We often use the terms "graduation" and "commencement" interchangeably, but they actually mean very different things.
Can you graduate without attending commencement?
Yes! Commencement is great opportunity to celebrate your achievements with friends and family as well as faculty and staff, but you are not required to participate in Commencement.
Can you walk in commencement and not graduate?
Yes. Participating in Commencement does not mean that you have graduated. Since some students are eligible to participate as they are completing their final classes, they may feel that they have finished their degree because they participated in Commencement. Sometimes that can cause frustration if a student has participated in Commencement but then does not fulfill their remaining requirements for graduation as expected. If you are still completing your degree requirements when you participate in Commencement, it's important that you remain focused on graduating and use the positivity from the Commencement ceremony as an extra incentive to finish your degree.
In order to help you prepare for graduation, follow these keys to success:
Review your academic record:
Questions about any of this? Contact your advisor.
Fill out the Central Penn forms:
Both documents are available on the Student Portal under My Forms > Frequent Forms.
Update your professional information:
As you finish your degree, this is a great time to ensure that your resume and cover letter are updated with your degree information as well as anything else that has changed! You may want to include your internship experience if you completed an internship and add any graduation honors as applicable. If you use a professional social media account like LinkedIn, you may want to update this as well. Contact Career Services for help!
Become a member of the Alumni Association:
While we are excited to see you graduate, we are sad to see you go! Keep in touch with the College, your peers, and your professors by joining the Alumni Association.