Columbia University Commencement is a centuries-old tradition in which the President of the University grants degrees en masse to graduating students from eighteen schools, colleges, and affiliated institutions. During this ceremony, remarkable members of the Columbia community are also recognized through the conferring of medals, awards, and honorary degrees. It is Columbia tradition that the University Commencement address is always given by the President of the University.
With thousands of degree candidates, participants, and guests in attendance, the ceremony is an unforgettable, grand-scale celebration that appropriately marks the academic achievements of the University graduates. No candidate officially graduates until the Commencement ceremony is completed.
The University Commencement ceremony of the 259th Academic Year will take place on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. outdoors on Morningside Campus, rain or shine.
All eligible May 2013 degree candidates, February 2013 and October 2012 graduates from all Schools and Colleges affiliated with Columbia University are warmly encouraged to attend the ceremony. Registration is required and will begin in early April.
For details on how to prepare for the ceremony, please visit the Graduating Students section of this website.
Columbia University faculty and officers of administration may participate in University Commencement by marching in the academic procession, or volunteering as an Event Host or Marshal. For more information on how to participate in the ceremony, please visit the Faculty & Staff section of this website.
Family and friends of Columbia's graduates are an integral part of the University Commencement celebration. Tickets are required for admission and will be made available to eligible graduating students late in the spring semester. For more information about attending the ceremony, please visit the Parents, Family and Friends section of this website.
On the evening of University Commencement, from dusk until dawn, the spire of the Empire State Building will be lit in blue and white in honor of Columbia’s graduates.
INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL CEREMONIES
Each of Columbia University’s schools and affiliates also hosts its own ceremony to individually recognize graduates for their successful completion of requirements. Such events feature visiting speakers and often welcome graduates to stage, providing much-enjoyed photo opportunities to commemorate the occasion. Degrees are not conferred at the individual school ceremonies.