Graduation Procedures

Preparing for Graduation

Opens in December for May Graduation
Opens in June for August Graduation
Opens in September for December 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 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

Candidates for PhD degrees need to apply online with SAS. All PhD candidates at the University of Pennsylvania are governed by procedures established in the SAS Graduate Office firmly observes the deadlines they establish. Engineering PhD candidates should be aware that their applications for graduation are processed in the SAS Graduate Office and that their dissertation is submitted there.

Graduation Checklist

  1. Obtain dissertation instructions from your department early in the writing stage.
  2. Schedule your deposit appointment via Calendly. Link will be sent at the start of each term.
  3. Students will initiate all milestone accomplishments 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. Completed milestone forms should be completed at the time the milestone is met. Final dissertation approvals and electronic forms must be to RAS at least 5 business days prior to your appointment to make sure all forms, grades, degree requirements, etc. are in order and set for you.
  4. Please view the following information to prepare: Graduation Information, including a Checklist with step-by-step instructions, Dissertation Formatting Information, Checklist for formatting dissertations, dissertation formatting FAQ sheet. (A new Doctoral Dissertation manual will be released soon by the Provost, until then, please continue to refer to the Library version.) 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.