Commencement Ceremony Information

Monday, May 16, 2016, Franklin Field

Penn's 260th Commencement ceremony will take place on Monday, May 16, 2016 in Franklin Field at 10:15 a.m., and is preceded by student and academic processions through campus. The ceremony will end at approximately noon and will feature the conferral of degrees, the awarding of honorary degrees, greetings by University officials, and remarks by the Commencement speaker, Lin-Manuel Miranda, an award-winning composer, lyricist, and performer, as well as a 2015 MacArthur Foundation Award recipient.

Please note – due to the presence of visiting dignitaries at Commencement this year, we will have heightened security before entering Franklin Field on Monday morning. The gates to Franklin Field will open at 7:00 a.m., and it is recommended that attendees plan on arriving as early as possible. Every guest will be required to go through airport-style magnetometers, and certain items will be prohibited from Franklin Field, including but not limited to oversized bags, bottles, tripods and umbrellas. Guests should enter through the southeast gates (intersection of South St. and Convention Ave.) to Franklin Field and will be seated in the southeast, east, and northeast stands of the stadium. The procession of degree candidates will start to enter the field at about 9:00 a.m. The ceremony will begin at 10:15 a.m. upon the arrival of the academic procession (the President's party and the faculty) and will conclude at approximately 12:15 p.m. The ceremony will feature the conferral of degrees, the awarding of honorary degrees, greetings by University officials, and our Commencement speaker, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Tickets are not required for admission.

All media must be credentialed in advance. All inquiries should be made to Amanda Mott at

Candidates for degrees in May, as well as graduates who completed degree requirements in August or December 2015, are invited to march in the procession and attend the Commencement ceremony. Students participating in the procession into Franklin Field should arrive at Hamilton Village (39th Street and Locust Walk) wearing academic regalia, no later than 8:00 a.m. The student procession will enter Franklin Field at approximately 9:30 a.m.

Inclement and Severe Weather Plans

Commencement will be held rain or shine.  However, for the safety of graduates and guests, severe weather conditions may require the cancellation of the student procession across campus or the delay of the ceremony.

In dangerous weather conditions, the ceremony may be relocated indoors to the Palestra, where seating would be limited to the academic procession and graduating students. In the case of this relocation, students should report to the Palestra no later than 9:30 a.m. Please know that the decision to move the Commencement ceremony indoors would be made in only extreme conditions.

If weather requires changes to the Commencement ceremony schedule, information will be found on:

  • Signs at Hamilton Village and around campus
  • Announcements on (215) 898-MELT and (215) 573-GRAD
  • Announcements on radio station KYW (1060 AM)
  • A notice on this website

Disability Seating

If you require special seating due to a wheelchair, limited physical mobility or other medical conditions, you may make arrangements beginning on March 1st by completing the Request for Disability Seating form. A confirmation email will be sent within five days of submitting your request. Starting April 1st, you can call (215) 898-7369 (voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD) between noon and 5 p.m. if you have any questions.

Seating will be available on both the field and in the lower stands. Please be aware that the stadium is bench seating. Due to space constraints, guests with disabilities who are seated on the field may be accompanied by only one escort.

There is no guarantee that accommodations can be made if the request is received after April 30th. Tickets will be mailed at the end of April.

If you require Commencement information materials in alternate formats, advance notice is required.


If you have questions or comments, please contact the Office of the University Secretary.