Convocation FAQ

What is the difference between Convocation and Commencement?

The GSAS Convocation ceremonies recognize candidates for the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts and Doctor of Philosophy, respectively. At GSAS Convocation degree candidates are presented individually by name, ascend the stage, and are greeted by the dean of the Graduate School.

University Commencement is the Columbia-wide ceremony in which degrees are officially conferred. All of the university’s schools participate in this event.

How do I obtain Commencement tickets?

GSAS students are allowed 2 guest tickets for the University Commencement on Wednesday, May 20. 

Academic regalia and a Columbia ID card are required for graduates, and guests must bring their tickets. General admission gates open at 8:30 a.m. Graduates line up by school at 9:00 a.m. Find more information about University Commencement here.


Is there a ceremony for October/February graduates?

Convocation and Commencement in May are the only ceremonies for GSAS students, regardless of whether their degrees are officially conferred in October, February, or May. Please see Step 1 of the Six-Step Guide for Graduates to determine your eligibility to participate in the May ceremonies.


How do I obtain my diploma?

After the graduation ceremonies, diplomas for May graduates will be mailed to the address on file in the "Diploma Address" section of the "Addresses: View and Update" page in SSOL.

Is it possible to watch the ceremonies online?

Yes. The Convocation and Commencement ceremonies will be webcast here.

What is the pet policy?

Guests and graduates will not be permitted to bring animals into the tents unless for disability service support that is communicated to us in advance.

When and where should guests arrive?

Guests line up on 114th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam and enter through one of two gates leading into the campus's South Lawn. Gates open approximately 40 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. Guests are discouraged from arriving too early due to most campus entries remaining closed while other ceremonies are underway.