Skip navigation Jump to main navigation

Watch University Commencement for the Classes of 2020 & 2021

May 19, 2022

Congratulations to the Classes of 2020 & 2021! The Columbia University Commencement ceremony for 2020 & 2021 will take place Thursday, May 19, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. (EDT), in-person for ticketed guests and also via web broadcast.

The University Commencement Ceremony will be broadcast here.

History of University Commencement 

The Commencement ceremony dates back to 1758 and has been held outdoors on the Morningside campus since 1926.

It is a centuries-old tradition in which the President of the University grants degrees en masse to graduating students from eighteen schools, colleges, and affiliate institutions. During this ceremony, remarkable members of the Columbia community and special guests are also recognized through the conferring of medals, awards, and honorary degrees. It is Columbia tradition that the University Commencement address is given by the President of the University.

While each school holds an individual graduation ceremony, the University President is the only person who can confer the actual degrees. As part of the ceremony, each dean steps forward to request that the President confer degrees on the school's candidates; this tradition has become a memorable part of the ceremony. After the University President has conferred all degrees, cheers, applause, and celebration ensue as the class officially graduates.

With thousands of degree candidates, participants, and guests in attendance, the ceremony is an unforgettable, grand-scale celebration that appropriately marks the academic achievements of the University graduates. No degree candidate officially graduates until the University Commencement ceremony concludes.


Graduation Information and Resources

Class of 2021: Download Your Graduate Card

Class of 2020: Download Your Graduate Card