2023 LPS Graduation: Frequently Asked Questions

How will LPS be communicating with me about graduation activities?

LPS graduate and undergraduate students who graduated in December 2022, or have applied to graduate in May 2023 or August 2023 will receive email communications from LPS starting in early February that will include information regarding the LPS graduation ceremony and reception.

How do I order academic regalia?

Obtain regalia at the Penn Bookstore during Grad Week: March 22-24 or online at Grad Express website (by April 1, to guarantee delivery). If you are unable to place your order online by April 1, please call the Penn Bookstore at (215) 898-7595 or email capandgown@upenn.edu to discuss your options. Additional information is available at the LPS Graduation Regalia page.

Where are the ceremony and reception?

The 2023 LPS Graduation Ceremony will be held on May 14, 2023, at 4 p.m. at Zellerbach Theatre, at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (on Penn’s campus, 3680 Walnut Street). A reception will immediately follow the ceremony at Annenberg Plaza.

What time should I arrive and where do I go?

It is imperative that graduating students arrive promptly by 2:45 p.m. Please bring your academic regalia; the staff will direct you to the check-in areas once you arrive:

  • Please look for signage designating the meeting area for your program: BAAS, BA, BFA, G-MPA, I-MPA, MLA, MPhil (Lib Arts), MCS, MES, MSAG, MSOD, MPhil (Dynamics), MSOD, MBDS, and MAPP. 
  • Report to the administrator assigned to your program area, who will check you in and determine your place in the processional line. Procession in proper order from the theatre/ceremony starts promptly at 3:40 p.m. View Procession Map.

How are the graduates seated?

Graduates are seated alphabetically on stage within their degree program. Seating maps are available here.

What time does the ceremony start?

The LPS Graduation Ceremony will begin promptly at 4 p.m. Let your guests know they should be seated before that time. Please remember it is necessary for graduating students to arrive no later than 2:45 p.m.

Where can I park?

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is located on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania at 3680 Walnut Street. Information on parking and directions are available at the Annenberg Center website.

We recommend you review these parking locations before arriving at the ceremony. Additional information about parking locations is available at the Penn Transportation and Parking website.

Where will the graduating students process?

Graduates will process from the check-in area into the theatre. View Procession Map.

Do I have to attend all of the ceremonies?

No. You may choose to attend any, one, or none. Attendance is not required.

Is there a dress code for what I should wear under my regalia?


How many ceremony tickets do I receive for my guests?

Participating graduates can request a maximum of two (2) guest tickets for the LPS Graduation Ceremony. All LPS degree recipients must RSVP by May 1 in order to reserve guest tickets and confirm graduate seating. Every guest must have a ticket to gain entrance into Zellerbach Theatre. More specific information is available on the Graduation Ticket page.

Is there assigned seating at the LPS ceremony?

No. Every guest must have a ticket to gain entrance into Zellerbach Theatre. All seating is by general admission.

Is there a place to store my belongings while the LPS ceremony is taking place?

No. We recommend leaving them with friends and family.

What is the reception?

The graduation reception will immediately follow the ceremony on Annenberg Plaza and will include light refreshments. All graduates and guests are invited; no tickets are required.

As an international student, how do I request a formal invitation letter for my intended guests?

The Department of State accepts invitation letters written by students as a supplemental document for their visitors to apply for a visa to come to the US. You do not need a separate support letter from ISSS in order to invite a family member to visit the US. See more information at the International Student and Scholars Services website.

When will I receive my diploma?

The College of Liberal and Professional Studies does not distribute official diplomas at the LPS Graduation Ceremony. The Office of the University Secretary will begin to mail diplomas approximately eight to ten weeks following the official degree conferral date (i.e., the date appearing on your diploma). Your diploma will be mailed once you have satisfied all relevant academic requirements and if you are in good financial standing. Diplomas will only be mailed to the permanent or diploma address. Additional information about mailing diplomas is available at Penn’s Office of the University Secretary website.

International diplomas can take up to eight weeks for delivery. International students who are planning to stay in the US through August can designate a US diploma address by updating Path@Penn. Alternatively, students can contact the diploma coordinator before June 7 to arrange to pick up their diploma starting in August.

Can you provide a list of area hotels and restaurants?

Penn Baccalaureate and Commencement Ceremonies

What is the Baccalaureate?

The Penn Baccalaureate Ceremony is a 50-minute interfaith program that includes music, readings, prayers, and a guest speaker. Two consecutive ceremonies will be held in Irvine Auditorium on Sunday, May 14, in order to accommodate all those who wish to attend. Students whose last names begin with A through K are invited to attend the 1:30 p.m. ceremony. Students whose last names begin with L through Z are invited to attend the 3 p.m. ceremony. Tickets and academic regalia are not required. The Baccalaureate Ceremony speaker will be announced in the spring.

Please note that this event takes place on the same day as the LPS ceremony. The latter Baccalaureate will overlap with the LPS ceremony, so you will not be able to attend both.

What is the University Commencement ceremony on May 15?

The University Commencement Ceremony is a campus-wide event at which you will celebrate with all members of the University of Pennsylvania Class of 2023. The procession of graduates is followed by speakers, special guests, and honorary degree awards.

Regalia is required, and the event is rain or shine. No tickets are required for guests; seating will be available on both the field and in the lower stands. Please be aware that the stadium is bench seating.