Penn State summer commencement to be held via virtual ceremony

June 23, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – In accordance with public health guidelines to minimize large gatherings and maintain social distancing, Penn State will once again livestream a virtual commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15, to honor the 2020 class of summer graduates. When it is safe for large gatherings to occur again, graduates and their families will be invited back for in-person celebrations. 

“I am extremely proud of our students and all that they have accomplished, especially through the ongoing pandemic. Their resilience and flexibility is notable and signals characteristics of those who can face adversity with success,” said Penn State President Eric J. Barron. “While I wish we could celebrate together in person in August, that is not in the best interests of the health and safety of our communities. Gathering first virtually provides the opportunity every student deserves to celebrate their personal milestone at this time with their families, friends and the University community.” 

While much of Pennsylvania has entered the “green phase” of reopening as determined by Gov. Tom Wolf, the current phase does not allow for gatherings as large as necessary for the summer graduating class. Gatherings of more than 250 are prohibited under the green phase.

The virtual ceremony will recognize the academic achievements of those who are completing degree requirements this summer, including undergraduates at University Park and the Commonwealth Campuses, as well as all graduate students. Formal remarks, conferral of degrees and induction into the Penn State Alumni Association are all traditional elements of the commencement ceremony that will be included in the virtual ceremony. Following the completion of the virtual ceremony, graduates, friends and families may explore additional digital content created for each college and the Commonwealth Campuses. The content on these pages is tailored more specifically to those communities of learning, including individual student recognition with shareable digital slides.

Those students planning to graduate in August will receive important information about the virtual ceremony at their Penn State email address throughout the next week. Students who plan to graduate and do not receive an email about the ceremony should contact

For answers to frequently asked questions about summer commencement, visit

Last Updated June 23, 2020