Graduate students that have completed their academic program will have the opportunity to attend  ceremonies that celebrate their accomplishments hosted by Columbia Engineering and Columbia University. 

Life After Graduation

Stay connected to Columbia Engineering after Graduation!

Steps Towards Graduation - All Students

Step 1: Learn Your Graduation Requirements

Make sure the following requirements are met!

  • The minimum credit requirements of the program.
  • The specific course requirements for the program.
  • The minimum GPA requirement for the program/school.
  • No unresolved IN’s (Incompletes), missing grades, or CP’s (Credit Pendings) – The degree will not be awarded even if these courses are not part of the student’s program plan.

You may check with your department’s website to see what your program’s specific credit, course, and GPA requirements are. For example, here are the requirements for a MS in Operations Research.

Step 2: Learn the Graduation Deadlines

There are three Degree Conferral dates (“Graduations”) but the only Graduation Ceremonies occur in May. October and February Graduates are welcome and invited to participate in the May Graduation Ceremonies.

  • October Graduation: Students who will have completed all their courses and minimum credit requirements by the end of the Summer term should apply for October graduation by Aug. 1
  • February Graduation: Students who will have completed all their courses and minimum credit requirements by the end for the Fall term should apply for February graduation by Nov. 1.
  • May Graduation: Students who will have completed all their course and minimum credit requirements by the end of the Spring term should apply for May graduation by Dec. 1.

Step 3: Apply for your Diploma and Graduation

Students should submit their application form directly to the Registrar’s Office in Kent Hall. The application is available online.

The Registrar’s Office sends a certification list (the list containing all those that have applied to graduate) to Graduate Student Services about two months before the conferral date.  Graduate Student Services, in conjunction with your academic department, reviews your courses and program plan to ensure that you have met the requirements to graduate.

Step 4: Clear All Holds and Balances

You may be cleared for Graduation but not have your Diploma available. You must make sure all of your holds are cleared and balances resolved! Here are a few examples:

  • Financial Balance – Student Financial Services will not release the diploma hold until your student balance has been paid in full.
  • Library & Administrative Holds – You should contact the department that issued the hold to resolve the issue.
  • Late Graduation Application – The registrar’s office has a timeline for applying to graduate. If you apply late, there is no guarantee your application will be accepted. If your application was accepted but your diploma wasn’t ready it was because of the late printing request.
  • Pick-up versus Mailing – The registrar’s application asks whether or not you will pick-up the diploma in person or have it mailed to an address. If you indicated the wrong preference or wrong address, your diploma may not be available. Ensure your preferences and mailing address is up to date and correct. Contact the Registrar's Office to insure that your preferences and mailing address are up-to-date and correct.

MS Student Specific Additional Requirements

  • Apply for a diploma.
  • Read registrar’s website carefully.
  • Students must apply for a diploma or they cannot be cleared for graduation.
  • If planning to receive diploma this October, please submit diploma application ASAP.

MS to PhD Specific Additional Requirements

  • Students must apply for MS degree diploma  or it will not be possible to enroll in Residence Units for PhD.
  • Students planning to receive their diploma this February 2018 or May 2018 - apply here.
  • Read the registrar’s website carefully.

Graduation Ceremonies & Receptions

Class Day

Date: May 14, 2018

The Columbia Engineering Class Day ceremony is school-specific and is hosted to recognize student achievements. The names of graduating Columbia Engineering students will be read out loud to the attendees students will walk across the stage to acknowledge degree completion.  The names of graduating students from Columbia Engineering will also appear in the graduation booklet that will be provided to guests and students.

To participate in Class Day

The deadline to participate is April 1, 208.  Students must submit the information above by this date or the school cannot guarantee participation in Class Day.

More information is available on the Class Day 2018 website.

University-Wide Commencement

Date: May 16, 2018

Commencement celebrates the graduates of all Columbia University schools and its affiliates.  The ceremony includes an academic procession, awarding of honorary degrees, the President’s address, and the conferring of degrees en masse by school.

Students will receive a message from Assistant Dean Ellie Bastani with details on tickets and registration.

To purchase graduation regalia (cap and gown), please refer to the CU Bookstore. However, sales will not begin until March 2018.

More information can be found on the Commencement 2018 website.