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NK Academics Commencement Photo Collage

Commencement ceremonies, which are held every fall and spring, are public recognition of our students' accomplishments.  Since the inaugural class of 1960, more than 5,500 alumni have attended Penn State New Kensington and earned a Penn State degree.

Important dates and deadlines:

Intent to graduate activation period for Fall 2016 expires on September 6, 2016.  If you do not set your intent by this date, please contact the Registrar's Office.

Commencement rehearsal will be announced during the fall semester.  

Fall 2016 commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 17, 2016, at 10:00 a.m.

Important information for graduates:


This page provides important information for graduates and their families including:




Spring, 2016 Graduation Speaker - Jim Shorkey, Life Success Coach


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Friends and family of the graduates are very welcome at the Commencement Ceremony.  Each graduate is encouraged to invite their family and friends to participate in their special day.  Floor seating will be available for our guests with special needs; and handicapped parking spaces are designated in the front row of our Athletics Center parking lot for Spring graduations, and in the front near the main entrance for Fall ceremonies.


For directions to the campus, please visit here.
For parking information, please visit here.


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Academic regalia (Cap and Gown) is available through our Bookstore. It is now made of "green" biodegradable material.  Please order your regalia early. See details below under Academic Attire.

Print ready Penn State graduation announcements, invitations and thank-you cards are available online at: http://www.overlypub.com/.  Class rings and jewelry can be ordered through the bookstore and are also available for purchase on the Jostens website at: http://college.jostens.com/.

The bookstore will be open special hours for your graduation needs, gifts, or just to browse. For additional information, you may contact the bookstore at: 724-334-6170.

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In observance of tradition, all participants in the Commencement Ceremony will wear full academic regalia, consisting of a traditional gown and mortarboard (cap) with tassel.  Caps and gowns must be ordered from the Penn State New Kensington Bookstore.  You can contact the Bookstore at 724-334-6170. 

Wear the tassel of the cap forward and to the right until you are signaled at the ceremony to shift it to the left when the degrees are conferred.  Business or business casual attire is recommended. 

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Graduating students may wear only provided ornamentation to commencement. Ornamentation representing honorary societies or nationalities is not approved attire for Penn State academic ceremonies.  Students graduating with distinction, high distinction, highest distinction and approved veterans will be provided University approved cords.  

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Graduates in their caps and gowns will assemble in advance.  The procession will be led by the Faculty Marshal, the Chancellor, the Director of Academic Affairs, visiting dignitaries, faculty and staff, and then the graduates. 

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Graduates will have their diplomas mailed to their address listed on eLion. You should verify the name to be printed on the diploma via eLion, or you check your information with the Registrar’s Office on campus. If the alternate site form is filed correctly and timely, students from other campuses may participate in our commencement ceremony. 

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

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Distinction at graduation is awarded to baccalaureate degree candidates with:

  • at least 60 credits (30 credits for associate degree candidates) earned at Penn State
  • minimum of a 3.5 cumulative grade-point average
  • are in the top 12% of a college's graduating class

The distinction table is created in September for the coming fall, spring semesters and summer session, based on the grade-point average information of previous graduates.

Distinction levels for your degree can be found at:  http://www.registrar.psu.edu/graduation/distinction.cfm

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A transcript is the University’s official statement of your academic record.  Please visit the Office of the Registrar for additional information and instructions on how to request an official transcript.

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Your connection with Penn State does not end at graduation.  Join over 150,000 Penn State supporters by becoming a member of the largest alumni association in the country, and keep that Blue and White spirit alive!  The local alumni organization based on our campus is the Alle-Kiski Society. The society represents more than 7,000 Penn Staters living the Alle-Kiski valley. For more information on the Alle-Kiski Society, call 724-334-6049 or visit http://www.nk.psu.edu/Alumni/alumorg.htm.
For more information on the Penn State Alumni Association, visit:  http://www.alumni.psu.edu/.

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