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The College of Liberal and Professional Studies staff is working remotely to comply with University protocols as we navigate the COVID-19 virus. Penn is committed to maintaining a safe campus and workplace for faculty, students, staff, and visitors. While we are not onsite, we are still available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. by phone and online in case you need support: (215) 898-7326 or

Visit, the University's dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 web page, for the latest updates.

2020 LPS 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 2019, or have applied to graduate in May 2020 or August 2020, will receive email communication from LPS starting in early February that will include information about the LPS graduation ceremony and reception. In early April, graduating students are mailed a graduation packet, which includes LPS graduation details and Penn Commencement announcements.

How do I order graduation regalia?

  • Attend Graduation Fair at the bookstore between March 18-20
  • Visit the Penn Bookstore site to order regalia online (by April 24, to allow for shipping)
  • If you miss Grad Fair, you can still purchase regalia at the Penn Bookstore or online (sizing may be limited)

Contact the Penn Bookstore with any questions: (215) 898-7595 or

For more information, visit our Graduation Regalia page.

Where do the ceremony and reception take place?

The 2020 LPS Graduation Ceremony will be held on May 17, 2020, at 4 p.m. at Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (3680 Walnut Street, on Penn’s campus). The reception will take place at Annenberg Plaza, immediately following the ceremony.

What time should I arrive, and where do I go?

It is imperative that graduating students arrive promptly at the Annenberg Center by 3 p.m. Bring your graduation regalia. Signs and LPS staff will direct you to the second-floor robing area. Look for signage designating the meeting location for your particular program: BA, BAAS, BFA, IMPA, MLA, MPhil (Liberal Arts), MBDS, MCS, MES, MSAG, MAPP, MPhil (Dynamics), MSOD. Report to the administrator assigned to your program area to check in, and to determine your place in the processional line. Students will process in proper order from the robing area into the theatre for the ceremony.

What time does the ceremony start?

The LPS Graduation Ceremony will begin promptly at 4 p.m.; please inform your guests that they should be seated before that time. Please remember it is necessary for graduating students to arrive no later than 3 p.m.

Where can I park?

The 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 is available at the Annenberg Center website

We recommend you review these parking locations before arriving at the ceremony. Additional information on Penn parking locations is available at Penn's Transportation and Parking website.

Where will the graduating students process?

Graduates will process from the second-floor robing area, down the steps, and into the theatre. Maps will be provided prior to the ceremony.

Do I have to attend all of the ceremonies?

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

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 three (3) guest tickets for the LPS Graduation Ceremony.  The RSVP form will open sometime in mid-March.  All LPS degree recipients must RSVP by 5/1/20 in order to reserve guest tickets and confirm graduate seating.  Due to ticket availability, students should only reserve the number of tickets actually needed.  Every guest must have a ticket to gain entrance into Zellerbach Theatre. 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 on the day of the ceremony.

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

No. We recommend leaving your belongings with friends and family.

What is the graduation reception?

The graduation reception will take place at Annenberg Plaza immediately following the ceremony and will include light refreshments. All graduates and guests are invited; tickets are not required.

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

Students can obtain a formal invitation letter for Commencement 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 email 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 to you once you have satisfied all relevant academic requirements and if you are in good financial standing. Additional diploma mailing information is available at the website of the University Secretary.

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?

Hotels from the Penn Travel site >
Restaurants listed on the University City District website >
Restaurants listed on the Visit Philadelphia website >

Penn Baccalaureate and Commencement

What is the Baccalaureate Ceremony?

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 17, in order to accommodate all those who wish to attend. Students whose last names begin with A through K, and their guests, are invited to attend the 1:30 p.m. ceremony. Students whose last names begin with L through Z, and their guests, are invited to attend the 3 p.m. ceremony. Tickets and graduation regalia are not required. The Baccalaureate speaker will be announced in the spring.

Please note that this event takes place on the same day as the LPS ceremony. The 3 p.m. Baccalaureate Ceremony overlaps with the LPS ceremony, so you will not be able to attend both.

What is the University Commencement ceremony on Monday, May 18?

The University Commencement Ceremony is a campus-wide celebration for all members of the University of Pennsylvania Class of 2020 and their guests. The event includes a procession of graduates, followed by speakers, special guests, and the presenting of honorary degree awards.

Graduation regalia is required for graduating students participating in this event. No tickets are required for guests; seating will be available on the field and in the lower stands. Please be aware that the stadium has bench-style seating. This event will proceed as scheduled, rain or shine.

LPS News

  • Hayley McCurdy, Master of Environmental Studies ’20—expected
    A Penn student designs her degree around the industries that power change
    For Hayley McCurdy (MES ’20—expected), an individualized curriculum helped her make connections and explore her interests in energy, economic development, and environmental stewardship. View Story
  • College of Professional and Liberal Studies students stand out in the 2020 Grad Ben Talks event
    Students from the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences and the Master of Applied Positive Psychology won awards in their divisions. View Story


College of Liberal and Professional Studies Office

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

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


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The lifelong learning division of Penn Arts & Sciences

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

(215) 898-7326