Columbia Journalism School
  • Alumni-weekend-2014-slideshow
  • Alumni-weekend-2014-slideshow


Key Dates

Tuesday, May 17, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.: Journalism Day and Class Photo
Wednesday, May 18, 10:15 a.m. - 12 p.m.: Columbia University Commencement
Wednesday, May 18, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.: Journalism School Graduation Ceremony (Reception to follow)


University Commencement Resources

Graduation Information Sessions

Student Affairs will hold four sessions where students can learn about the various graduation events, grading and honors, awards and more. 


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Diploma Application Verification

To check that your diploma application has been received, please log in to SSOL. Once logged in, please refer to the "Your Data" section on the right. Under "Academic Records" you will find "Degree Application Status."

If you do not have an application listed there, you MUST complete an Application for Degree or Certificate (form download at bottom of page), print, sign and return it to the Diploma Division in 210 Kent Hall. You can also save the form and submit it electronically to

DEADLINE: Friday, February 20, at 5pm. If you miss the deadline, you will be ineligible to receive tickets for your guest to attend graduation. 

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University Commencement Registration/J-School Graduation Ceremony Registration

Students must register in advance for each ceremony in order to both attend it and receive up to 3 guest tickets for it. Students (except 3rd semester docs) who have not submitted a diploma application will be unable to register for the University ceremony and to receive tickets.

To register and request tickets for the Journalism School ceremony, please compete the Graduation Program/Ceremony Form.

To register and request tickets for the University Ceremony, please complete this form. 

Please note that all those who graduate in May 2016, and those who graduated in October 2015 and February 2016, are REQUIRED to complete the Journalism School's Graduation Program/Ceremony FormThis includes dual-degree students who are completing the Journalism School portion of their degrees and 3rd semester doc students.


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Graduation Ticket Distribution

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY COMMENCEMENT:Graduating students are required to register online to attend the Columbia University Commencement ceremony, where they are also able to request guest tickets (up to three). Graduate school degree candidates may request up to three (3) guest tickets. Graduating students do not need tickets for themselves.

Your Commencement guest tickets will be electronic tickets and will be available to you upon completion of registration. Please choose only one option to receive your tickets (printing the tickets yourself or sending electronically for your guests to print) to distribute to your guests. Each ticket has a unique QR code that can be scanned only once. Distributing your tickets via both options will cause confusion for guests when they reach the admission entrance. Please make sure that each guest has one numbered ticket which contains a unique QR code. Only the first guest arriving with that unique ticket will be allowed entry to the ceremony. Any additional copies of the same ticket will be turned away at the gates.

Please be sure to send or give your tickets to your guests prior to Commencement Day as it will be nearly impossible to navigate from upper (degree candidate procession area) to lower (guest seating area) campus on the day of the event. Each ticket must be printed out in advance and will be scanned for admission into the ceremony. This will reduce lines at the General Admission gates.

Please note that University Commencement is held on Low Plaza and the processional route for students includes stairs. Those graduates whose disabilities limit their ability to walk or negotiate stairs should contact Disability Services at 212-854-2388 (Voice/TTY) or email to arrange for accessible seating by Friday, May 6.

Only those who will be participating in this ceremony need to complete this form. PhD Graduates need to complete this process through GSAS not Journalism.

Columbia University Commencement Registration/Ticket Request:

Commencement Registration Form Submission Deadline: Friday, May 6.

JOURNALISM SCHOOL GRADUATION CEREMONY: Graduating Journalism students are required to register online for the Journalism School Graduation ceremony (at a different link than the one for the university ceremony), where they will also be able to request up to three (3) guest tickets for this ceremony. Registration will open in March. The link and instructions will be distributed via email by the Dean of Students Office before the go live date. Graduating students do not need tickets for themselves. Tickets for the Journalism ceremony will be printed and available for pick-up in 207A beginning on May 8 for those who both registered to attend and who have completed the online graduation survey which will be available as well on May 6.

Journalism School Graduation Registration/Ticket Request: 

Part-time students can contact Chanel Roche at about having tickets mailed, if necessary.

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International Students - Guest Invitations

The Journalism School does not issue invitation letters for students' family members or friends. According to guidance from the U.S. Department of State, such a letter is neither necessary nor useful for the application for a B-1/B-2 Visitor's visa. B-1 is the classification for a Visitor for business, and B-2 for a Visitor for pleasure.

In order to secure a visa family wishing to attend graduation, please follow the instructions at:

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Family and Guest Accommodations

There are several hotels within a short distance of campus. When calling for a reservation, mention you are visting Columbia to see if a special rate may apply; however, we do not guarantee lower rates. We recommend making a reservation as soon as possible.

Columbia Housing Services maintains a list of off-campus accommodations.

In addition, Columbia University Guest and Conference Housing will offer a limited number of on-campus rooms to parents and families of Columbia graduates. Rooms will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning in the spring semester.

Please refer to the Commencement Housing Web site for details regarding rates, amenities, cancellation policies and reservations.

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Journalism Day

Tuesday, May 17, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Miller Theatre
Guests: No (open to students and faculty only)
Attire: Business; no caps and gowns

The annual Pringle Lecture is delivered and student prizes are awarded. Prize winners will be recognized again in front of their families and guests during the Journalism School Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday.  An audio recap of the day's event can be found here.

The general program is:


  • Introduction by Dean Steve Coll

  • 2015 Henry Pringle Lecture 

  • Presentation of the Mike Berger Award

  • Presentation of the Paul Tobenkin Award

  • Awarding of student prizes

  • Class photo shoot (see below)

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Class Photo Shoot

Tuesday, May 17, 12 p.m. SHARP (immediately following Journalism Day)
In front of Journalism Building
Attire: Business; no caps and gowns

All members of the graduating class will assemble on the steps for the official class portrait.

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Columbia University Commencement

Wednesday, May 18, 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. (seating begins for guests at 8:30 am)
Low Library Plaza
Guests: Each student receives up to three (3) tickets for guests
Attire: Caps and gowns are mandatory

Join the entire Columbia University community as President Bollinger leads the University Commencement ceremony.

Columbia University Commencement Web Site
Journalism School Meeting Point (section 12)

Family and guests with general admission tickets should enter campus at 114th Street and Broadway.

Tickets are required for entry; each guest over the age of three must have a ticket to the ceremony. Tickets can only be scanned once, and guests will not be permitted to reenter campus after exiting.

Graduates must enter the Earl Hall gate on Broadway at 117th street (east side of Broadway, opposite the Barnard gates) wearing your cap and gown. Please note access to the Journalism building from that side of campus will be impossible. If you need anything from the building, get it before lining up. Also, bathroom breaks are difficult once the event begins.

For those who have purchased academic attire to walk in the University Commencement, we will congregate next to Low Library on the Broadway side just north of the flag pole (next to Lewisohn) at 9:00 am. Don’t be late. Look for the sign and Dean Huff and our student marshals  Click here for a map of where you can enter campus, where the Journalism graduates will be lining up and where we will be seated. Maps are also available here.

Seating & Family:

We will be sitting in the bleachers, left staircase, on the Dodge/Lewisohn side of Low. Wear sensible shoes, especially if it is raining.

The best place for parents to sit to see you in the bleachers is on the Amsterdam side of the campus. Guests can enter the campus at the Amsterdam or Broadway entrances. Don't forget to remind them to bring their tickets, a camera and a cell phone. Many students call their parents so they can wave to them at the appropriate moment. The University Commencement ceremony is an outdoor event which is held rain or shine. Prepare yourself appropriately for the weather conditions. Please bring sunscreen and a hat as well as an umbrella, raincoat, towel, and plastic bags should there be inclement weather.

After the ceremony it will be very difficult getting around so please pick an obvious place to meet your loved ones. Off campus is best, for example, in front of “Ollies.” The campus will be a mass of confusion with the graduates and families all trying to find each other. Patience is the word for the day as well as the use of cell phones.

A live webcast of the university ceremony will be available here.

Guests with disabilities, limited mobility, the elderly requiring assistance, or those needing sign language interpretation should use the designated disability access gates for University Commencement and class day ceremonies. For information regarding dedicated seating areas on campus during University Commencement and class day ceremonies for guests with disabilities, click here. Additionally, please review the information from your school or program for any special instructions regarding disability seating at your class day ceremony.

All guests with disabilities, limited mobility, the elderly needing assistance, or those needing sign language interpretation should enter:

  • 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue

  • 115th Street and Amsterdam Avenue (between Wallach and Hartley Halls)


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Journalism School Graduation Ceremony

Wednesday, May 18, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. (seating begins at 2:15 p.m.)
Roone Arledge Auditorium, Lerner Hall (entrance at Broadway and 115th Street)
Guests: Each student receives up to three (3) tickets for guests
Attire: Business; no caps and gowns

CUIDS are required for faculty, staff and graduates. 

Journalism School graduates will receive their diplomas and hear a graduation speech by the recipient of the Columbia Journalism Award, the school's highest honor, presented annually to a journalist for distinguished service to the profession. SPJ Columbia chapter president Astha Rajvanshi will also speak at the Journalism School Graduation Ceremony.

Doors for seating open at 2:15p.m. Your guests must present graduation ceremony tickets at the entrance. We recommend guests arrive early as the ceremony will be at maximum capacity this year. Once maximum capacity has been reached on both the floor of the Auditorium as well as in the Balcony, guests will be directed to the Broadway Room in Lerner to watch from the LiveStream. 

Due to safety precautions, guests with strollers or small children are unable to sit in the Balcony. Therefore, once the floor of the Auditorium has been filled, these guests will be directed to the Broadway Room.

Guests will be sat in left and rear of the Auditorium, the Balcony and the Broadway Room. Guest seating is general admission. Graduate seating is center and right sections of the Auditorium.

Your seating will be assigned by your program or core course (PhD, Knight Bagehot, Spencer, Reporting or Seminar in Discipline). A numbered chart will be given to you as you enter the event.

This event will be webcast live by Columbia University for the audience who will be in the overflow room outside of Arledge in all corners of world at this link:

Dean so-toe-my-YORE, who will be reading your name and hometown out loud, will spend several weeks working on them. Please seek him out so he can practice both with you. 

Graduates will be photographed with their diploma envelopes as they exit the stage, and will have options to purchase these photographs (fill out this form to confirm proofs ahead of time). Personal cameras are OK but please caution anyone who will be taking pictures to stay in their specific seating section. 

A reception immediately follows on Furnald Lawn between Lerner Hall and the Journalism School. In the event of steady rain, it will be held at the Journalism School. We recommend all guests exit the Auditorium and meet their guests at the reception.

Guests with disabilities, limited mobility, the elderly requiring assistance, or those needing sign language interpretation should e-mail Lauren Schaefer at

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Cap and Gown Information

Grad Fair

The Columbia University Bookstore in Lerner Hall will hold its annual Grad Fair in mid-March. The Grad Fair is an opportunity for all degree candidates to purchase Commencement regalia (worn only for the Columbia University ceremony, not the Journalism School one), announcements, rings, diploma frames, and more.

Caps and gowns will be for sale up to the day of Commencement; however, as Commencement nears, size availability cannot be guaranteed. The bookstore is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

For purchase information, please see the regalia announcement.

Master's Regalia
The Master's regalia is custom-designed in Columbia blue fabric with Columbia crowns embroidered on the front panels. These gowns are not rentals, but souvenirs, and are yours to keep. No preordering is required.

The Master's regalia — cap, gown and tassel — is $56 plus tax.

Note to Master's Degree candidates living outside the New York metropolitan area: If you prefer to have your regalia shipped to you, you may download and submit the Master's regalia order form.

Doctoral Regalia
The doctoral gown features black velvet chevrons and panels with Columbia crowns embroidered on the front panels. There is a pocket slit to allow access to clothing beneath the robe. The hood is designed to represent your degree, discipline and Alma Mater.

This regalia is available for either rental or purchase. Please download and submit the Doctoral regalia order form.

Please note: April 5 is the deadline to order Doctoral regalia without incurring a $20 late fee.

Military Recognition
Graduates who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces are invited to wear a red, white and blue honor cord at Commencement Week ceremonies in recognition of their service. Cords will be provided by the University to any eligible graduate who requests one. To request a cord, please contact the Military and Veteran Affairs office via email at by Friday, May 6, 2016.

Class Ring and Announcements
Class rings and personalized graduation announcements may be ordered through our graduation partner Balfour. Traditional announcements may be purchased at the bookstore.

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Graduation Offers for Students


Free One-Year Subscription to CJR

Throughout the year, you have received copies of CJR near your student mailboxes. The CJR staff hopes you found each issue interesting, informative and useful. CJR would like to offer you continued access to its content with a one-year online subscription.

To accept, please email Dennis Giza ( your name and email address by May 20, 2015 and please refer to this offer. 

This access to another full year of CJR content will begin July 1, 2016 and end June 30, 2017. If you take advantage of the offer after the above mentioned deadline, your subscription will still end on June 30, 2017. 

Congratulations and good luck. —The CJR Staff

Columbia Alumni Arts League (CAAL) Class of 2016 Gift: Free Membership
Sign up for your free Columbia Alumni Arts League membership (normally $25) because your discounts don’t have to end after Commencement.

Created by Columbia alumni, for Columbia alumni, Columbia Alumni Arts League membership continues your CUArts benefits as a recent graduate. Sign up for your free CAAL membership, and continue to experience the best of arts and culture without breaking your budget. CAAL offers alumni benefits and discounts to over 65 leading arts organizations, weekly exclusive events, and curated information about New York City arts. Check back; signup information will be available shortly.

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