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2024 Commencement FAQ

This FAQ webpage can help you with the questions you might have about GSAPP Commencement. It will be frequently updated to show the most current information. If your question is not answered here, feel free to email the commencement team at commencement@arch.columbia.edu.

See the main 2024 Commencement webpage.

Are there two commencement ceremonies?

GSAPP’s Graduation Ceremony is on Saturday, May 11, 2024.
University Commencement is on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.
Where and when will the GSAPP Graduation Ceremony take place?

The 2024 GSAPP Graduation Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

Graduates should plan to arrive on campus that day at 1:30pm that day for check-in at Lerner Hall.

How do Commencement preparations affect campus access?

The majority of Commencement Week preparations will begin in mid April and will continue through the following weeks. Some construction activities may potentially heighten the noise level around Low Plaza and the South Lawns. Access to these parts of campus may be more difficult during this time.

Please be advised that there will be a set-up transition in preparation for University Commencement during the afternoon and into the evening of the event. During this times, College Walk and Low Plaza may be closed to typical campus pedestrian movement. Public Safety staff will be on hand to redirect traffic as needed.

What is the schedule for the GSAPP Commencement day?

  • 1:30pm
    Student check-in opens, graduates begin line-up in Lerner Hall

  • 2:30pm
    Gates open for guests

  • 3:30pm Ceremony begins with Graduate Procession to South Lawn

  • 5:30pm Outdoor Receptions Begin (Avery/Schermerhorn and Havemeyer Plazas)

  • 6:30pm
    Indoor EoYS Reception Starts (Avery Hall)

  • 8:30pm
    Outdoor Receptions End (Avery/Schermerhorn and Havemeyer Plazas)

  • 9:30pm
    Indoor EoYS Reception Ends (Avery Hall)

How do I confirm my participation in the commencement?

All students who intend to walk at the 2024 GSAPP Graduation Ceremony need to register online, regardless of their need for guest tickets. You will receive an email in late March to complete this step through the Marching Order website. On that site, you will be able to:

  • Register to confirm walking with your program (dual degree students chose one program)
  • Complete the Photo Consent Form (GradImages)
  • Complete the Alumni Survey to stay in contact after graduation
  • Record your name for the preferred pronunciation Because seating and name-reading is planned in advance, any graduate who is not registered will not be able to participate.

  • How do I reserve tickets for my guests?

    More Information to Follow
    When is the deadline to obtain tickets for my guests?

    More Information to Follow
    How many tickets can I get for my guests?

    Graduates may request up to four (4) guest tickets for the GSAPP Commencement on May 11, 2024. Graduates may request up to two (2) guest tickets for the University Ceremony on May 15, 2024.
    Do I need to get my own ticket too?

    Graduates do not need their own ticket to attend GSAPP’s Commencement on May 11th, but they will need a ticket to attend the University Ceremony on May 15th.

    Selling or buying tickets for Commencement Week events is strictly prohibited.

    Can I get additional tickets?

    After the initial registration period closes on May 1st at 5:00pm, graduates will have the opportunity to register for up to two (2) additional tickets for the GSAPP Graduation Ceremony, which will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Details will be shared once the initial period closes.
    What COVID-19 protocols will graduates and guests need to follow during Commencement Week?

    Columbia University is committed to protecting the health and safety of its community. Effective May 11, 2023, graduates, visiting alumni, and guests attending Commencement activities on Columbia’s campuses are strongly recommended to follow CDC guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination and community guidance on indoor masking. Attendees will not be required to attest, show proof of vaccination status or recent test results, however, are encouraged to stay home if feeling unwell or testing positive for COVID-19.

    Please visit Columbia University’s Hub for Emergency Preparedness for the latest health and safety policies as they are subject to change.

    Where can I order a cap and gown?

    Note that academic regalia is required to participate in the Commencement ceremony. All academic attire, including the cap and gown, is ordered through the Columbia University Bookstore. Orders can be placed in-store beginning on March 7. Orders can be placed in-store beginning February 27. Online orders, to be shipped to the student, can be placed beginning on March 4 and ending on March 22

    Please see Columbia’s regalia webpage for more information regarding regalia.

    Will there be a photographer at the Commencement events?

    A professional photography firm will be present at the GSAPP’s Graduation Ceremony and Receptions on May 11, as well as at the University Commencement on May 15. Graduates have the option to be photographed prior to walking across the stage and will have the opportunity to purchase photos following the event. GSAPP has also engaged an event photographer to document the reception, and these images will be shared with attendees.
    My family and friends are coming from abroad. How do I help them attend the ceremony?

    Please see the ISSO’s information on inviting family and friends to visit here. If graduating students need a formal invitation letter for international guests, please fill out this form to request one.
    Will there be plastic water bottles distributed at the event?

    Please note that single use plastic bottles will not be distributed during Commencement. Guests and students should bring their own reusable bottle and fill up at any of our water refill stations available on Morningside Campus. By using outdoor water stations, Columbia will be able to prevent the use of nearly 50,000 plastic bottles on University Commencement Day alone. For more information, visit: Columbia’s Green Initiatives website.
    Will I get my diploma during the commencement?

    Diplomas are not distributed during commencement celebrations, but will be mailed to the “Diploma Address” that is on file in SSOL. Please review the related instructions on the Columbia University Registrar website.
    What if I am graduating with a dual degree? Will I walk twice?

    Each graduate with a GSAPP dual degree will choose one of the programs with which to walk during the ceremony. You were able to select this in the graduate registration form confirming your participation. The second degree will be noted when your name is read at the ceremony and on the program. Students who are completing their dual degree in the Fall 2024 semester are eligible to participate in the May graduation ceremony.

    Please note, that the deadline to register has already passed. If you missed the registration deadline, please email commencement@arch.columbia.edu ASAP. You will not be able to participate without confirming in advance.

    I can’t attend in person but would love to attend remotely. Can I do that?

    Yes! The ceremony will be livestreamed on the University website for anyone unable to attend: ​​commencement livestream.
    What are the disability services for the event?

    Graduates with guests who will need assistance or extra time to be seated are encouraged to contact us in advance at commencement@arch.columbia.edu and at access@columbia.edu with details so we will be prepared for your arrival and have appropriate seating available. We ask that guests needing assistance or in wheelchairs enter at the Amsterdam and 116th Street gate. Visit the Disability Services webpage for additional information.
    Will students be nominated for awards?

    Yes! 2024 Student Award recipients will be announced on May 11th. You can find information about graduation prizes and requirements on the GSAPP Student Awards webpage.