Pre-Graduation Guide

Pre-Graduation Guide

If you are planning to graduate from Penn State Lehigh Valley in the near, it will be necessary to take the following steps to prepare: 

Meet with your Adviser

Use LionPath to request a current degree audit and review it with your Academic Adviser. You should meet with your adviser during the semester prior to when you intend to graduate. This will ensure that you are on track to meet all degree requirements. If you are missing course, credit, or grade requirements, you will NOT be able to graduate. You cannot graduate with missing or deferred grades.

Declare your Intent to Graduate

It is your responsibility to notify the University of your intent to graduate. You can do this by using the Academics application on the LionPath menu. This must be done during the Intent to Graduate Activation period for the semester in which you plan to graduate. Please refer to the Academic Calendar. If you do not file your intent to graduate, you will not officially graduate from the University. If you missed the activation deadline for your intended semester of graduation, you must contact the Graduation Coordinator in the Lehigh Valley Registrar’s Office, Dr. Zella Ondrey.

Check your Address

You will be receiving important graduation information in the mail, so it is important that your address is up to date. You can check your address on LionPath by selecting the My Information tab. Make sure that your permanent address is correct.

Transfer Your Credits

It is preferable to avoid taking classes at another institution during your intended semester of graduation. If you do, you MUST ensure that Penn State receives your grades on time. To inquire about graduation deadlines, please contact Dr. Zella Ondrey. 

Transfer credits should be sent to:

Undergraduate Admissions
Penn State University
201 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16804-3000
Phone: 814-863-1437

Check Your Mail

Once you have declared your intent to graduate, you will receive important graduation information in the mail. You should expect to receive this important mailing by the tenth week of the spring semester. This mailing will include with following:

  • Details regarding the location, date, and time of commencement
  • Directions about how to purchase a cap and gown prior to the ceremony
  • Guest ticket information

Purchase Your Academic Attire for the Commencement Ceremony

In observance of tradition, all participants in the commencement ceremony will wear full academic regalia, consisting of a traditional gown and mortarboard with tassel.

Order your cap and gown from the Penn State Lehigh Valley Bookstore beginning in the spring semester. For information about purchasing a cap and gown from the bookstore, please call 610-285-5015.

If you already have a cap and gown or plan to purchase your gown from another bookstore,please contact Dr. Zella Ondrey to indicate your intention to participate in commencement. 

Show Up to Commencement Ready to Process

Graduates should arrive in the Blast Furnace Room on the second floor of the ArtsQuest building at the designated time on the date of commencement. Graduates should arrive fully dressed in their academic attire (Please note that tassels should be worn forward and to the right until the chancellor's formal invite to adjust the tassels during the ceremony).

In the Blast Furnace Room, graduates will receive a name card and will be placed in the appropriate position in line. The procession will advance to the ceremonial area led by the Campus Marshal, followed by the Student and Faculty Marshals, followed by the graduates, followed by the Penn State Lehigh Valley administration, visiting dignitaries, faculty, staff, and the stage party. There is no rehearsal.

Other Important Information for Graduates


Each graduate will be photographed as they receive their degree on stage from Dr. Richardson. Our photographer is Dan Johnson of Dan Z. Johnson Photography and he will be taking various candid shots before, during, and after the ceremony. All photographs will be available for purchase directly from him through his website.


You will receive a diploma folder on stage. Your actual diploma will be mailed in the weeks following commencement from University Park. If you did not verify the name to be printed on your diploma via LionPath, you may verify that information with the campus registrar's office.

NOTE: Special inks are used in the printing of the diplomas. Do not store your diploma in a cedar chest.


The official transcript is the University's official statement of your academic record. It lists all courses completed, all grades earned, and the semester in which they were received. It also contains notations of distinctions, minors, options, certificates, and degree received. It is printed on security sensitive paper and contains the University seal and signature of the University Registrar.

Order a transcript online >>


Your connection with Penn State doesn't end at graduation. Join over 177,000 Penn State supporters as a member of the largest alumni association in the country, and keep that Blue and White spirit alive. You will be given a complimentary one year membership upon graduation.

Please visit the alumni website for more information on the association >>