For Graduates

How should I prepare?

Don't leave home without it! Here's how you can prepare before the start of graduate lineup on upper campus on Commencement day. And don’t forget to inform your guests about what they should bring with them to campus. 

  • Cap and gown
  • Graduate ticket saved, loaded, and ready to scan
  • Pre-filled, reusable water bottle
  • Prepare for inclement weather
  • Fully charged phone (and maybe even an external battery)
  • Pack light! Large bags are not permitted
  • Be prepared for graduate lineup 
    • Morning Ceremony: 7:30-8:00 a.m. 
    • Evening Ceremony: 5:00-5:30 p.m. 
  • Feeling sick? Stay home and tune in virtually.
  • Send your guest their checklist before Commencement day.

*As we gather to celebrate our graduating students, we strongly recommend ceremony participants and guests refrain from bringing balloons, sky lanterns, and other celebratory embellishments to Commencement events. We hope to work together as a community to reduce waste, avoid potential tree entanglements, and provide an unobstructed and positive experience for all our graduates and guests.

Regalia is mandatory for University Commencement. However, individual schools may have different requirements for their class day and graduation ceremonies. All academic attire, including the cap and gown, is ordered through the Columbia University Bookstore. Check with your individual school on regalia requirements and any unique instructions prior to placing your regalia order.

Visit our regalia page to learn more about requirements and the 2024 Grad Fair.

For more information on academic attire, graduation announcements, class rings, and diploma frames, please call the Bookstore directly at 212-854-4132.

Unless arrangements are made for summer housing, graduating Columbia College and SEAS undergraduates must move out of University housing by noon on the day after University Commencement.

Based on the degree conferral date for all graduates in May and June of 2024, diplomas will be mailed to the "Diploma Address" that is on file in SSOL. October 2023 and February 2024 graduates will receive their diplomas in the mail up to two months following their graduation dates. Please visit the University Registrar for more information.

Diplomas will only be sent when a "Diploma (DP) Address" is on file and may be updated on Student Services Online (SSOL). It is best to use an address that is valid for more than eight weeks after graduation. Please contact [email protected] with any additional questions.

  • To update your diploma address, follow these steps:
    • Log in to SSOL.
    • Go to "Degree Application Status"
    • Click "Update Diploma Address" and enter or update with an address that will be valid for more than eight weeks after graduation.

Please email the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at [email protected] to submit your story to the Commencement website.

In general, New York City's excellent public transportation system will be the best way to get to and from campus during Commencement Week.

  • 1 train at 116th Street subway station. *Please note that the 116th Street subway station is not wheelchair accessible; the nearest accessible subway station is 96th Street. 
  • M4, M60, and M104 buses at 116th Street and Broadway
  • M5 bus at 116th Street and Riverside Drive
  • M11 bus at 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue
  • Campus shuttles for students coming from CUIMC and Manhattanville campuses will be available. Visit Columbia Transportation or download the Passio Go! mobile app for more information.