6 Things to Know About Commencement 2022 and Graduation Season at Columbia

May 18 marks the first in-person Commencement since the start of the pandemic, here are six things graduates and their guests should know.

Kelly Moffitt
April 08, 2022

In-person Columbia Commencement is back and better than ever! As we ease back to festivities, you may have some questions and Columbia News is here to help with six things you should keep in mind this graduation season.

Read through those things below, but don't forget that the Commencement website is here for you with up-to-the-minute updates about this year's festivities. If you have more specific questions, you can always reach out to their helpline at [email protected]

1. While Commencement 2022 will be in-person for the first time in two years, the event will be live-streamed so friends and family all over the world can take part.

Registration is required for Commencement and school ceremonies. Keep an eye on your email for the ticket registration link. Tickets are limited due to space constraints. New this year: Graduate tickets will be required to participate in University Commencement and many other Commencement-related activities and events.

With ticket limits in mind, though, we're taking what we learned from our virtual ceremonies and ensuring everyone who wants to view Commencement will be able to stream the ceremony on the Commencement website, Columbia homepage, and Columbia YouTube channel. This way, friends and family from all over the world can tune in to help celebrate the Class of 2022!

2. Commencement and Class Day setup starts earlier than you think — get your regalia and plan your pictures now!

Everyone wants to grab an iconic photo in their regalia in front of Alma Mater, Low Library, and Butler Library, but construction for Commencement and class day ceremonies starts earlier than you think. This year, bleachers will begin to be installed starting April 18. With that in mind, make sure you order your cap and gown as soon as possible so you can grab pictures wherever you please. For undergraduates and master's students, regalia ordering closes April 27. For doctoral students, regalia is. More information here.  

If you're running a little behind, NEVER FEAR! Columbia News has compiled a photo essay with equally iconic photography location ideas for your grad photos

3. Here is the official COVID-19 guidance for Commencement 2022 as of April 1, 2022:

"Please note the following policy is applicable for any Commencement-related activity or event on Morningside campus.

"Columbia University is committed to protecting the health and safety of its community. To attend any Commencement activity or event on Morningside campus, all graduates, visiting alumni, and guests over the age of five must meet the University requirement of full vaccination status and provide full proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Anyone who is unable to be vaccinated for medical, religious, or other reasons will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test (an at-home antigen test on the day of each event or PCR test within 48 hours of the first attended event). Additionally, unvaccinated guests over the age of two must wear a face mask during all events.

"Note that this event policy is dependent on the status of the University's COVID-19 Monitoring Plan.

"Commencement activities and events outside of Morningside campus may have different requirements for in-person attendance. Please contact your individual school for more details."

You can keep up-to-date on COVID-19 guidelines for Commencement festivities here

4. We are so proud of how our community came together to celebrate the Classes of 2021 and 2020 online. Now, we're excited to offer a special in-person ceremony for them this year on May 19.

You asked and we heard you: This year, we're offering a make-up ceremony in person for the Classes of 2021 and 2020 on May 19 on the Morningside campus. Registration is required. Full regalia is optional for the Classes of 2020 and 2021, but caps will be required. You can find more information here.

5. Help us make Commencement sustainable — bring a reusable water bottle with you!

Columbia is committed to global sustainability efforts. Here's where you can learn about Green Initiatives at Commencement. Most important for your planning, single-use plastic bottles will not be distributed. Guests and students should bring their own reusable bottle that can be refilled at any of the water refill stations that will be available on Morningside campus during Commencement Week.

6. Share your story with us. #RoarLions2022, #RoarLions2021, #RoarLions2020

We want to celebrate YOU. With that in mind, make sure that you share your Columbia story, graduation pictures, and Commencement experiences using the hashtag #RoarLions2022 (for the Class of 2022), #RoarLions2021 (for the Class of 2021), and #RoarLions2020 (for the Class of 2020).

You can also share your picture with us to be used in Commencement videos and social media by using this form for the Class of 2022 and this form for the Classes of 2021 and 2020

More questions?

The Commencement website is your best friend! At this university resource, you can find information about the Commencement ceremony itself, school ceremonies information, frequently asked questions, and it is the place you can go to be sure you'll catch the ceremony live stream, in addition to Columbia's YouTube and homepage.