions are available at:

We recommend you review these parking locations before arriving at the ceremony. Additional information on Penn parking locations is available at:

Where will the graduating students process?

Graduates will emerge from the second-floor robing area, down the steps, and will enter into the theatre.  Procession maps will be available in early May.

Do I have to attend all of the ceremonies?

No. You may choose to attend any, one, or none. Attendance is not required.

What if I haven’t ordered my regalia yet?

Contact the Penn Bookstore at 215-898-7595.

Is there a dress code for what should I wear under my regalia?


How many ceremony tickets do I receive for my guests?

Participating graduates can request a maximum of four (4) guest tickets for the LPS Graduation Ceremony. All LPS degree recipients must RSVP by 5/1/17 in order to reserve guest tickets. Students should only reserve the number of tickets actually needed. More specific information is available on the Graduation Ticket page.

Is there assigned seating at the LPS ceremony?

No. Every guest must have a ticket to gain entrance into Zellerbach Theatre. All seating is by general admission.

How are the graduates seated?

Graduates are seated alphabetically on stage within their degree program. Seating maps will be sent prior to the event and will be available the day of the ceremony.

Is there some place to store my belongings while the LPS ceremony is taking place?

No. We recommend leaving them with friends and family.

What is the reception?

The graduation reception will immediately follow the ceremony on Annenberg Plaza and will include light refreshments. All graduates and guests are invited; no tickets required.

As an international student, how do I request a formal invitation letter for my intended guests?

Students who are in need of a formal invitation letter for Commencement should request the letter through the iPenn system. Once you log in to iPenn, click the "Student Services" menu on the left side of the page and select "Invitation Letter Request"; fill out all of the necessary information on the request form and click "Submit." An International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) representative will e-mail you once the letter has been prepared and is ready for pickup. If you have any questions about this process, please contact the ISSS office.

When will I receive my diploma?

The College of Liberal and Professional Studies does not distribute official diplomas at the LPS Graduation Ceremony. The Office of the University Secretary will begin to mail diplomas approximately eight to ten weeks following the official degree conferral date (i.e. the date appearing on your diploma). Your diploma will be mailed once you have satisfied all relevant academic requirements and if you are in good financial standing. Diplomas will only be mailed to the permanent or temporary address; additional diploma mailing information available at:

International diplomas can take up to eight weeks for delivery. International students who are planning to stay in the US should designate a temporary US address in Penn In Touch or contact the Diploma Coordinator to arrange to pick up the diploma from the Office of the University Secretary.

Can you provide a list of area hotels and restaurants?



Penn Baccalaureate and Commencement

What is the Baccalaureate?

The Baccalaureate Ceremony is a 50-minute interfaith program that includes music, readings, prayers, and a guest speaker. Two consecutive ceremonies will be held in Irvine Auditorium on Sunday, May 15, in order to accommodate all those who wish to attend. Students whose last names begin with A through K are invited to attend the 1:30 p.m. ceremony. Students whose last names begin with L through Z are invited to attend the
3:00 p.m. ceremony. Tickets and academic regalia are not required. The Baccalaureate speaker will be announced in the spring.

Please note that this event takes place the same day as the LPS ceremony. The latter Baccalaureate will overlap the LPS ceremony, so you will not be able to attend both.

What is the University Commencement ceremony on May 15th?

The University Commencement Ceremony is a campus-wide event at which you will celebrate with all members of the University of Pennsylvania Class of 2017. The procession of graduates is followed by speakers, special guests, and honorary degree awards.

Regalia is required and the event is rain or shine.  No tickets are required for guests; seating will be available on both the field and in the lower stands. Please be aware that the stadium is bench seating.

Additional FAQs are available at:

LPS News

  • Penn Arts and Sciences recently announced the 2017 Teaching Award recipients. This year,Dr. Judith McLean and Dr. James Pawelski from the College of Liberal and Professional Studies are being recognized for their work. More >
  • Read about Elizabeth Madara (MES ’12), a Project Scientist at New Jersey’s Roux Associates, Inc., and her experiences with remediation and environmental management. More >

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3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326
(215) 573-2053

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