There are two ceremonies connected to your graduation from SIPA; our own graduation ceremony for graduates of the MPA, MIA, PEPM, EMPA, MPA/ESP programs and PhD in Sustainable Development, and the University Commencement where academic year 2016-2017 degrees are officially conferred on graduates from all Columbia schools.
The dates and locations of the ceremonies are as follows:
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:30am – 12:00pm, College Walk
SIPA graduates assemble on Ancel Plaza at 9:00am. 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.
Thursday, May 18, 2017, 3:30pm - 6:00pm
South Lawn, Morningside Campus
Guest seating begins at 2:30pm on South Lawn. Graduates assemble in Lerner Hall at 2:00pm.
Graduation Speaker: Right Honorable David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC). In his role as president and CEO of IRC, Mr. Miliband oversees the organization’s humanitarian relief operations, which span more than 40 countries, and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs. He previously served as the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs from 2007 to 2010, and prior to that as Secretary for the Environment and as a member of parliament.
A reception will be held immediately following the SIPA Graduation from 6:00-7:00pm.
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 email@example.com.
Each graduate is allowed five (5) guests for the SIPA Graduation and three (3) 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 sipa.columbia.edu/live.
Commencement Tickets Information
Online registration is required for graduating students, and tickets are required for guests.
Eligible May 2017 degree candidates, February 2017 and October 2016 graduates may use this link to register to participate in the Commencement ceremony and request guest tickets by Friday, May 5, 2017: https://columbiacommencement.universitytickets.com.
Registration is open to all eligible May 2017 degree candidates, February 2017 and October 2016 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 three (3) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for accessible seating by Friday, May 5, 2017.
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.
Students who graduate in October 2016 or February 2017 will be invited to participate in the May 2017 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: http://alumni.columbia.edu/email
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 email@example.com.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.