Commencement Details

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Spring Commencement
Friday, May 3, 2019
8:00 p.m.
Pegula Ice Arena, University Park campus

Commencement Instructions

Admission is free. There is open, free seating for guests of the graduates.

Parking is free in all specified lots; there is a nominal fee to use the parking garage on Bigler Road.

Please refer to the parking map for all College of Earth and Mineral Sciences guest parking and for special ADA lots. Be sure your driver knows you are in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences—not the College of Engineering.

Parking agents on duty will direct guests to park according to college. Students and families enter the arena by the Gate C doors (or Gate A for ADA Lots).

Accommodations are available for guests and graduates with disabilities. ADA Parking and Disability Seating is available. Although reservations are not required, early arrival is recommended.

ADA parking lots are denoted by a symbol on the printable version of the Parking Map of the Pegula Ice Arena

NOTE: Only one companion seat is provided adjacent to the ADA-accessible seat. Other family members may sit in the general seating area.

Important: Students, please bring your blue nomenclator card with you to Commencement. Students who don't have a nomenclator card upon arrival must stop at the designated table at the Gate C entrance to procure a replacement card. This card is used for announcing your name as you cross the stage. No student will be permitted to enter the Arena without a nomenclator card.

The Gate A and Gate C entrances will open at 6:30 p.m. for students and families.

Students must be in their seats no later than 7:30 p.m.

Ushers will be on hand to direct students and their families to the seating entrances for both the arena floor and family seating areas. Students may sit in any seat in the rows designated for their department that are not marked as reserved.

Reserved student seats are marked with last names of students who have earned distinction and are leading students in their department across the stage.

For a listing of overnight accommodations, restaurants, maps, etc., contact the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau by calling 800-358-5466 or 814-231-1400. Please note the bureau does not take reservations.

  • Men: Suit, or slacks, dress shirt with tie
  • Women: Dress or slacks with a blouse
  • All: Dress shoes; no flip-flops

You must wear your academic robe, mortar board and tassel, available for purchase at the Penn State Bookstore. The mortar board should be worn flat on your head, tassel on the right. We ask that you please do not decorate your robe or mortar board! This is a formal occasion that deserves respect.

Conferring of Degrees

At Dean Richardson’s bidding, each department head will present degree candidates by asking those students to rise. Please remain standing until all departments have been presented and you are directed to sit down. After all the candidates are presented, President Barron will make a statement to confer degrees. Then Dean Richardson will direct you to switch your tassel from the right side of the mortar board to the left.

Individual Recognition of Graduates

Following the conferral of degrees, we begin the individual processing across the stage, starting with the Department of Geosciences graduates. A staff usher will direct the students to leave their seats and walk to the right side aisle. Please wait to stand until an usher directs your row to do so. Have your nomenclator card ready and right side up to hand to the Nomenclator.

Ascend the steps and shake hands with your department head, etc. as you cross the stage. Continue off stage down the steps, where your photo will be taken by Grad Images. Follow the usher’s directions to return to your row after your photo is taken. Please be very quiet at all times.


As instructed by the dean of the college, graduates will stand at their seats and then recess down the center aisle, as directed by the ushers, following the platform party and faculty. All persons in the arena will be asked to stand and remain standing until the end of the recessional.

Be sure to join the Pre-commencement Celebration!

  • Light refreshments: Enjoy light refreshments as you mingle with the faculty, staff, and students of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.
  • Location: Ground floors of both the Deike and Steidle Buildings
  • When: Friday, May 3, 2019; 2:45 - 4:30 p.m.

Additional Activities

Open Houses: Take advantage of open houses in each of the college's five departments

  • Check out our high-tech Weather Station
  • Enjoy “Across the World Virtual Experiences”
  • Browse the EMS Library collections and take a photo with the Nittany Lion (cutout)
  • Visit the EMS Museum & Art Gallery
  • Stop by the Ryan Family Student Center
  • Explore a petroleum engineering laboratory
  • Tour state-of-the-art Steidle Building

More information

View wall monitors in the Deike and Steidle Buildings for more information about the afternoon's activities.

For More Information

Visit Penn State's Commencement website for general commencement information, accommodations for guests with disabilities, speakers, diplomas, transcripts, and other information.

For questions about the EMS Commencement, contact Martha Traverse at 814-863-4024 or