After extensive and careful consideration of public health guidelines, and the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our communities, in-person celebrations of Class Day and Commencement will not be possible this April.

Please join us for a virtual Class Day on Thursday, April 29, 2021. More details on Engineering Class Day 2021 will be available soon.

Date: Thursday, April 29, 2021
Time: 10:00 a.m. EST
Speaker: Rocco B. Commisso


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 **This has been extended to December 1st**
  • 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 Jan 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.
  • Students may not purposefully delay their graduation by applying for a later conferral date.

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 2020 or May 2020 - apply here.
  • Read the registrar’s website carefully.

Graduation Ceremonies & Receptions

We will be having a Virtual Class Day on April 29 in order to honor this year's graduates.

Class Day

Class Day is the School of Engineering's school-specific graduating ceremony, honoring the year's graduates. We will be hosting a Virtual Class Day on on April 29, 2021 to honor this year's graduates. Family and friends are welcome to view the ceremony as well.

University-Wide Commencement

The Columbia University Commencement ceremony of the 267th academic year will take place on Friday, April 30, 2021. More details to come.

Life After Graduation

Stay connected to Columbia Engineering after Graduation!