Graduation Procedures

Preparing for Graduation


The commencement ceremony is held once a year in May.  Students who graduate in August or December of the preceding year are invited by the University and Engineering to attend the May ceremony.  Students anticipating graduation in the same year may also apply to participate in the May ceremony. The Penn Engineering Commencement website for all ceremonies can be found here.


Commencement Regalia: If you wish to participate in the May graduation ceremony, you’ll need to order cap and gown. Students can purchase commencement regalia at the Penn Bookstore during “Grad Week,” traditionally held in March of the Spring semester. All regalia will be distributed on the second level of the Penn Bookstore near the textbook department. There is no option for students to rent regalia; only purchase.
Students/alumni not currently on campus can order regalia online and have regalia shipped directly to them. To see details and to order, please visit Grad Express.


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 electronically to Graduate Engineering. 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/Path Forms portal. You will also obtain all committee member’s agreement to join/form the dissertation committee and votes for your dissertation through Path Forms as well.  Final dissertation approvals/forms in Path Forms must be to Graduate Engineering (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.

Degrees and Diplomas

Degrees are posted after the conferral date. It may take approximately 6 weeks or longer for degrees to be posted on transcripts.


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.


Diploma Names

As part of the Graduation Application, expected graduates will indicate how they would like their name to appear on their diploma. Students are encouraged to ensure that the name printed on their diploma matches their other official forms of identification (passport, driver’s license, visa, etc.). Students who have legally changed their name and need to update it in their student record should do so here.

Expiration of 'SEAS' email account

Graduates have access to their ‘’ email account for a few weeks after graduation. The CETS IT group is not responsible for alumni accounts, but they have information on what happens to email accounts post graduation here. Graduates are invited to set up a Quaker Gmail ( account through the Department of Alumni Relations and review their Quaker Gmail FAQs.