Commencement FAQs

Here you'll find answers to common questions related to commencement. For more information please contact 312.369.7459 or

How do I prepare to participate in Commencement?

All students, who completed a graduation application, who are participating in their Commencement ceremony should monitor their loopmail accounts regularly for announcements and updates about Commencement procedures. For more information please contact 312-369-7459 or email

Is there a fee for Graduation?

Yes, the non-refundable Graduation fee covers the cost of your cap and gown, diploma cover, diploma, and the Commencement Ceremony; whether you attend or not. The fee is applied to your account.

How do I make changes to my graduation application?

Undergraduate students, submit a new application in OASIS. You will not be charged a second time. Graduate students, please email if you wish to change your ceremony status.

How do I make sure my name appears in the printed Commencement ceremony program?

Your graduation application must state your date of graduation as being either Fall 2016, Spring 2017, or Summer 2017. Please note, we cannot guarantee your name will appear in the program if we receive your graduation application after April 21st, 2017. 

What information do graduate students need to know about Commencement?

For more information on Graduate Commencement please visit Graduate Student Support.

How do I get fitted for my cap and gown?

By listing your height and weight on your graduation application, you ordered your cap and gown. Graduation caps are one size fits all.

When is cap and gown distribution?

Cap and gown distribution will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 9th and 10th, 2017 from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. at The Court (731 S. Plymouth Court). Also, don't forget to fill out your Alumni card at

Is Commencement a ticketed event?

Yes. Each graduate will receive six (6) guest tickets during the ticket distribution period. Every attending guest, regardless of age, will need a ticket. There are no extra tickets available. As a graduate, you do not need a ticket for yourself. 

How do I reserve my Commencement tickets?

Our Commencement ticket portal will open in April and you will be able to reserve up to 6 guest tickets. After the ticket portal closes, if you have not reserved your tickets, we will do our best to accommodate your needs, but cannot guarantee you six tickets. Reserve your tickets on time! 

When can I pick up my tickets?

Ticket Distribution will take place on April 17th from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and April 18th from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. The location for both days is 1104 S. Wabash, Conaway Center, 1st floor. Starting April 19th, distribution will move to 916 S. Wabash – Suite 301, Monday through Thursday, 10a.m. – 3p.m.

If I cannot make those pick-up dates/times, what should I do?

You may send a representative to pick up your tickets at Ticket Distribution. Please refer to the Proxy Pick-Up Form section on our website and have your representative bring the form to Ticket Distribution. 

What should I bring with me to pick up my Commencement tickets?

You will need to bring your student I.D. and your ticket reservation confirmation page. You will need to sign for your tickets in order to claim them. Tickets cannot be mailed, and there is no will call.

How long is each ceremony?

Each ceremony will last approximately two hours.

Do I get my diploma at the ceremony?

You will only receive your diploma cover when you cross the stage at Commencement. Your diploma will be mailed separately. Only students who attend Commencement will receive a diploma cover. A limited supply of diploma covers will be available in the Office of the Registrar following Commencement on a first come, first served basis. If you did not attend the ceremony, and you would like to pick up a cover, please visit the Office of the Registrar at 600 S. Michigan, room 611 during regular business hours following the Commencement ceremony.

How do I get my diploma?

Diplomas for undergraduates will be mailed to the address you provided approximately 2 weeks after the posting of your degree. If you did not provide a specific mailing address, your diploma will be mailed to your permanent address on file. The Office of the Registrar will send an email to your Loop account when your diploma has been shipped. Feel free to call us at 312-369-7769 with any questions. All outstanding charges must be paid and you must complete your exit counseling before your diploma will be mailed. Please check your Oasis account to see if you have any financial restrictions. If so, please call 866-705-0200 to settle your account.

Where is the Commencement venue?

This year, Columbia’s Commencement ceremonies will take place at the beautiful and historic Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy.

What time should I arrive for my ceremony?

Graduates should arrive at the Auditorium Theatre (Roosevelt University entrance) at 430 S. Michigan Avenue no later than one hour before their ceremony and follow the signs to the processional staging area on the 2nd floor. Once there, you will be assembled by major in preparation for the procession. Guests can enter the theatre at 50 E. Congress, up to 45 minutes before the ceremony, where they can enjoy a concert featuring Columbia’s student music ensembles. 

How can I arrange for special assistance for myself or one of my guests?

If you require assistance during the Commencement ceremony, we are happy to accommodate you. Please contact 312.369.7459 or email

How can I get my graduation photos, announcements and other memorabilia?

There will be opportunities for you to sit for formal portraits at the Grad Expo(s) and Cap and Gown Distribution with our commencement photographers from Gradimages. GradImages will also be at the Auditorium Theatre taking your photo as you cross the stage. After the ceremony, you may visit their website and purchase your photo package. You may also order personalized printed announcements, class rings, or other items through Herff Jones.

GradImages will also be at the Auditorium Theatre taking your photo as you cross the stage. After the ceremony, you may visit their website and purchase your photo package.

If I am no longer able to participate in the Commencement ceremony, what should I do?

Students indicate whether or not they will participate in the Commencement ceremony when they apply for graduation. If you choose not to participate, there is no formal procedure to withdraw, simply do not attend.

How can I get involved in Manifest?

Visit the new Manifest website in the spring semester for information on how to participate. 

How can I stay connected after I graduate?

Join the alumni network!