Etiquette, Protocols and the Processional

Graduates and guests should wear appropriate business attire to Commencement. Wear comfortable shoes. Ladies should decide on what style of shoes to wear since graduates will be going up and down steps onto and from the stage from orchestra seats.

Graduates should not bring personal possessions into the Academy of Music. Personal items such as purses, cameras, cell phones and other electronic devices should be given to guests for safekeeping. Refrain from bringing flower bouquets into the Academy of Music. Balloons, horns, and noisemakers of any kind are prohibited in the Academy of Music. Flowers should not be presented or worn until after the ceremony.

Every guest must have a reserved seat ticket to gain entrance into the Concert Hall. Infants who will sit on the lap of a responsible adult for the entire ceremony do not need a ticket. Toddlers and older children who will sit in a reserved seat must have a ticket.

Graduates should enter the Academy of Music through the Locust Street side doors. Upon entering, graduates will be directed to the Rehearsal Hall by Holy Family guides for robing and queuing up for the procession. Holy Family guides will line up graduates according to their school or division. Graduates will be given a card with their name and degree on it. During the ceremony the graduate will hand this card to the administrator at the podium who will announce the graduate’s name to the audience.

The Academy of Music is a smoke-free facility.

Graduates should remind guests to turn off all cell phones and electronic devices upon entering the Concert Hall.

Tripods and recording devices that may hinder the view of others should not be used. No person may approach the stage for any reason during the ceremony including the taking of photographs or videos. Professional photographers will take photos of graduates receiving their diplomas from the President and these photos are available for purchase.

Graduates and guests should refrain from applauding and cheering until the names of all graduates are announced so that every graduate’s name can be heard by the audience.

Graduates and guests should attempt to arrive early considering downtown Philadelphia traffic and parking challenges.

No food or beverage is permitted in the Hall. Degree candidates should inform all guests of the "no food or beverage" policy.