FAQs

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

  • HOW DO I PREPARE TO PARTICIPATE IN COMMENCEMENT?

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

  • IS THERE A FEE FOR GRADUATION?

    Yes, the non-refundable Graduation fee covers the cost of degree audit processing, 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?

    Update your graduation application on the MyAcademics tab of your MyColumbia portal.

  • 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 2019, Spring 2020, or Summer 2020. Please note, we cannot guarantee your name will appear in the program if we receive your graduation application after April 17, 2020.

  • WHAT INFORMATION DO MASTER’S DEGREE STUDENTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COMMENCEMENT?

    For more information on Graduate Commencement please visit Graduate Student Support at students.colum.edu/graduate.

  • WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GRADUATING WITH HONORS AND GRADUATING FROM THE HONORS PROGRAM?

    Columbia College Chicago undergraduates who graduate with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.75 are recognized as having graduated with academic honors. Graduates with a 3.75 – 3.79 GPA graduate cum laude (“with honors”); students with a 3.80 – 3.89 GPA graduate magna cum laude (“with high honors”); and students with a 3.90 – 4.00 GPA graduate summa cum laude (“with highest honors”). These students wear a gold tassel on their mortarboards at Commencement, and their names are listed with an asterisk in the program. If you are graduating with honors, you will receive a gold tassel at the Cap and Gown Gown Distribution event on May 12th & 13th at The Student Center - 754 S. Wabash - 5th floor.

    Columbia College Chicago’s Honor’s Program offers an enhanced core curriculum, which provides a solid foundation in Liberal Arts and Sciences. In order to graduate from the Honors Program, you must complete 15 credit hours of Honors courses, which are designated with an “H” in the course catalog. You must also maintain a GPA of 3.5 or greater. Honors Program graduates wear a gold stole with the Columbia Honors Program seal at Commencement.

  • HOW DO I GET MY HONORS PROGRAM STOLE?
    If you are graduating having met the Honors Program requirement, you may pick up your Honors Program stole with your cap and gown at Cap & Gown Distribution on May 12th and 13th at The Student Center – 754 S. Wabash - 5th floor. Contact your Academic Advisor or honors@colum.edu if you have questions about the Honors Program.
  • 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 12th and 13th, 2020 from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. at 754 S. Wabash. Also, don't forget to fill out your Alumni card at giving.colum.edu.

  • 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 early March via colum.edu/commencement. You will be able to reserve up to 6 guest tickets and pick them up in April during Ticket Distribution. Be sure to reserve your tickets before trying to pick them up!

  • WHEN CAN I PICK UP MY TICKETS?

    Ticket Distribution will take place on April 13th from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and April 14th from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. The location for both days is 754 S. Wabash, 1st floor.

  • IF I CANNOT MAKE THOSE PICK-UP DATES/TIMES, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

    Additional dates and times are listed under Important Dates on page 11. You may send a representative to pick up your tickets at Ticket Distribution. Please refer to the Proxy Pick-Up Form 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 sign for your tickets in order to claim them. Tickets cannot be mailed, and there is no will call.

  • 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. Ida B. Wells, up to 45 minutes before the ceremony, where they can enjoy a concert featuring Columbia’s student music ensembles.

  • HOW LONG IS EACH CEREMONY?

    Each ceremony will last approximately two hours.

  • 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 commencement@colum.edu.

  • HOW CAN I GET MY GRADUATION PHOTOS, ANNOUNCEMENTS AND OTHER MEMORABILIA?

    There will be opportunities for you to sit for formal portraits or head shots at the Grad Expo(s) and Cap and Gown Distribution with Gradimages, our Commencement photographers. GradImages will also be at the Auditorium Theatre taking your photo as you cross the stage. After the ceremony, you may visit their website www.gradimages.com and purchase your photo package. You may also order personalized printed announcements, class rings, or other items through Herff Jones - www.herffjones.com. Links for the above can also be found by visiting colum.edu/commencement in the Memorabilia section.

  • DO I GET MY DIPLOMA AT THE CEREMONY?

    You will receive your diploma cover when you cross the stage at Commencement. Your diploma will be mailed separately once all degree requirements are met. Only students who attend Commencement will receive a diploma cover. A limited supply of diploma covers will be available at Columbia Central one week before and after 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 Columbia Central at 600 S. Michigan, third floor during regular business hours.

  • 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. You will receive an email to your official colum.edu account when your diploma has been shipped. Feel free to call us at (312) 369-7140 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 MyColumbia account to see if you have any financial restrictions. If so, please call (312) 369-7140 to settle your account.

  • DOES COLUMBIA RECOMMEND ANY SPECIFIC HOTELS?

    Listed below are several hotels in the downtown area. We recommend you make your reservations as soon as possible. Traditional Columbia discounted rates may not apply; however, feel free to ask when you make your reservations, in case circumstances allow for discounts.

    HOTEL BLAKE - Columbia Rate
    500 S. Dearborn
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Reservations: (312) 986-1234

    CLUB QUARTERS - Columbia Rate
    111 West Adams St.
    Chicago, IL 60603

    BLACKSTONE HOTEL
    636 S. Michigan Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Reservations: 866-508-0261
    To take advantage of the group rate please make your reservations by April 16th.
    Use booking link for Columbia rates

    BEST WESTERN GRANT PARK
    1100 S. Michigan Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Reservations: (312) 922-2900
    Use booking link on colum.edu/commencement

    HAMPTON INN AND SUITES CHICAGO DOWNTOWN
    33 Illinois St.
    Chicago, IL 60654
    (800) 429-1152

    PALMER HOUSE HILTON
    17 East Monroe
Chicago, IL 60605
    Reservations: (877) 865-5321

    RESIDENCE INN BY MARRIOTT
    201 E. Walton Place
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Reservations: (312) 943-9800

    HOMEWOOD SUITES BY HILTON
    40 E. Grand Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Reservations: (312) 644-2222
    Use booking link on colum.edu/commencement

    HOTEL SAX CHICAGO
    333 N. Dearborn
    Chicago, IL 60610
    Reservations: (312) 245-0333

    HILTON GARDEN INN
    Chicago Downtown South Loop
    55 E. 11th Street
    Chicago, IL 60605
    Use booking link on colum.edu/commencement

    HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS
    640 N. Wabash Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Reservations: (888)

    HOLIDAY INTERCONTINENTAL CHICAGO
    505 N Michigan Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60611
    Reservations: (312) 944-4100

    HOLIDAY INN & SUITES
    506 W Harrison St.
    Chicago, IL 60607
    Reservations: (312) 957-9100

  • 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 Manifest website; colum.edu/manifest in the spring semester for information on how to participate.

  • HOW CAN I STAY CONNECTED AFTER I GRADUATE?

     

    Stay Connected
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    Tell Us Your Story: Submit a Class Note
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    Leave Your Mark
    There is power in participation! Every dollar adds up to create a significant impact for scholarships, the Columbia Internship Award, or a program that made a positive impact on your Columbia experience. Leave your mark today at giving.colum.edu.

  • HONORS PROGRAM INFORMATION
    If you are graduating having met the Honors Program requirement, you may pick up your Honors Program stole with your cap and gown. Contact your Academic Advisor or honors@colum.edu if you have questions about the Honors Program.