Penn State's fall 2020 commencement to be held via virtual format

September 30, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State will honor the fall 2020 graduates with a virtual ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19. Similar to previous commencements during the ongoing pandemic, this virtual ceremony is the first celebration for the fall 2020 graduates, as they and their friends and family will be invited back to campuses at a time when it is safe to host large in-person gatherings.

“Our graduates have accomplished significant personal milestones in completing their degrees. I am so proud of all of them and they deserve to be recognized,” said Penn State President Eric J. Barron. “Unfortunately, as we continue to navigate the uncertainties associated with the global pandemic, we cannot gather in person safely. A virtual ceremony is the safest, immediate option for us to recognize this class and the achievements of its members. The virtual ceremony is, however, only the first step in recognizing our fall 2020 graduates, as we will be inviting them back to campus for in-person celebrations when public health guidelines permit.”

The virtual ceremony provides the opportunity for the entire University community to come together online to celebrate the commencement of more than 5,000 members of the fall 2020 class, including all undergraduate and graduate students from all Penn State campuses. The virtual ceremony will be available for viewing here:

The virtual ceremony will include formal remarks, degree conferral, and induction into the Penn State Alumni Association. 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.

This fall’s virtual ceremony will be the third Penn State commencement ceremony held via a virtual format due to COVID-19. Penn State is committed to in-person celebrations for all members of these classes and will host in-person events when it is safe again to do so. Due to the many uncertainties and changing challenges associated with the global pandemic, dates and logistics have not yet been determined for in-person events, but when they are, graduates will be notified.

Those students planning to graduate this December 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 the advising office at their campus or within their college.

For answers to frequently asked questions about fall commencement, visit

Last Updated September 30, 2020