There are two ceremonies connected to your graduation from SIPA; our own graduation ceremony for graduates of the MPA, MIA, MPA-EPM, EMPA, MPA/ESP programs and PhD in Sustainable Development, and the University Commencement where academic year 2018-2019 degrees are officially conferred on graduates from all Columbia schools.

The dates and locations of the ceremonies are as follows:

Columbia University Commencement

Date: TBD; Time: TBD,
College Walk, Columbia University Morningside Campus

SIPA graduates assemble on Ancel Plaza at TBD. Graduates should enter through the International Affairs Building and go to the 6th floor to access Ancel Plaza. Line up near the LIME GREEN balloons. Candidates can also enter through Wien Courtyard.

Visit the Commencement webpage and message to students for more information.

SIPA Graduation

Date TBD; Time TBD 
South Lawn, Columbia University Morningside Campus

Guest seating begins at TBD on South Lawn. Graduates assemble in Lerner Hall at TBD.

Graduation Speaker: TBD

Reception for SIPA GradUates

A reception will be held immediately following the SIPA Graduation from TBD-TBD.

Location: Ancel and Revson Plaza (near SIPA and the Law school).


Details about tickets will be sent in the SIPA Office of Student Affairs (OSA) newsletters during the spring semester (late April/early May). 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 a "Request for Letter form.” In addition, your family members and friends may watch graduation live online at 

Commencement Tickets Information

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

Eligible May 2019 degree candidates, February 2019 and October 2018 graduates may use this link to register to participate in the Commencement ceremony and request guest tickets by DEADLINE TBD:

Important details:

  • Registration is open to all eligible May 2019 degree candidates, February 2019 and October 2018 graduates from all schools and colleges affiliated with Columbia University. If you do not plan on attending the ceremony, you do not need to register.

  • Graduate degree candidates may to request up to two (2) tickets for their guests. Graduating students do not need a ticket 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 (print the tickets yourself or send them 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.

  • Be kind to your fellow classmates and register only for the amount of guest tickets that you intend to use. 

  • 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 campus (degree candidate procession area) to lower campus (guest seating area) 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 that the processional route for students includes stairs. Those graduates who need assistance walking or negotiating stairs should contact Disability Services at 212-854-2388 (Voice/TTY) or email to arrange for accessible seating by DEADLINE TBD.


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 2018 or February 2019 will be invited to participate in the May 2019 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.

Visit the University Commencement Web site for information about disability access for Commencement.

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