BGS Graduation 2024

The University of Pennsylvania’s 268th Commencement will take place on Monday, May 20, 2024, in Franklin Field at 10:15 a.m. Visit the Penn Commencement site for more information on this event.


Directly following the University Commencement, BGS will hold its graduation and hooding ceremony in the Smilow Center for Translational Research, beginning with a reception at 12:30pm.  You can RSVP online here.


The RSVP deadline is Monday, May 13, 2024. Please be advised that you may request up to two (2) guests* to join you for the hooding ceremony in the auditorium. Seating will be limited to the number of guests designated during RSVP.


*Note that your thesis advisor will be invited to participate in the ceremony and should not be counted as a guest.


ACADEMIC REGALIA IS REQUIRED for participation in both the University Commencement as well as the BGS graduation ceremonies, which will include the hooding of graduates by their advisors or graduate groups. BGS students are welcome to use the standard doctoral regalia, and do not need to order custom regalia.


You are strongly encouraged to order as soon as possible, but you must order by March 31, 2024 in order to receive your regalia in time for Commencement.  Detailed information about obtaining regalia is available on Grad Express.



Masters and PhD candidates who plan to participate in Commencement can acquire caps and gowns, as well as purchase other items such as diploma frames, class rings, and gifts at the Penn Bookstore "Grad Fair" on March 20-22. Graduates will be able to purchase and pick up their Commencement regalia on the second level of the Penn Bookstore near the textbook department during the store’s normal operating hours. Use this opportunity to try on your gown, ask staff members questions, and get excited for the big event! 

Doctoral graduates choosing to purchase custom, full color regalia must order regalia for shipment by March 8, 2024.


In addition to picking up your regalia, 2024 graduates are encouraged to visit Grad Express where you can find explore a variety of resources and benefits to take advantage of both before graduation and in post-grad life, such as special alumni discounts, setting up an alumni email account, last-chance educational discounts on computer products, and more. On Grad Express you can order rings, diploma frames, and announcements to commemorate your achievement!  Grad Express also contains information about what to do if you are unable to visit the Penn Bookstore during Grad Fair to obtain your regalia.


Traditional vs Custom Doctoral Gowns: Special Instructions

Most graduates choose traditional doctoral regalia. Traditional regalia includes a black robe (with adornments that correspond to colors associated with your degree) along with a mortar board, and tassel. You can pick up your traditional regalia package at the Penn Bookstore during Grad Fair or order online by March 31, 2024.


In contrast, custom Regalia is typically chosen by Doctoral candidates who plan to frequently participate in academic ceremonies requiring such unique attire in the future. Please keep in mind you are not required to purchase custom regalia and, with few exceptions, graduates most often choose traditional doctoral regalia.


Custom regalia robes are red and blue, individually sized, and made of lightweight wool blended fabric with lined bell sleeves. If you plan to purchase Custom Doctoral regalia, you should order it online by March 8, 2024 and have it shipped directly. Information on ordering your regalia is available on Grad Express.


Costs for regalia (Cap, Gown, Hood & Tassel) vary by degree level and type:

  • Master’s: $105.00 plus tax.
  • Doctoral:
    • Traditional - $126 plus tax
    • Custom - approx. $915 plus tax


Graduates can purchase and receive their Commencement regalia at the Penn Bookstore during “Grad Fair” – March 20-22, 2024. The regalia is a commemorative keepsake. All regalia will be distributed on the second level of the Penn Bookstore near the textbook department. Degree candidates will have the opportunity to meet with staff members regarding any questions, such as ensuring the correct fit. Other graduation related products and special promotions will also be available at the Grad Fair.



Regalia can be ordered through the campus bookstore. You are strongly encouraged to order as soon as possible, but you must order by March 31, 2024 in order to receive your regalia in time for Commencement. To order regalia, visit  If you have additional questions, please contact the bookstore at 215-898-7595.