Baccalaureate Service

More details will be available in the coming weeks. For questions related to Class Day ceremonies, contact your individual school, and visit the announcements page for the most current updates.

The Baccalaureate Service is a multifaith service celebrating the completion of each undergraduate's academic career from Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of General Studies, and Barnard College.

Service highlights include hymns, musical selections, readings, reflections, and speeches by students. All undergraduate degree candidates and their guests are invited to tune in virtually.


The Baccalaureate Service is believed to have originated at Oxford University in 1432 when each bachelor was required to deliver a sermon in Latin as part of his academic exercise. This historical British practice continued with the earliest universities in this country, which were founded primarily to educate ministers. Columbia University began this tradition in 1897 and the ceremony continues today as an interfaith, intercultural service celebrating each undergraduate's academic career.


Columbia University is committed to ensuring that all Commencement activities are accessible to all graduates and guests. Closed captions, a full transcript of the ceremony, and a downloadable PDF program are available above.

If you have any questions, please contact Disability Services.

Learn more about the Office of Religious Life and the Baccalaureate Service.