There are two ceremonies connected to your graduation from SIPA; our own SIPA Graduation (Class Day) ceremony for graduates of the MPA, MIA, MDP, MPA-EPM, EMPA, MPA-ESP, and PhD in Sustainable Development programs, and the University Commencement where academic degrees are officially conferred on graduates from all Columbia schools.

The dates and locations of the ceremonies are as follows:

SIPA Graduation

Date Sunday, May 17, 2020; Time 6:00-8:00pm
South Lawn, Columbia University Morningside Campus
SIPA Graduates assemble in Lerner Hall at 4:30pm for the candidate procession.
Guest seating begins at 5:15pm on the South Lawn.
Graduation Speaker: Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation
Online livestream: Link TBD

Reception for SIPA GradUates

A reception will be held immediately following the SIPA Graduation from 8:15-10:15pm.
Location: Ancel and Revson Plaza (near SIPA and the Law School).

Columbia University Commencement

Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2020; Time: 10:30am-12:00pm
College Walk, Columbia University Morningside Campus
SIPA graduates assemble on Ancel Plaza at 8:00am for the candidate procession that begins at 9:00am.


Online registration is required for graduating students, and tickets are required for guests. 

Graduates must complete the Career Services Graduation Survey in order to be added to the list of students allowed to pick-up SIPA Graduation tickets. This survey is sent via email to graduates. If you have more questions, email

Each graduate is allowed five (5) guests for the SIPA Graduation and two (2) guests for the Columbia University Commencement. Students who require invitation letters in order to obtain travel visas for family members should request these letters from the Student Affairs Office by filling out the SIPA-OSA 'Student Letter Request' Form. In addition, your family members and friends may watch graduation live online.


The University Registrar will mail diplomas to all SIPA graduates. Diplomas will be mailed to the address submitted on the “Application for Degree” form. Students should expect their diplomas approximately 2-3 weeks after they are certified for their degree.

October and February Graduates

Students who graduate in October 2019 or February 2020 will be invited to participate in the May 2020 Graduation Ceremony. You will be contacted by the SIPA Office of Student Affairs (OSA) to confirm your participation. October and February graduates should arrange email forwarding to receive graduation communications. Email forwarding for alumni can be arranged at:

Disability Access

For the SIPA Graduation Ceremony, guests with disabilities, limited mobility, the elderly needing assistance, or those needing sign language interpretation should enter the campus at 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. You will be directed to the South Lawns and a designated seating area for guests with disabilities. Students needing accomodations should contact the office of Disability Services ahead of time at

Guests with disabilities do not need to alert the SIPA in advance to reserve seating or to make other arrangements. No special tickets are required to enter designated seating areas; general admission tickets may be used.

Graduation Awards and Prizes

Awards for outstanding work or service are listed in the SIPA Graduation program. See details.


If you have further questions about SIPA Graduation, please call 212-854-8690 or visit the SIPA Office of Student Affairs (OSA) on the 6th Floor of the International Affairs Building (IAB). You can also email