Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Day-of-Ceremony Instructions: Columbia College

graduates with lions

[Jump to University Commencement Instructions]

Columbia College Class Day


Roone Arledge Auditorium, Lerner Hall, 6:30-7:30 a.m.

  • Arrive with your CUID and wearing academic regalia.
  • You will be given a name card, which has been pre-filled with your information. Keep this card with you so that your name can be announced during the ceremony. If you lose it, you will have to get a new card and go to the back of the line as well as sit in the back of student seating.
  • Dress for the weather. South Lawn will be tented, and the ceremony will take place rain or shine!
  • Limit or leave at home any additional items; there will not be storage or security for your belongings.


  • After you check in, line up on the ramps of Lerner Hall by 7:55 a.m., when the bells ring to signal the start of the procession.
  • To sit next to someone during the ceremony, you must process directly in front of or behind this person.
  • The procession will be led by staff and the senior marshals.
  • You will process in two single-file lines to Butler Lawn and remain standing until after the faculty and stage party are seated.

Please remember to be courteous of your classmates and their families by remaining in your seats and being attentive throughout the ceremony. Graduates are not permitted to leave the ceremony until the conclusion of the recession. Staff will be on hand throughout the ceremony to help guide you and respond to your questions.

Guest Arrival

  • Seating will begin at 7:00 a.m.
  • Guests should plan to queue up at the corner of 115th and Broadway for entry to South Lawn.
  • Guests with disabilities should enter campus at 116th Street and Amsterdam and will queue just inside the gates on College Walk. Seating in the disability section will begin at 7:30 a.m.


  • Immediately following the ceremony, all graduates will recess behind the faculty and stage party back to Ancel Plaza to receive their class gift from Dean Valentini, faculty, and staff. 
  • We invite all guests to meet their student under the tent on Ancel Plaza and take celebratory photos before you head off campus to continue your celebrations.

University Commencement

The big day is almost here–University Commencement is Wednesday, May 22. This following information outlines the critical information you and your guests need to know to participate in one of Columbia’s most exciting and longstanding traditions.


  • Start to assemble at 8:00 a.m. with your school on upper campus, using one of the designated entrances for graduates (see the red arrows in linked map and listing below).
    • Earl Hall Gate at 117th Street and Broadway
    • Northwest Corner Building at 120th Street and Broadway
    • 120th Street Gate between Broadway and Amsterdam
    • Chapel Gate at 117th and Amsterdam
    • Wien Courtyard on 116th Street between Amsterdam and Morningside
    • Do not attempt to use a lower campus entry point.
  • All school line-up areas will have Grad Images photo stations and colored balloons with your abbreviated school name.  Plenty of event volunteers will be present to help direct you.
  • The candidate procession will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m.
  • Wear your cap and gown and carry your University ID. If you no longer hold a University ID, bring a photo ID and your Commencement registration confirmation or a letter from your school on University stationery.
  • Please bring water and dress appropriately for the weather, the ceremony is held rain or shine.

Guests of Graduates

  • General Admission seating begins at 8:30 a.m.
    • Outdoor seating:
      • Line forms on 115th and Broadway.
    • Guests with disabilities or limited mobility, the elderly needing assistance, or those needing sign language interpretations:
      • Line forms on 116th and Amsterdam Avenue.
    • Indoor seating in Levien Gymnasium:
      • Line forms at the entrance of the Northwest Corner Building on 120th Street, east of Broadway.
  • Guests must have tickets to access campus. Please print and distribute e-tickets to your guests in advance of the event.
  • Tickets have a unique QR code that allows only one entry to the event after it has been scanned. The selling or buying of tickets is strictly prohibited.
  • Seating is first-come, first-served. Encourage your guests to arrive early to find seats. Seats cannot be saved.
  • Exit is final; there is no re-entry.
  • Please tell your guests to bring water and dress appropriately for the weather as the ceremony takes place rain or shine.
  • The proceedings can also be enjoyed via our live webcast:

Be Prepared

  • Campus is very busy during University Commencement. Do not leave anything until the morning of:
    • Get your regalia in advance.
    • Know where to line up with your school on Upper Campus starting at 8:00 a.m.
    • Give your guests their printed tickets in advance.
  • Make a plan of how you will meet up with your guests following the Ceremony.
  • The Ceremony will be held outdoors, rain or shine: Please dress accordingly and bring water. Indoor seating will be available for guests.
  • Bags are discouraged. Any bags or packages brought to University Commencement will be subject to search.

Now, celebrate! On the night of University Commencement, from dusk until after midnight, the top of New York’s iconic Empire State Building will be lit in blue and white in honor of the Columbia University Class of 2019.   Congratulations on your remarkable achievements. We look forward to seeing you at the Ceremony on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

Countdown to Graduation

until graduation