FAQ for 2016 Graduates

If you have additional questions not addressed here, please email:

For more detailed information, go to SPS Graduation website

1) How do I obtain my cap and gown for graduation?
Academic regalia are required for both the School of Professional Studies’s graduation ceremony and for Commencement Day.

Regalia can be purchased at the Columbia University Bookstore in Lerner Hall, 2922 Broadway, New York, NY 10027, t: (212) 854-4132, f: (212) 854-8713, bkscolumbia@bncollege.com.

For those not in the NYC area, the bookstore will accept orders by mail or fax and will ship via UPS from April through the beginning of May.

2) What is the difference between SPS Graduation and Commencement?
Graduation is the term for completing your course of study at the University and fulfilling all the requirements for your degree. In order to graduate and obtain your diploma, you must submit an Application for Degree or Certification with the Office of the Registrar.

Each of Columbia’s Schools holds a graduation ceremony (called a Graduation) to honor the accomplishments of the graduating class. Students’ names are read as they process across the stage.

Commencement refers to the ceremony celebrating those who are receiving their degrees from all Columbia schools in a given year. At the University Commencement ceremony, degrees are symbolically conferred on candidates by the president of the University. Attending University Commencement participation is not required to graduate from the University or to receive your diploma. There is only one University Commencement ceremony for the year, which is held in May. All graduates from the previous October, and from February and May of the current year are invited to attend.

For more information about graduation please visit the Office of the Registrar. For more information about the University Commencement or individual school graduation ceremonies please visit the Commencement website.

3) How many tickets do I get for SPS Commencement?

University Commencement is the Columbia-wide ceremony in which degrees are officially conferred. All of the University’s Schools participate in this event. All candidates will be allotted up to three (3) guest tickets for the Columbia 262nd Commencement. You do not need a ticket for yourself. Registration for University Commencement and the option to request tickets for your guests will begin in early March. After that time, please check your email in the coming weeks for a notice from the Office of Student Affairs on how to register and request guest tickets.

4) Where is the graduation ceremony located?

Please go to the SPS website for more information on time and location.