May 5: Commencement

May 5, 2017
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Erie Insurance Arena

Penn State Behrend Commencement


Friday, May 5, 2017

6:30 p.m., Erie Insurance Arena, 809 French Street, Erie, PA 16501

(Candidates for graduation should report by 5:30 p.m.)

No tickets are necessary.

The commencement speakers will be Dr. Melanie Hetzel-Riggin, associate professor of psychology, and Dr. Priscilla H. Hamilton, Colonel U.S. Army (Ret.) '78, retired commander of DENCOM, the U.S. Army's dental-care system.

7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 4
Larry and Kathryn Smith Chapel
Family and friends are invited and no tickets are necessary.


QUICK LINKS: Commencement Live Stream | Commencement Program

Information for Graduates

If you are planning to graduate from Penn State in Spring, Summer, or Fall, it will be necessary to take the following steps:

  • Declare Your Intent to Graduate: It is your responsibility to notify the University of your intent to graduate (See Policy 86-00). You must declare your intent to graduate by using the "Graduating This Semester" application on LionPATH. The Intent to Graduate Activation Period is listed on the Academic Calendar for each semester. If you miss the activation deadline for your intended semester of graduation, you must contact the Registrar's Office in Metzgar Center.
  • Ceremony Registration: Candidates planning to attend the ceremony need to RSVP with the Registrar's Office at the Graduation Fair. If you miss the Graduation Fair, please contact the Registrar's Office as soon as possible at (814) 898-6104.
  • Meet With Your Adviser: Use LionPATH to request a current degree audit and review it with your academic adviser. You should meet with your adviser each semester. This will ensure that you are on track to meet all degree requirements. If you are missing courses, credits, or grade requirements, you will not be able to graduate. You cannot graduate with missing or deferred grades.
  • Transfer Your Credits: It is preferable to avoid taking classes at another institution during your intended semester of graduation. If you do, you must ensure that Penn State receives your official transcript with the grades on time. If courses are not posted to your transcript on time, graduation will be postponed to the following semester. Be sure to use the Penn State University transfer articulation tool to verify how transfer credits will be used on your degree audit.
  • Required GPA for Graduation with Distinction
  • Academic Dress: Undergraduate academic regalia consists of blue gowns with wide sleeves and blue mortarboard caps with tassels. Graduate regalia is distinguished from the undergraduate regalia by black gowns with hoods and pointed sleeves. The uniform of the armed forces is the only other apparel officially recognized and permitted. Academic regalia is available for purchase at the Graduation Fair by the Penn State Behrend Bookstore (located in the Reed lobby) 814-898-6236. Gowns are available in regular and plus sizes. Please check your regalia for accuracy, quality, and fit before the day of the ceremony.
  • Properly Wearing Academic Regalia: Candidates for the baccalaureate and associate degrees should wear the tassel of the cap on the right front edge. Candidates must wear a cap with a tassel and a gown. The gown must be zipped in order to participate in the processional and ceremony.
  • Photography: Lifetouch Photography will take photos of the candidates during the ceremony. To contact them please go to: www.events.lifetouch.com or 814-825-1800.
  • Rings and Announcement Cards: During the Graduation Fair, students may purchase class rings and personalized commencement announcement cards. For more information, please contact the Penn State Bookstore at 814-898-6236.
  • Check Your Address: You will be receiving important graduation information in the mail, so it is important that your address is up-to-date. You can check your address on LionPATH. Make sure that your local and permanent addresses are both correct.
  • Diplomas: If you wish to change the way your name will appear on your diploma, students should file a request for a name change promptly through the Registrar's office. They may also obtain more information during the Graduation Fair. All diplomas will be mailed from Penn State University Park approximately three to four weeks after the commencement ceremony to your permanent residence address. If your diploma was damaged in the mail, please return the diploma to the Registrar's Office at University Park with a note saying it was damaged. After the damaged diploma is received, a new one will be ordered at no charge.
  • Are you a student at another Penn State campus who wants to participate in commencement at Behrend? Refer to the Alternate Commencement Site for information.

Information for Guests

  • Photography: To commemorate this milestone occasion, a professional photograph is taken of each graduate. Prior to commencement, a mailing will be sent that details this arrangement, including how to place an order. To avoid congestion and to maintain decorum in the ceremony, we ask that family and friends refrain from approaching the stage when taking pictures or using a video camera.
  • Parking: After 5:00 p.m., free parking will be offered in the Erie Insurance ramp at 124 East 8th St., directly across the street from the arena. (Please note that the Erie Insurance ramp will close one hour after the ceremony ends.) Additional paid ramp and street parking is available throughout downtown. We suggest that guests arrive no later than one-half hour before the ceremony. Additional information will be sent home in April.
  • Travel and Accommodations: This site includes information about transportation, directions to Behrend, and nearby hotels.


For more information: If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar's Office at 814-898-6104 or email REGBD@psu.edu.