Spring 2021 Commencement
Ceremonies will be held at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania on May 6 and 7. All undergraduate and graduate students who filed their intent to graduate in spring 2021 will receive information to attend the commencement ceremony for their assigned school within Penn State Harrisburg.
Ceremonies, which will include all undergraduate and graduate students within each school, are as follows:
- Thursday, May 6 at 7 p.m.
School of Behavioral Sciences and Education and the School of Public Affairs
Doors open for graduates at 5:45 p.m., for guests at 6:15 p.m.
- Friday, May 7 at 2 p.m.
School of Business Administration and the School of Humanities
Doors open for graduates at 12:45 p.m., for guests at 1:15 p.m.
- Friday, May 7 at 7 p.m.
School of Science, Engineering, and Technology
Doors open for graduates at 5:45 p.m., for guests at 6:15 p.m.
Required Tickets for Graduates and Guests
- There is a limit of 4 (four) guests per graduate at Penn State Harrisburg ceremonies to allow for physical distancing, seating accommodations and stage placement.
- All guests (over age 2) must have a ticket to enter the Giant Center. There will be no on-site registration or ticketing available.
- Graduates will receive their Grad Pass ticket upon registering. This Grad Pass will be required for entry to the Giant Center.
- Graduates must provide name and contact info for each guest when registering.
- Graduates will not be able to change their guests once registered.
- The Giant Center/Ticketmaster will send guest tickets to the graduate's PSU email the week of the ceremony.
- The graduate is responsible for forwarding these tickets to their guests.
Information and instructions regarding the ticketing process were sent to each graduate's Penn State email address on April 12, 2021.
Graduates should register to attend and reserve guest tickets as soon as possible.
Registration and ticketing will close April 30 at 11:55 p.m. There will be no on-site registration or ticketing available.
The college’s ceremonies will include the conferral of degrees, speakers and induction into the Penn State Alumni Association. To adjust for protocols that protect the health and safety of students, guests and employees in attendance, graduates will not be called upon to walk across the stage. However, each graduate's name will be announced.
The ceremonies will be livestreamed so graduates, friends and loved ones who are unable to attend may watch the ceremony that their graduate attends. The stream will be available on the Penn State Harrisburg YouTube channel starting a few minutes prior to each ceremony, and "on demand" once each ceremony ends.
University-wide virtual ceremony
In addition to the in-person ceremonies, Penn State will also host a University-wide virtual ceremony to help make commencement accessible for all students and their loved ones. Graduates, friends and family members who are unable to attend or prefer to participate online may view the University-wide virtual ceremony on May 9 at 6 p.m. at virtual.commencement.psu.edu.
The virtual ceremony will celebrate all undergraduate and graduate students at Commonwealth Campuses, University Park and World Campus — including those also attending an in-person ceremony — and will feature the conferral of degrees, induction into the Alumni Association and more.
Health and safety guidelines
All students, guests and employees across each campus will be required to wear face masks and maintain physical distancing from others to help minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. Penn State Harrisburg staff will be on site to provide guidance and answer questions. All guests who will be attending an in-person commencement ceremony are expected to take health and safety precautions while traveling and during commencement weekend. In addition, graduates and guests should not attend an in-person ceremony if within the last 14 days they think they have been exposed, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, are awaiting test results or have tested positive for COVID-19.
Graduates and guests should be prepared to undergo a touchless temperature screening prior to entering the Giant Center. Graduating students who would like to be tested for COVID-19 before attending their commencement ceremony will be able to do so by contacting the campus Student Health Services at 717-948-6015 or [email protected].
Penn State is monitoring closely the spread of new variants and the potential impact of increased activities such as travel nationally. The University is prepared to shift plans should circumstances surrounding the pandemic change or worsen. More information will continue to be shared and updated as needed leading up to commencement to align the University's plans with the most up-to-date federal and state guidance.
Should guidance from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and/or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shift to allow higher capacity for gatherings leading up to commencement weekend, the college's plans regarding capacity and guest limits will remain the same with up to four guests per graduate.
Class of 2020
In partnership with the Penn State Alumni Association and in consultation with alumni representatives, the University is planning for a special weekend in spring 2022 to celebrate the members of the class of 2020. More information will be forthcoming as the University continues to develop plans to welcome recent graduates and their families back to campuses next spring. Campuses will communicate specific plans for their alumni as they become available.
Purchase of Ceremony-Related Items
- Place orders for academic regalia. Processing and delivery will take approximately three weeks.
- Schedule an appointment with a class ring rep to meet one-on-one with a Jostens rep via Zoom to view ring options and determine your ring size.
Share your #PSUgrad pride
Commencement is a time of celebration! You have achieved a significant milestone in your academic career, and your family, friends, and Penn State community are so proud of your accomplishments. As you tune in to the virtual ceremony, please consider taking photos of your in-home celebrations and sharing them with the Penn State family by using #PSHBGrad and #PSUgrad when you post. We would love to see your photos!
Follow Penn State Harrisburg's social media platforms for more commencement information and messages.
Share your Story
Penn State is looking for stories from our students graduating spring 2021. Tell us about your journey to graduation. How have your personal experiences as a student shaped your educational journey? How has your personal perseverance helped you reach your goals? How has Penn State Harrisburg impacted your life? What is ahead for you after graduation?
Send stories to [email protected].
|Spring 2021||May 6 and May 7|
|Fall 2021||Saturday, December 18|
|Spring 2022||Saturday, May 7|
|Fall 2022||Saturday, December 17|
|Spring 2023||To be announced|
The Academic Calendar is subject to change without notice.
Please call 717-948-6002 or e-mail [email protected]