Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies will celebrate its 27th annual commencement on Friday, May 5, 2017.

Students graduating in summer 2016, fall 2016, and spring 2017 are eligible to participate in this year’s ceremony.

All 2016–17 graduating students will receive a mailing in February 2017 with details about the commencement ceremony and the required steps. Spring graduating students and summer and fall grads will receive a hard copy mailing at their home address.

Event Details

The Commencement ceremony will take place as follows:

All Programs: 7:00 p.m. Friday, May 5 (Graduates participating in this ceremony must be at the campus by 6:15 p.m. in order to prepare for the procession.)

  • A reception with light refreshments will follow the ceremony; all graduates and their guests are invited to attend.
  • Diplomas for spring grads will be mailed from the University Registrar’s Office beginning in late May.

In order to help prepare for graduation and the Commencement ceremony, please complete the following steps:

Commencement RSVP Form

  • Starting in February, we ask that all 2016-17 graduating students complete the Commencement RSVP Form, whether they plan to attend the ceremony or not.
  • Place your academic regalia order (indicate height for regalia) on the RSVP Form. It will be forwarded to the Penn State Great Valley Bookstore for processing.
  • Additional instructions and information will be sent closer to the time of Commencement.
  • It is critical for the University to have your correct home and local address in order to mail pertinent graduation information and prepare diplomas. If you are a current student, you can check and update your address on eLion. Students who are not currently enrolled should contact the Penn State Great Valley Registration Office at 610-648-3275 to update their addresses. Currently enrolled students also should check their web mail frequently.

Commencement Ceremony Tickets

  • Tickets are required for all guests, including small children.
  • Each graduate may obtain four tickets for seating, but you must submit the Commencement RSVP Form in order to qualify for tickets. 
  • Tickets will be distributed at Penn State Great Valley in the Registration Office beginning Monday, April 10 through Friday, April 21. Tickets may be picked up during regular business hours, Monday through Thursday between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., and on Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The registration office is closed on Saturdays. If you would like to have your tickets mailed to you, please send a request to with your name, contact information, and the number of tickets needed.
  • Tickets will be distributed only to participating students. Please show your Penn State student ID or other photo ID when picking up tickets.

Caps, Gowns, and Hoods

  • All graduating students who participate in the ceremony must wear the academic regalia appropriate for their degree status.
  • You should order your regalia on the Commencement RSVP Form (indicate your height).
  • Cap, gown, and hood orders can be picked up at the campus bookstore during regular business hours, Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. beginning Monday, April 3 through Friday, April 28, 2017.
  • Payment of $90.00 plus tax is due at the time of pick up. You may arrange to prepay and have your order shipped to you by contacting the bookstore at 610-648-3213.
  • For more information, contact the bookstore at 610-648-3213. Bookstore hours are Monday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Class Rings and Diploma Frames

  • A representative from Josten’s will be in the lobby of the Main Building to assist you in purchasing a class ring on Monday, April 3 and Tuesday, April 4 from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • The bookstore carries diploma frames.

Commencement Ceremony

  • Students who meet the deadline for indicating their intent to graduate will be listed in the Commencement program, which is distributed to all participants and guests during the ceremony.
  • The ceremony lasts about one hour and fifteen minutes and includes the following:
    • Invocation
    • Academic Procession
    • National Anthem
    • Welcome
    • Commencement Address
    • Authorization to Confer Degrees
    • Conferring of Degrees
    • Hooding of Graduates
    • Outstanding Student Achievement Awards
    • Student Speaker on behalf of the Graduates
    • Alumni Welcome
    • Alma Mater
    • Recessional

If you have questions, please email the Commencement Office at