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Commencement Office

Columbia University Commencement Week is an exciting time for your graduating student, but it is an equally exciting time for you as a parent, friend, and family member. We are looking forward to having you on campus throughout the week to recognize this milestone in your student's life and to celebrate their accomplishments with them. The University Commencement ceremony of the 262nd Academic Year will take place on Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 10:15 a.m. outdoors on Morningside Campus, rain or shine. School ceremonies, where your graduate will cross the stage and individually be recognized for their academic achievements, occur throughout the week.

View a complete list of schools and their respective ceremonies and Baccalaureate Service.

If you should have any questions leading up to Commencement Week, please contact the Commencement Office.




The morning of University Commencement, all guests over the age of three must have a ticket to the ceremony to enter the Morningside Campus. Degree candidates are responsible for distributing tickets to their guests. Tickets allow entrance to Morningside Campus on Commencement Day however they do not guarantee a seat. Seats are on a first come first served basis, they are unassigned, and they cannot be reserved.

General admission line forms at West 115th Street and Broadway four outdoor seating.

Guests with disabilities should enter Morningside Campus at one of the following gates:

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

The Levien Gymnasium at 120th Street near Broadway will also serve as an indoor, weather-friendly, accessible viewing location for any guest with a general admission ticket.

Gates open to ticket holders at 8:30 a.m.

Tickets are required for entry.




The ceremony will end shortly after noon. We recommend that graduates and their families choose a designated area off campus to meet after the ceremony. With more than 30,000 people on campus, it can be very difficult to find someone—even with a cell phone—without planning ahead.