Graduation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why do I need to apply to graduate?

When you apply to graduate in the Degree Application System, you inform Penn that you expect to complete all degree requirements so your diploma can be conferred in a given semester (e.g. spring, summer or fall). If you do not apply, a diploma will not be generated, and you will not receive a scheduling link for dissertation deposit.
 

What are the deadlines to apply for graduation?

Please refer carefully to the Graduation Calendar. It is your responsibility to know these dates and meet the deadlines in the term you wish to deposit and graduate. Take note of special dates for eligibility for the tuition waiver. It is recommended to deposit your dissertation within 2 weeks after a successful final defense.

When and how do I formally deposit my dissertation?

Graduate students apply for graduation through this online Degree Application. You will need your PennKey and password to access this secure website. 

After your application is received, you will receive a Calend.ly link to schedule an appointment to have your final, approved dissertation reviewed. Before your appointment, you will meet all degree requirements, complete all paperwork, and upload your final, properly formatted dissertation to ProQuest ETD Administrator.

How do I get a copy of Penn's dissertation manual?

Both the Master's Thesis Style Guide and the Doctoral Dissertation Manual are available on-line. 

How do I get graduation tickets and a cap and gown for the May Commencement?

For information about the main University commencement activities at Franklin Field, please visit the Commencement website.  
Invitations and tickets for the ceremonies within the various schools will be communicated directly by your home school.
Cap and gown arrangements are made at the University Bookstore.

My bill is not cleared with a zero balance. I know the balance must be $0 before I can graduate, but how do I take care of this?

This is best handled at the Office of Student Registration and Financial Services. The Degree Coordinator cannot change your billing record.

Who do I contact if I cannot access the PhD Exit Survey?

If you have technical difficulties accessing the PhD Exit Survey, please contact surveys@pobox.upenn.edu

When will I get my diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed 8-10 weeks after the conferral date. Diplomas can only be obtained through the Office of the University Secretary. Please visit their website if you need a diploma translation, to report a missing diploma, or to obtain general diploma information.  

How can I request a verification that I have fulfilled all degree requirements, even though the official graduation date is still some time away?

The Degree Coordinator in the Office of the Provost can supply a letter stating that you have fulfilled all degree requirements. Please provide 7 business days' notice and the following information in your request to grad-degree@provost.upenn.edu

  • Full name at the time you were enrolled at Penn
  • Penn ID number, if known
  • Your email address
  • Email address of the recipient/institution where you would like the document to be sent
  • School and program attended
  • Approximate dates of enrollment

The Degree Conferral date has passed, so why isn’t my degree on my transcript?

Per federal reporting mandates, schools have up to 4 weeks after the Official Conferral Date to verify that all degree requirements have been met and enter degree information for all graduates into the Student Records System, which means that your degree information may not be printed on your student record and transcript until then. We recommend verifying that your degree has been posted in Penn InTouch before ordering official transcripts.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

For further assistance with graduation or degree questions, feel free to email the Degree Coordinator in the Office of the Provost at grad-degree@provost.upenn.edu.