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Columbia College Day-of-Ceremony Instructions for Students

graduates with lions

[Jump to day-of-Commencement instructions]

Columbia College Class Day


The ceremony will take place outdoors, rain or shine. Although it will be tented, please arrive dressed for the weather.  All processing graduates must wear academic regalia. It is not advisable to bring any additional items with you, as there will not be storage or security for your belongings.

Check-in will take place in Roone Arledge Auditorium in Lerner Hall beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.

You must bring your CUID. At the time of check-in, you will be given a name card to review, which has been pre-filled with your information.  Keep this card with you so that your name can be announced during the ceremony.  


After you check in, please line up on the ramps of Lerner Hall. The bells will ring promptly at 9:25 a.m. to signal the start of the procession, and you must be in line at this time.

Please note that in order to sit next to someone during the ceremony, you must process directly in front of or behind him or her. The procession will be led by deans and the Senior Marshals. You will process in two single-file lines and take your seats in the center section of Butler Lawn, 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 program. Staff will be on hand throughout the ceremony to help guide you and respond to your questions.

Guest Arrival

Seating will begin at 8:30 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 up just inside the gates on College Walk. Seating in the Disability Section will begin at 8:30 a.m.

University Commencement

By now, you should have registered to attend Commencement. You will not need a ticket to enter the campus on Commencement morning, but you should carry your Columbia ID card, be dressed in your academic regalia, and be registered for the event to attend the ceremony. If you have graduated prior to May 2015 and no longer have your University ID, you must bring a photo ID and your Commencement registration confirmation e-mail or a letter on school letterhead indicating your participation in the ceremony for access to the campus.

On Commencement Day, degree candidates should use the upper campus gates to meet your classmates at the designated procession line-up location. Guests with general admission tickets should use the entrances at 114th Street and Broadway on Commencement Day. Guests can also enter the Levien Gymnasium on 120th Street near Broadway for indoor seating. Be sure to give your guests their barcoded admission tickets before Commencement Day, since you will be using separate entrances to enter campus that morning. Tickets allow entrance to the outdoor viewing area on Morningside Campus and the indoor viewing area in Levien Gymnasium on Commencement Day, however they do not guarantee a seat. Seats are on a first come first served basis, they are unassigned, and cannot be reserved. We strongly encourage your guests to arrive early to ensure they find seats. Should seating reach capacity in either location, you will be directed to the alternate location. Please be advised: the selling or buying of University Commencement tickets is strictly prohibited, so be cautious of offers to sell, buy, or even trade Commencement tickets. If the ticket is an unauthorized copy, the ticket holder will be denied access to campus.

If you have friends and family members who don’t have tickets to the ceremony, encourage them to watch it live online starting at 9:30 a.m. on Commencement Day. For details, check the Commencement website.



601 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: (212) 854-2446

Fax: (212) 854-0470

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.