General

University Commencement will be held on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. (EDT) via web broadcast. Those invited to participate in the Commencement ceremony include students from every Columbia school, college, and affiliate institution who graduated in October 2020 and February 2021, and eligible degree candidates from April, May, and June of 2021.

"Graduation" is the term for completing your course of study at the University and fulfilling the requirements for your degree. To graduate and obtain your diploma, you must submit an Application for Degree or Certificate with the Office of the Registrar.

Each of Columbia's eighteen schools, colleges, and affiliate institutions, hold their own graduation ceremony (sometimes called a school ceremony or Class Day) to honor the accomplishments of the graduating class.

Please note that these events are organized separately by individual schools, take place at various times and locations across the city, and may require tickets. Although the Commencement website is updated regularly, please confirm all dates, times, and locations with your school before making final plans, as some information may change. 

For more information, visit School Ceremonies

Any questions that are not answered on the official Commencement website should be directed to the contact listed for each school. 


University Commencement refers to the University-wide ceremony celebrating those receiving their degrees from all Columbia schools and affiliate institutions in a given year. Degrees are symbolically conferred upon candidates by the University President. Attending the University Commencement ceremony is not required to graduate from the University and receive your diploma. There is only one University Commencement ceremony for the academic year, typically held in May. All graduates from the previous October and February and degree candidates in May of the current year are invited to attend.

For more information, visit University Commencement

For more information about graduation and diplomas, please visit the Office of the Registrar.

The Baccalaureate Service will take place on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT), Virtual Event. 

This service is for degree candidates from the undergraduate schools: Columbia College, Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, School of General Studies, and Barnard College.

In the 2020-2021 academic year, degrees are awarded to eligible candidates for all schools in October, February, and April-June. Every candidate whose graduation date falls during these periods is invited to participate in the annual University Commencement ceremony.

For virtual celebrations: 

Columbia University is committed to making its virtual ceremonies accessible to all guests. Both the Baccalaureate Service and University Commencement will include closed captions in English. An ASL version of University Commencement will also be available here

For more information about Class Day and School Ceremonies, please contact your individual school or Disability Services.

For in-person celebrations: 

Yes, there are designated areas equipped with wheelchair assistance, hearing assistance devices, closed caption monitors, and large print programs for guests with disabilities and their parties. Special tickets are not required.

To utilize these services, please enter campus at the following gates on Commencement Day:

  • 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue
  • 115th Street and Amsterdam Avenue (between Wallach and Hartley Halls)

A shuttle bus will be circling the campus perimeter before the ceremony to help transport guests to the designated gates. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer special parking for guests with disabilities. If you or your party would like to access the shuttle bus, kindly ask any Event Host in a blue shirt for assistance.

Please visit Disability Services for more information.

*Details below are to keep in mind for on-campus Commencement gatherings.

There are designated gates for guests with disabilities or limited mobility, and the elderly needing assistance.

The following gates should be used on Commencement Day:

  • 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue
  • 115th Street and Amsterdam Avenue (between Wallach and Hartley Halls)

We strongly recommend that guests with disabilities enter campus through the designated gates identified above. The general admission gates on 114th Street have stairs and are a considerable distance from the designated disability seating areas. The large crowds at Commencement will make movement difficult and there will be no cross-campus access on Commencement Day. Movement from Broadway to Amsterdam Avenue may require traveling long distances around the campus perimeter.

Please visit Disability Services for more information.

Please refer to the Schedule of Events for further details.

Please visit the Plan Your Visit section of this website for more information.

webcast of the University Commencement ceremony is available on the Commencement website for live, online viewing the day of Commencement, as well as after the ceremony.

In addition to University Commencement, webcasts of the graduation and Class Day ceremonies are also available for viewing on the Commencement website.

Please note that videos of past ceremonies are available for viewing via the Commencement website. There are no DVDs or downloadable copies available for purchase.

Photos of University Commencement are not available for distribution or purchase. Please direct any inquiries about photos taken at any graduation ceremony directly to the individual school. Appropriate school contact information can be found on School Ceremonies.

*Details below are to keep in mind for on-campus Commencement gatherings.

Pets are not permitted at any time, on campus or in any of the venues during Commencement week. Assistance animals are also not permitted, including Disability Services approved assistance animals that reside with students in University Housing. Individually trained service dogs that perform specific work or tasks for a person with a disability are welcome on campus and in any of the venues. For more information please contact Disability Services at access@columbia.edu.