General

"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 nineteen 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 is scheduled for Sunday, May 15, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. in St. Paul's Chapel. This multifaith 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 2021-2022 academic year, degrees are awarded to eligible candidates for all schools in October 2021, February 2022, and April-June 2022. Every candidate whose graduation date falls during these periods is invited to participate in the annual University Commencement ceremony.

Columbia University is committed to making its ceremonies accessible to all guests. Disability Services coordinates accessibility efforts for Commencement Day, as well as individual school ceremonies and the Baccalaureate Service. Guests do not need to alert the University in advance to reserve seating or make other arrangements, and no special tickets are required to enter designated seating areas.

Throughout the week’s activities, Disability Services staff, Event Hosts, and Public Safety officers will be on hand to assist graduates and guests with disabilities.

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

Please refer to the Schedule of Events for further details.

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.

The campus will be closed to the general public until the ceremony has ended. Tickets and proof of vaccination will be checked at designated entrance gates to the Morningside campus, which open for ticket holders at 8:30 a.m.

Columbia University is committed to protecting the health and safety of its community. To attend any Commencement activity or graduation-related event on Columbia campuses, all graduates, visiting alumni, and guests must meet the University requirement of full vaccination status and provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Anyone who is unable to be vaccinated will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test (time-stamped photo of an at-home antigen test on the day of each event or email results of a PCR test within 48 hours of the first attended event). Unvaccinated guests over the age of two must wear a non-cloth mask during all events.

Additionally, for indoor graduation-related events, the wearing of non-cloth masks is strongly recommended for all attendees, irrespective of vaccination status. Attendees may remove masks briefly during eating and drinking.

Event health and safety policies are dependent on the status of the University's COVID-19 Monitoring Plan and are subject to change. Please click here for the most current information. Events outside of Columbia campuses may have different requirements for in-person attendance. Please contact your individual school for more details.

Nongraduating students and employees with a CUID may be on campus but should not expect to attend the ceremony without a ticket, as seating is very limited.

All children over the age of three require a ticket. Lost tickets will not be replaced.

Children are welcome at University Commencement. For more information regarding ticketing for children, please click here

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 [email protected].

For more information on what to bring for University Commencement, you can click here for a checklist on how to prepare. 

University Commencement, as well as individual school ceremonies and the Baccalaureate Service, will take place rain or shine.

Commencement is traditionally held on the third Wednesday in May. The date is selected and confirmed by the University Senate and publicized on the academic calendar on the University Registrar's website.

All Commencement dates are subject to change. Please contact the Commencement Office with any questions. 

  • May 18, 2022
  • May 17, 2023
  • May 22, 2024