Graduation Procedures

Preparing for Graduation


Commencement is held once a year in May.  Students who graduate in August or December of the preceding year are invited by the University and SEAS to attend the May ceremony.  Students anticipating graduation in the same year may also apply to participate in the May ceremony. Please order cap and gown from the Bookstore in early March at the Graduation Fair or online by early May if you wish to participate in the May graduation ceremony.
Information on what happens to email accounts post graduation is found here.



Diplomas will be mailed approximately eight to ten weeks following the official degree conferral date by the Office of the Secretary.  Diplomas are issued three times a year: May, August, and December and are mailed in July (May graduates), October (August graduates) and February (December graduates). Certified Electronic Diplomas (CeDiploma) are now being offered for May 2020 students forward. Full information on diplomas (address shipping, replacements, paper/electronic diplomas, etc.) can be found on the Office of the Secretary’s website. Student Data changes can be completed through the University’s Registrar’s Office.



Master’s Candidates

Master’s students applying for graduation must submit an Application for Master’s Graduation by the deadline given for the term’s graduation. The application opens in: December for May graduation, June for August graduation, and September for December graduation. The application is necessary to ensure that grades, diploma name, and all requirements are fulfilled by the deadline for graduation. If you have questions on your degree’s curriculum and that you have taken the appropriate courses and requirements, please double check with your advisor and/or program coordinator. If writing a thesis, make sure to obtain the faculty supervisor and chair/director’s signature prior to submitting the deadline for submitting the thesis to RAS. Follow thesis guidelines here.


PhD Candidates

All PhD candidates at the University of Pennsylvania are governed by procedures established in the Provost Office. Candidates for PhD degrees need to apply online with the Provost Office to graduate and deposit their dissertation. Please note all deadlines in place by the Provost Office are firmly observed and Engineering will uphold their rules and deadlines.

Graduation Checklist

  1. Obtain dissertation procedures and instructions from your department early. Please also view the following information from the Provost to prepare: Graduation Information including a Checklist with step-by-step instructions.
  2. Apply for graduation with the Provost.
  3. Once your defense date is set, schedule your deposit appointment (2-3 weeks after the date) via Calendly. The link will be sent at the start of each term.
  4. Be sure all milestone accomplishments are complete through the BP Logix portal. You will also obtain all committee member’s agreement to join/form the dissertation committee and votes for your dissertation through BP Logix as well.  Final dissertation approvals/forms in BP Logix must be to Grad Academic Services (Tori and Alyse), and approved, at least 5 business days prior to your deposit appointment to make sure all forms, grades, degree requirements, etc. are in order and set for you.

Please follow the specific details requirements the Provost has listed as well as any department requirements. Failure to follow the requirements and deadlines may result in delays or cancellation of the deposit appointment.