Frequently Asked Questions

1.

Will there be a Commencement rehearsal? If not, how will I know where to go/what to do/when to do it?

2.

How does parking work for graduates? Do I need to buy parking through Spot Hero, or is there designated free parking for graduates?

3.

Can I get extra graduation wristbands? If so where/when/how do I get them?

4.

Do children need a wristband or can they sit on a lap?

5.

Will there be accessible seating available?

6.

Will all entrances to the convention center be open and accessible? How do I know which entrance to go in? (Broad Street?)

7.

Will there be signs or a map of where to go? (which ballroom?)

8.

After graduation is over, are pictures allowed to be taken inside?

9.

About how long will each ceremony be?

10.

When will my diploma be available?

11.

What are graduates allowed to have with them during the ceremony? (phone, car keys)

12.

Are students with financial holds permitted to participate in Grad Finale and Commencement?

13.

What university name will appear on my diploma?


1. Will there be a Commencement Rehearsal? If not, how will I know where to go/what to do/when to do it?

THERE IS NO COMMENCEMENT REHEARSAL. Instructions will be given prior to the academic procession on the day of graduation when you check in to the robing area. Graduates are expected to arrive 1.5 hours prior to the ceremony.  Graduates will also receive information via e-mails.  Please make sure to read all Commencement e-mails as they will contain very important information.  


2. How does parking work for graduates? Do I need to buy parking through SpotHero or is there designated free parking for graduates?

The Convention Center does not own its own parking lot. As such, everyone is responsible for their own parking at one of the lots nearby or we encourage you to take public transportation. For those driving, SpotHero is a great way to guarantee a parking space in the lot of your choice. Note: There may be additional lots near the Convention Center that are not participating in the pre-purchase guarantee option provided by SpotHero. Click here to visit the parking page of the Pennsylvania Convention Center for a listing of lots and rates.


3. Can I get extra graduation wristbands? If so where/when/how do I get them? 

If we are able to offer extra wristbands, they will be made available on a first come-first served basis. Students will be notified via email if and when wristbands become available.


4. Do children need a wristband or can they sit on a lap?

All children will need tickets unless the child is small enough to be held on the lap of an adult during the event. As a courtesy to others, please be mindful of the noise level that your child/children are creating. If the child/children are creating a disturbance, please escort them away from the seating area. Additionally, please note that strollers are NOT permitted inside the Terrace Ballroom. We will offer a stroller check at our Information Desk near the elevators on the 3rd Floor.


5. Will there be accessible seating available? 

The seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be designated accessible seating, however availability is limited. We ask that families with special needs arrive an hour-and-a-half in advance of the ceremony. In order to accommodate everyone with accessibility needs, only one guest per person with special needs may be allowed to sit in the designated area during the ceremony.  If you know someone will need special seating, please contact us at commencement@philau.edu so we can pre-arrange your accomodated seating.   Note the Terrace Ballroom is a flat, carpeted room.


6. Will all entrances to the convention center be open/accessible? How do I know which entrance to go in? (Broad Street?)

Most entrances to the PA Convention Center will be open. However, Commencement will take place just off the Broad and Arch Street entrances. Should you use another entrance, the PA Convention Center Security at those entrances will be able to point you towards the Terrace Ballroom.  The PA Convention Center is several blocks long and wide.  To avoid long walks, we suggest you enter at the Broad Street entrance.


7. Will there be signs/map of where to go? (which ballroom?) 

There will be some directional signage. However if you enter at the Broad Street doors, you will be greeted by Commencement Ambassadors to greet and guide you and your guests.


8. After graduation is over, are pictures allowed to be taken inside?

Personal picture taking can be done after the ceremony at our Photo Op stations located on the first floor of the PA Convention Center Broad Street Lobby or in the Student Robing area.  While we recognize that getting a picture in the moment is important, students will not be able to stop and pose for pictures.  After the ceremony, the ballroom is not available for photos.  Please show discretion when taking pictures and do not block others or aisles.  


9.  About how long will each ceremony be?

You can expect the undergraduate ceremony to last about 2 to 2.5 hours.  The graduate ceremony lasts 1.5 to 2 hours.


10. When will my diploma be available? 

Diplomas isssued under Philadelphia University are available 8 - 10 weeks after the date of graduation for each semester.  Diplomas issued under Thomas Jefferson University may be available 6 - 10 weeks after the date of graduation for each semester.  All diplomas will be mailed to the address provided by the student on the graduation application, unless otherwise specified by the student.  Students may also pick up their diploma in the East Falls Campus Registrar's Office.  To arrange a diploma pickup, please e-mail graduations@philau.edu before the end of your last semester.  


11. What are graduates allowed to have with them during the ceremony? (phone, car keys) 

We encourage graduates to leave personal belongings with one of their guests. However, if you need to keep them on your person, items must be kept in your pockets or in a small handbag worn under your robe.


12. Are students with financial holds permitted to participate in Grad Finale and Commencement? 

Students with a hold from the Student Accounts Office are permitted to participate in Grad Finale and the University Commencement ceremony. However, students on financial hold cannot receive or order an official transcript or diploma until the financial hold is removed by the Student Accounts Office. Questions about transcripts and diplomas can be directed to the University Registrar's Office. Questions about financial obligations, payments and financial holds can be directed to the Student Accounts Office.  

13. What university name will appear on my diploma? 

For students graduating in Fall 2017, Spring 2018 and Summer 2018, you can specify whether you would like your diploma to be issued under Thomas Jefferson University or Philadelphia University.  Starting in Fall 2018, all university diplomas will be issued under Thomas Jefferson University.  

How do I submit my choice for the university name on my diploma? Students submitting the graduation application will see this question as part of the electronic application.  For students who applied before the question was added to the application, please submit the E-Sign form on the Registrar's Forms page to record your request.  The university will confirm your choice before diplomas are ordered.  

Can I change my choice after I submit it?  Your university diploma name can be updated until the end of your last enrolled semester.  After final grades are received and your diploma is awarded, we may not be able to update the institution name on your diploma.  You will be prompted to confirm the university name for your diploma before your degree is awarded.  Any changes should be submitted to graduations@philau.edu

Will Thomas Jefferson University and Philadelphia University diplomas look different? There are some differences in format between the Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University diplomas.  Please refer to the following specifications below.  As the university must retain standard formatting for diplomas issued under each institution name, it is not possible to change or "mix and match" format styles.  

Thomas Jefferson University
Diploma Language: English
Diploma Size: Undergraduate 8 in. by 10 in. 
Graduate: 11 in. x=by 14 in. 

Philadelphia University
Diploma Language: Latin
Diploma Size: 16 in. by 20 in.