Candidate for Graduation Checklist
If you are planning to graduate from Penn State Behrend, it is 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 "Applying for Graduation" 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.
- Register for the ceremony: Candidates planning to attend the ceremony must confirm their participation with the Registrar's Office. An RSVP form will be sent out in early March; watch your email. (Please note that registration is not required for guests. Guests do not need tickets, and there is no limit on the number of guests a candidate may bring to the ceremony.)
- Are you a student who has not yet met the graduation requirements for their major, but wants to participate in a commencement ceremony at Behrend? Complete the Petition for Participation in Commencement Ceremony (PDF) | (Word) and return it to the Registrar's Office. (The deadline for permission to walk is the late drop deadline.)
- 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.
- Order your cap and gown: All graduating students participating in the ceremony must wear appropriate academic regalia (caps and gowns for bachelor's degree candidates; caps, gowns, and hoods for master's degree candidates), which must be ordered online. Read these guidelines before ordering.
- 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 transfer articulation tool to verify how transfer credits will be used on your degree audit.
- 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 both your local and permanent addresses are correct.
- Check your name: If you wish to change the way your name will appear on your diploma, you should file a request for a name change promptly through the Registrar's Office. All diplomas will be mailed from University Park to your permanent residence address approximately three to four weeks after the commencement ceremony. If your diploma was damaged in the mail, please return it 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 sent at no charge.
Gifts for Graduates
Graduates, here's how you can mark your milestone—or families, how you can celebrate your graduate:
- Purchase a photo: Lifetouch Photography will take photos of the candidates during the ceremony. This photo may be purchased online using the PhotoDay platform. Text the ordering code 448511GY23 to 90738 to receive notice when your commencement photos are available to view. For questions about these photos, contact Lifetouch at 814-825-1800.
- Purchase a paver: Order a custom inscribed monument paver that will be installed around the Mary Behrend Monument on Behrend's campus.
- Order a class ring: Visit Jostens.com to view ring options.
Graduates: What to Wear at Commencement
Academic dress (cap, gown and tassel) or the uniform of one of the armed forces is required to participate in a ceremony.
Associate degree and bachelor's degree candidates: The official academic regalia is a blue Penn State gown with wide sleeves and a blue mortarboard cap with a white tassel, worn on the right front edge.
Master's degree candidates: The official academic regalia is a black gown with pointed sleeves and a black mortarboard cap with a black tassel, worn on the left front edge. Candidates should carry the hood representing their academic discipline; the hood will be placed on them during the ceremony.
More Tips for Commencement Dress
- Gowns are available in regular and plus sizes. When ordering your gown, you will be asked to provide your height and weight to ensure an appropriate fit. Gowns must close for the ceremony and should hang loose, but not be too baggy.
- Please check your regalia for accuracy and quality before the day of the ceremony.
- Remember to steam your gown before commencement to remove wrinkles from packaging.
- Please arrive at the ceremony already wearing your regalia. No regalia will be available at the ceremony.
- It is suggested that men wear slacks and a dress shirt with a tie. For women, slacks with a blouse or a dress is appropriate.
- Because of the formality of this occasion and safety concerns, please wear appropriate footwear. Flip-flops, clogs, very high heels, and loose-fitting shoes are not recommended.
- Modifications or additions to the official academic regalia that is contrary to University policy is discouraged. Penn State Behrend reserves the right to tell a student to remove items that violate its policy before participating in the graduation ceremony.