Eligibility and Application for Diplomas and Certificates

Bachelor's degrees and certificates are conferred three times a year: February, May, 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 for degrees conferred in February
March 15 for degrees conferred in May
March 15 for degrees conferred in October (participating in May ceremonies)
August 1 for degrees conferred in October (not participating in May ceremonies)

Apply for Graduation

To apply for graduation, students must submit the appropriate application form in the Student Success Portal. Additionally, 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.

October candidates who wish to participate in the preceding May ceremony must discuss their plans with their advising dean.

Students enrolled in the Dual and Joint Degrees Programs will be allowed to graduate when they have completed the requirements for both degrees.

Degree Ceremonies

A University-wide commencement ceremony is held each May. 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 February, May, or October of a given year are entitled to participate in that year's Class Day and Commencement ceremonies.

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

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.


Information and applications for replacement diplomas and certificates can be found on the Registrar's website.