Doctoral Convocation

The GSAS PhD Convocation ceremony recognizes candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Musical Arts. During the ceremony, degree candidates are presented individually by name, ascend the stage, and are greeted by the dean of the Graduate School. 

Please refer to the information pages for graduatesguests, and faculty, as well as the FAQs, to prepare for the day's events.

Event Schedule

Sunday, May 17, 2020
Morningside Campus

By 11:15 a.m. – Arrival of Graduates
Students report to Roone Arledge Auditorium in Lerner Hall (using the Broadway entrance) by 11:15 a.m. in order to line up by department/program. Students must wear their academic regalia and should bring their name card. 

11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. – Arrival of Guests
The general admission entrance is on 114th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue. No tickets required for guests. Seating is first come, first served.

Guests with disabilities or limited mobility should enter at 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Event hosts will be stationed at this location to escort guests (up to four people) to the accessible seating area. No prior reservations are necessary. If you have any questions, contact the Office of Disability Services at (212) 854-2388 or disability [at]

12:15 p.m. – Academic Procession
Students, faculty, and university officials enter South Lawn in formal procession.

12:30 p.m. – Ceremony Begins
The Convocation ceremony includes brief speeches by faculty and student speakers; students are announced individually by name and congratulated by Dean Carlos J. Alonso and other university officials. Professional photographers take a photo of each student as he or she crosses the stage.

1:30 p.m. – Academic Recession
Convocation ends. Faculty exit first and form a line to congratulate students.

1:30 p.m. – Reception
A reception hosted by the dean and the GSAS Office of Alumni Relations takes place at Ancel Plaza. The reception concludes at approximately 3:00 p.m.

Additional Information

Convocation Booklet

A printed booklet will be distributed to graduates and guests at Convocation. Only PhD candidates who have completed the final deposit of their dissertation by the printing deadline will be listed in the booklet.

Transportation and Parking

The Visiting section of the Columbia website provides driving directions, information on public transportation, and a list of nearby parking garages. Please note that parking is extremely limited during Commencement week.

Valuables and Baby Strollers

Please do not bring valuables to Convocation, since there is no place to keep them safely. GSAS cannot be held responsible for lost or stolen items. Strollers will not be allowed in the seating areas on South Lawn. Those who leave strollers outside the gates do so at their own risk.