Congratulations Class of 2020 Parents and Families!

Soon your Penn student will graduate from the University of Pennsylvania and take their next exciting steps into the “real world”. The spring semester of senior year varies for each student: some might be interviewing for graduate programs while others are beginning to apply for jobs, all while enjoying the final stages of their time at Penn. 

Our colleagues in College Hall, Career Services, and Alumni Relations have joined us in providing helpful information to support your senior student. 

Commencement 2020

Get ready to celebrate! Commencement 2020 is scheduled for Monday, May 18, 2020. The University Commencement ceremony is a celebration of all graduates and features the conferral of degrees, the awarding of honorary degrees, and remarks by University officials. The Commencement speaker will be announced in the spring. Please click here for more information.

Each of the undergraduate schools hold graduation ceremonies where you will get to see your student receive their diploma. Please click here for information about school ceremonies.

We encourage you to make your travel and accommodation arrangements in advance. For a list of hotels on and near campus, please visit Penn Travel.

Senior Parent Checklist

With the help of our campus partners, we are pleased to present the Class of 2020 Senior Parent Checklist. This checklist is a month-by-month guide of information for students and families about graduation. Please click here to view the Senior Parent Checklist.

The Transition to Senior Year: A Note from Career Services

Career Services counselors are available to address anything and everything that has to do with helping students face life after Penn. This can include assistance with applications, personal statements, resumes, cover letters, interviewing and negotiating. Counselors can also be a good sounding board as seniors grapple with decisions about their next steps after graduation. There are also a few timelines to keep in mind as your student looks ahead to post-graduation pursuits.

For some students, particularly those looking for business-related jobs, on-campus recruiting is an excellent resource. For others, the best way to find a job is not through On Campus Recruiting (OCR), but through our specialized career fairs (for example, the international fair, the government and policy fair, the start-up fair), or through direct application to employers later in the year.

For seniors applying directly to a health professions school, applications are typically submitted over the summer, with interviews following during the fall and winter. For those students applying to fellowships, the most competitive have very early deadlines, so getting letters of recommendation together by late summer is very important. For those interested in law, PhD or other graduate programs, fall is the time to apply.