Graduation

Eligibility and Application for Diplomas and Certificates

In 2021, Bachelor's degrees and certificates are conferred four times a year: February, May, June, and October. Students must file an application for the degree or certificate in consultation with their advisor by the deadlines specified below.

Deadline Graduation Date
November 1, 2020 for degrees conferred February 10, 2021
February 1, 2021 for degrees conferred May 19, 2021
March 1, 2021 for degrees conferred June 30, 2021
August 1, 2021 for degrees conferred October 2021

Apply for Graduation

To apply for graduation, students should meet with their GS or Postbac advisor no later than three months prior to the anticipated completion of the degree or certificate. Students who are unable to earn the degree or certificate by the conferral date for which they have applied must file another application for a later conferral date.

Graduation Application Months are as follows:

December and March – May, June, and October (participating in April ceremonies)
August – October (not participating in April ceremonies)
November – February

October candidates who wish to participate in the preceding April ceremony must obtain special permission from their advising dean.

Students in the Joint Program with List College of the Jewish Theological Seminary will be allowed to graduate when they have completed the requirements for both degrees.

Verifying Your Graduation Application Status

After completing a graduation candidacy review with his or her GS advisor, and applying to graduate in February, May, June, or October, students can confirm the status of their application through SSOL.

To verify that their graduation application has been processed, students should follow these steps:

  1. Log in to SSOL.
  2. Under "Academic Records," click on "Degree Application Status."
  3. Confirm your expected date of graduation (month and year), as well as the status of your application submission.
    • Note: "Submitted" status confirms that your application was processed; this will be noted only by your academic program(s) of study.
  4. If your application status is "Not Submitted" or there are errors in the information listed, email gsgraduation@columbia.edu.

Degree Ceremonies

A University-wide commencement ceremony will be held in April 2021. Before Columbia Commencement, GS hosts its own graduation ceremony known as Class Day, during which each student receives a certificate from the President of the University and the Dean of the School of General Studies. Students who received their degrees in October, February, May or June of 2021 are entitled to participate in Class Day and Commencement ceremonies in May of that academic year.

While Postbac Premed Students do not participate in Commencement, upon completion of their studies, they are invited to participate in Postbac Class Day in April.

Students completing degree work in the summer are welcome to participate in the April ceremonies preceding completion of their degree. Students may do so by a) applying for the October degree by March 15 and b) registering  for the summer courses needed to complete their degree requirements.

Diplomas and Certificates

There is no charge for the preparation and conferral of an original diploma or certificate. The name of the graduating student will be printed exactly as it appears on his or her transcript. Students are responsible for checking their transcripts and reporting any errors to the Registrar in 205 Kent before they file their degree or certificate applications. A student who wishes to change his or her name officially must submit the Name Change Affidavit available from the Registrar's Office. The affidavit must be notarized and filed by the application deadline. If a diploma or certificate is lost or damaged, there will be a charge of $100 for its replacement. Note that replacement diplomas or certificates carry the signatures of current University officials.

Columbia diplomas and certificates will be produced and mailed within three weeks after Commencement, and are mailed to the student's Diploma Address, as listed in SSOL. Students should confirm their address information on their SSOL profile. If a student's address needs to be updated, it should be done through SSOL before the Monday prior to Commencement

Please be sure to complete the Diploma Address option. Diplomas cannot be mailed to students who do not have a Diploma Address listed in SSOL.

Diplomas for February and October graduates will be mailed to the address on file in SSOL up to two months after the degree conferral date.

Note: Graduates who have not resolved any financial or library holds preventing the release of their diplomas must proactively notify the Registrar’s Office that their last hold has been removed. In the case of holds preventing release, the Registrar’s Office will not mail student diplomas without notification that all hold(s) have been removed.

Contact

Applications for replacement diplomas and certificates may be requested by calling the Office of the Registrar, Graduation, Degree Audit, and Diploma Division at 212-854-1454.