Virtual Advisor

Commencement

Commencement Ceremony

What's the difference between graduation and commencement?

College graduation marks the completion of a students' degree requirements, while commencement celebrates those accomplishments and looks toward the future.

The Commencement Ceremony is a special time to celebrate your accomplishments with family, friends, mentors and classmates. We look forward to recognizing your outstanding efforts as you join the ranks of our proud and successful alumni network.

The ceremony will last approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours and includes a welcome address, conferral of degrees, recognition of individual graduates by name and presentation of diploma covers. Doctoral and Master’s candidates will be hooded during the ceremony. Sign language interpreting services will be provided at all PennWest ceremonies.

Contacts:

Commencement Event/Ceremony Questions:
commencementceremony@pennwest.edu

Academic Graduation/Degree Questions:
graduation@pennwest.edu

Please visit this page often for updates and watch for communications from commencementceremony@pennwest.edu for commencement preparation and ceremony information, and from graduation@pennwest.edu for academic degree and graduation process information.

PennWest Commencement General Information

Spring 2024

Saturday, May 4, 2024,at 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Spring and Summer 2024 graduates eligible
Summer 2024 Master’s and Doctoral graduates can choose to walk at the May 2024 commencement or the December 2024 commencement.

California
Convocation Center
10am:
 College of Education, Arts, and Humanities; College of Science, Technology, and Business
2:30pm:
  College of Health Sciences and Human Services

Clarion – Tippen Gymnasium
10am:
  College of Health Sciences and Human Services
2:30pm:
 College of Education, Arts, and Humanities; College of Science, Technology, and Business

Edinboro – McComb Field House
10am:
 College of Education, Arts, and Humanities; College of Science, Technology, and Business
2:30pm:
  College of Health Sciences and Human Services

Apply to Graduate!

If you have not yet applied to graduate, please visit our graduation application process page to learn how to apply. Deadline is March 15, 2024.

Student Commencement Speaker Process

Do you want your chance to leave a legacy with your senior class? Applications are being accepted for the May 4, 2024, Student Commencement Speakers beginning FEBRUARY 15 at 12:00 noon and will remain open until MARCH 1 at 4:00 PM. Interviews will take place the week after spring break. All eligible students must be a graduating senior in the May commencement class and an active member of the University community with a 3.0 grade point average or higher. Use this link CommencementSpeakerFORM or the QR code below to apply.

GRADUATION FAIRS with vendors for class rings, commencement regalia, financial information, honors cords, refreshments & more!

California: March 13, 2024, Bookstore, Natali Student Center
Get your undergraduate regalia at the Bookstore or Grad Fair or Click ORDER – Deadline for ordering is April 4, 2024
Questions? Call 724-938-5575 or email guess@pennwest.edu

Clarion: April 10, 2024
, Bookstore, Gemmel Student Center
Get your undergraduate regalia at the Bookstore or Grad Fair or Click ORDER – Deadline for ordering is April 11, 2024
Questions? Call 814-393-2696 or email theclarionstore@pennwest.edu

Edinboro: April 9, 2024
, Bookstore, Pogue Student Center
Get your undergraduate regalia at the Bookstore or Grad Fair or Click ORDER – Deadline for MASTER’S is March 28 / Deadline for UG is April 11, 2024
Questions? Call 814-732-2456 or email borostore@pennwest.edu

 

GRADUATES WITH DISABILITIES

There is considerable amount of walking during the commencement ceremony. Alternate graduate access arrangements for commencement and all other student access requests should be made to your campus Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD):

Request for Accommodations: California  I  Clarion  I  Edinboro

 

GUESTS WITH DISABILITIES

Our guests are offered parking and seating at the ceremony in order of arrival. Guest accommodations are not reserved in advance.


Diplomas

Graduates will receive a diploma cover during the ceremony which contains information regarding their official diploma. Diplomas will be mailed in January for December commencement and in June for May commencement after grades have been finalized and degrees are conferred. Please note that all financial obligations must be met before the diploma will be mailed.


Latin Honors

Bachelor’s degree-seeking students who have completed a minimum of 30 credits at PennWest (excluding credit by exam) and who have achieved the following cumulative grade-point averages as of the last graded term of their enrollment are eligible for Latin honors.

  • Summa Cum Laude (3.80 - 4.00) – Gold stoles worn at commencement
  • Magna Cum Laude (3.60 - 3.79) –White stoles worn at commencement
  • Cum Laude (3.40 - 3.59) – Red stoles worn at commencement

Please note: Grades from a student's final term of enrollment are not officially posted and recomputed until after graduation, honors cords, or stoles, are awarded based on the cumulative GPA at the end of the previous semester. Honors for the final transcript are based on cumulative grade point average, including grades for the final semester.

Associate Degree Seeking Students

To receive a white honor Associate Degree with Distinction cord, a minimum of 15 credits must be completed at PennWest (excluding credit by exam) and you must have a cumulative GPA of 3.40 or higher.

Campus Ceremony Information

We are working to compile the most up-to-date information to provide the best experience for our graduates and guests. Please check back regularly for updates.

GUEST TICKETS ARE NEEDED FOR ALL CAMPUSES

More information on how to get your guest tickets is coming soon.

COMMENCEMENT REHEARSAL FOR STUDENTS

A Commencement Rehearsal will be held for students on Thursday, May 2nd.More information coming soon.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

REGALIA (See Graduation Fair information Above)

It is highly recommended that all graduating students purchase caps and gowns at least one month prior to the commencement ceremony. After this date, sizes are limited, and it may be too late to place special orders.

Degree candidates who qualify for academic honors at graduation will be sent an honors determination email and can obtain honor stoles at your Campus Bookstore (free-of-charge).

PHOTOS

PennWest contracts with GradImages® for official graduate photos taken during the ceremony. GradImages will contact graduates via their PennWest email after the ceremony with proofs for review and purchase information.

Graduation Attire

Each graduate must wear an academic robe and matching cap. Caps and gowns must be ordered in advance of the ceremony (see details under campus information). Active U. S. Military and Veterans are welcome to wear their Military uniforms.

Doctoral and Master's degree students: You will be hooded during the ceremony.

Decorating Caps

We kindly ask that personal modifications to the mortarboards (caps) be limited to those expressing well-wishes and gratitude or affiliation with sanctioned organizations. Students are not permitted to have unacceptable decorations, offensive language or inappropriate images on the mortarboards. Students not following these guidelines will be given a new mortarboard to wear.