Graduation 2020

The University continues to closely monitor developments with reference to COVID-19, including all guidance as set forth by the CDC and governmental authorities. The University’s response to this emergency has, in the complete interest of public health and safety, evolved quickly over recent days and weeks, and we deeply appreciate your cooperation and patience.

If there are any updates to plans for Commencement, school ceremonies, and related activities, we will communicate this to the University community – students, parents, faculty, staff, and alumni – as soon as information becomes available.

Friday, May 15, 2020 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM (EDT)
Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center

Timeline:

8:30AM PhD students arrive at Annenberg Center no later than 8:30AM.  Your guests will not be permitted into Annenberg until 9AM
8:30AM-9:15AM
Mandatory Graduation Rehearsal in Annenberg Center. We will be instructing you on procession as well as hooding. Continental breakfast is provided.
9:15AM Line up and procession to Zellerbach Theatre
9:25AM Dean, Deputy Dean, and Vice Dean will lead the student procession into the Auditorium. A tent card with your name will be on a seat within the reserved seating section at the front of the theater.
9:30AM-10:30AM
Ph.D Hooding Ceremony
10:30AM-11:30AM Celebration Brunch

*Only Ph.D. students who have officially deposited the dissertation or have submitted the August Graduates Approval Form for May Commencement Participation (submitted by April 15th) are eligible to participate in the Wharton Graduation Ph.D. Hooding Ceremony.

Dissertation Process & Deadlines

An  overview and checklist of the dissertation process can be found here: WPhD Dissertation Packet May 2020.

Here are the University deadlines for the May 2020 degree:

  • Defend by Friday February 21st and deposit by March 23rd for spring tuition waiver
  • Sign up for degree January 6 – April 20
  • Late sign up – April 21-27, late sign-up fee is $100.
  • Defend by April 27
  • Deposit by May 4
  • Wharton PhD Ceremony on May 15
  • Degrees conferred May 18

There will be no Dissertation Boot Camp this semester, but you can view the Fall Dissertation Boot Camp video here: https://upenn.box.com/s/z0yisj6buprba58mfm9bp6t406w7trsh.

Graduation Fair and Regalia Order Information

All graduating students must be in academic regalia.  You can rent or purchase your regalia from the bookstore.

The Grad Fair to order regalia is March 18th & 19th, 10AM-5PM at the Penn Bookstore

In order to have your regalia ready by Commencement, you should order by March 20, 2020 for pick up at the Penn Bookstore starting April 20, 2020.

Regalia FAQs

Hooding Process

During the ceremony, your names will be called one by one.  The Vice Dean will say your name, title of your dissertation, and name of your Dissertation Supervisor, and name of who will be hooding you if your Dissertation Supervisor is unable to attend.

  • You will enter the stage using the stairs to the left of the stage, carrying our hood on your LEFT ARM
  • You will meet your Supervisor(s) at the center of the stage and shake hands
  • You will stand on the X in the center of the stage, hand your hood to your Supervisor, then face towards the audience
  • Your Supervisor will place the hood over your head
  • You will shake hands with the Dean and Deputy Dean and receive your certificate from the Deputy Dean
  • You, your Supervisor, Dean and Deputy Dean will stand on the marked X’s on the stage, and face forward for a picture
  • You will exit the stage on the right with your Supervisor

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need tickets? There are no tickets required for this event.

What should I wear? We ask that graduates wear an academic cap and gown and those graduates who received or are receiving the PhD degree carry the hood for the ceremony. Please see the “Graduation Fair and Regalia Order” section of this page for more information.

What should my guests wear? As this is a semi-formal event, we recommend business attire. (suits or sport jackets for men and tailored dresses or tailored suits or pantsuits for women).

How many guests can I invite? The number of guests is limited to immediate family members (spouse/significant other, parents, children) only. You may invite a total of 10 guests, but please keep keep these to immediately family members. This does not include your dissertation advisor or PhD coordinator.

Should I invite my advisor? You can definitely extend a personal invitation to your advisor. Faculty advisors will also receive an invitation from the Wharton Doctoral Programs office. You will not need to include your advisor in your guest count.

What if my supervisor is unable to attend? Can someone else hood me? Yes, you can have another committee member or faculty person hood you if your supervisor is not able to attend the ceremony.  Please email Gidget Murray (gmurray@wharton.upenn.edu) with the name of the faculty person who you plan to have hood you so that an invitation is sent to them.

Where can my guests and I park? The closest parking lot is 38th & Walnut lot. Guests can enter either on Walnut Street or off of 38th Street (in between Walnut and Sansom). Since there are several events occurring on campus the same day, it is suggested to arrive early as the parking lot may fill up.

Penn University Commencement

The Penn University Commencement will be held on Monday, May 18th at Franklin Field. More info here. 

For a brochure of the Penn University Commencement, click here. 

Have questions about Wharton Doctoral Programs Graduation 2020? Contact Gidget Murray: gmurray@wharton.upenn.edu or Maggie Saia: msaia@wharton.upenn.edu