Are you a graduating student? First and foremost, congratulations! Below is a checklist of everything you need to do in the months, weeks, and days leading up to Commencement, and a few tips for the day itself.

First, in order to be considered for a degree or certificate and to obtain a diploma, you must file an application with your school or department. If you have not already done so, please visit the Office of the Registrar's website.

March 2018

  • Attend the Graduation Fair—it's the best way to order academic attire, graduation announcements, class rings, and diploma frames.
    • March 6–8, 2018, at the Columbia University Morningside Campus Bookstore
    • March 9, 2018, at the Medical Center Bookstore
  • Register for University Commencement and request guest tickets online. Registration will open after spring break.
  • Are you a graduating student and a singer? Consider auditioning to sing the National Anthem at University Commencement! The timeline is below:
  • Round 1: Video submissions are required. Please send your video to along with your name(s), email, phone number, and school, with the subject line "National Anthem for Commencement" by 12:00 p.m. on March 16, 2018, for a chance to be called back for Round 2.
  • Round 2: The Commencement Office will be conducting callbacks in late-March. If selected, we will request that you come in for an in-person audition.
  • Final Results: The selected singer will be confirmed by the end of April, and he or she will perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" live on Commencement Day. 


April 2018

  • Connect with the Columbia Alumni Association about the great benefits available to you after graduation.
  • Do not miss the deadline to place your order for academic attire without a late fee.


May 2018

  • Pick up your regalia in advance of Commencement.
  • Confirm where to line up with your school.
  • Give your guests their tickets.
  • Good luck on your final exams!
  • May 12–16, 2018: Commencement Week, including School Ceremonies and the Baccalaureate Service
  • May 16, 2018: University Commencement held at 10:30 a.m.


University Commencement

  • Assemble by 9:00 a.m. with your school on upper campus, using one of the designated entrances. Do not attempt to use a lower campus entry point.
  • Wear your cap and gown, bring water, and carry your University ID.
  • If you no longer hold a University ID, bring a photo ID and your Commencement registration confirmation or a letter from your school on University stationery.
  • Guests must have tickets to access campus. Please be sure to distribute tickets in advance of the event.
  • Make a plan of how you will meet up with your guests after the ceremony.
  • The ceremony is outdoors and will be held rain or shine—dress accordingly.


After Commencement

  • Diplomas will be mailed directly to students at the DP address on file with Student Services Online. If there is no DP address through SSOL, the diploma will not be sent, and the student will need to make retrieval arrangements with the Office of the University Registrar. Please contact with any additional questions about diplomas.
  • Update your information in the Alumni Directory for exclusive invitations, alumni benefits, and opportunities that you are now eligible for as a member of the Columbia Alumni Association.