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 2020

  • Are you a graduate student, vocalist, and/or sign language interpreter? Audition to sing or sign the National Anthem at University Commencement!
    • Round 1: Video submissions are required. Upload your audition video to YouTube, Vimeo, or Dropbox and submit here by 12:00 p.m. on Thursday March 12, 2020.
    • 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: The National Anthem performer(s) will be confirmed by the end of April.  Selected student(s) will perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" live on Commencement Day. 
  • Attend the Graduation Fair—it's the best way to order academic attire, graduation announcements, class rings, and diploma frames.
    • March 10–12, 2020, 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., at the Columbia University Morningside Campus Bookstore
    • March 13, 2020, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., at the Medical Center Bookstore
    • March 27, 2020: Last day to order your academic attire without a late fee. 
  • Register for University Commencement and request guest tickets online. Registration will open after spring break.


April 2020


May 2020

  • 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 16–20, 2020: Commencement Week, including School Ceremonies and the Baccalaureate Service
  • May 20, 2020: 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.
  • CUIMC graduating students shuttle info can be found on the FAQ page.


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.