Looking Ahead to the Spring Semester

Spring 2023 at Columbia College Chicago promises to be action packed.

Welcome to 2023! As the beginning of the spring semester nears, there is so much to look forward to. From campus traditions to academic milestones to important dates and deadlines, it's hard to narrow down what is most exciting in the coming months.

Here is a brief list of the big moments that will define the spring. Make sure to mark important academic calendar dates and keep track of everything happening on campus with the Engage Calendar.

Celebrating Cultures: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives and Opportunities

Columbia College Chicago mirrors its city's rich diversity, and the spring season brings countless opportunities to celebrate cultures, learn from one another, and make a difference in the community. On campus events like artist talks, galleries, shows, screenings and more give the Columbia Community the chance to engage in critical conversations about the world. Both Student Diversity and Inclusion and Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion host an array of events, programs, and excursions that are continuously being added on the Engage calendar. 

A key benefit of the college’s location is that our community is at the heart of a vibrant, diverse city. Join an SDI college-lead excursion to one of the city’s neighborhoods for events like Lunar New Year parade in the Uptown neighborhood, or take a trip to one of the city’s rich centers of Black culture like the DuSable Black History Museum and the Bronzeville neighborhood. To further connect or to stay up to date with all that Columbia’s DEI departments offer be sure to follow them on engage and social media at @columbiachisdi and @deicolumbiachi. 


The Final Count Down: Admissions Dates to Know 

The day all prospective students have had marked on the calendar comes at the end of spring — Decision Day. Before the May 1 deadline when college decisions are made, there are plenty of exciting moments that will get potential Columbia students and their families excited for the future.  

As acceptances roll in and the decision comes down to the wire, take advantage of Admitted Student Days from late-February through mid-April as a chance to explore campus and take in our new Welcome Center. For nonlocals or those who want an option closer to home, Admitted Student Receptions take place in the same time frame in cities across the U.S. 

Keep up with all the latest admissions events, deadlines, and news on the admissions website and through their social media accounts. 

Columbia at Center Stage: Shows and Awards for Students, Alumni, and Faculty 

The spring semester at Columbia College Chicago is filled with opportunities for students and alumni to demonstrate their many talents. On campus, theatre productions, performances, and recitals from music students, dance center shows, and exhibitions will keep any member of the Columbia College Chicago community busy — whether you are an artist or an audience member. Additionally, remember flagship events including Spring Splash and Deep Dish Music Festival are key pieces to the spring offerings at Columbia.  

Outside the walls of the college, award season will be well under way for the entertainment industry. Alumni, former students, and faculty are regular fixtures in some of the most prestigious award conversations and will be sure to make a splash in 2023. 

Party in the South Loop: Manifest Urban Arts Festival 

There’s no better way to wrap up the semester than at Manifest Urban Arts Festival. On the final Friday of the semester, this year on May 12, the Columbia community takes over the South Loop to celebrate the talent and hard work of our students. Produced and run by Columbia students, Manifest features gallery exhibitions, live music, film screenings, original video games, fashion shows, literary readings, and more. That weekend the Manifest video debuts, featuring footage from the festival along with a song written and performed by a student. Last year’s video featured “Everything You Can Do” by Paige and the Kizers.

Congratulations Class of 2023: Commencement Ceremony Like None Other

Columbia College Chicago’s commencement ceremonies are not an ordinary graduation experience. Don’t expect the usual stuffy pomp and circumstance. Live performances, dancing, and the sense of optimism that comes from a gathering of eager creatives are all on display. Experience it for yourself May 13 and 14 when we celebrate the class of 2023 at the Arie Crown Theater. If you or your loved one is graduating this year, here is what you need to know.

Students should monitor their Columbia email accounts and the commencement webpage to stay up to date about when and how to register for graduation, the schedule of the day, expo details, and information about the six tickets they will receive to give to their loved ones.

Ceremonies are broken up by program. This is how they are organized this year:

Saturday, May 13 

Ceremony 1: American Sign Language (U), English and Creative Writing (U/G), Humanities, History, and Social Sciences - includes Cultural Studies (U), Dance (U/G) – includes Creative Arts Therapies, Theatre (U/G), Fashion Studies (U)

Ceremony 2: Business and Entrepreneurship (U/G), Communication (U/G), Audio Arts and Acoustics (U) Photography (U/G)

Sunday, May 14

Ceremony 3: Cinema and Television Arts (U/G)

Ceremony 4: Art and Art History (U/G), Design (U), Music (U/G), Interactive Arts and Media (includes Animation) (U/G)

COVID-19 Updates

As the world marks three years since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the college is modifying some existing campus precautions for the spring semester thanks to the comparatively lower severity of the now dominant Omicron subvariants, especially as measured in hospitalizations and deaths.

Vaccinations are still required, and members of the community still must report positive cases. Masking precautions will stay the same as they were in the fall semester, where masks are required in classroom settings and optional at other locations on campus. Visit the Columbia COVID Precautions webpage for more information on masking.  

One key change is that the college will suspend COVID testing requirements for unvaccinated students and suspend on-campus surveillance testing for asymptomatic people. Testing for students experiencing symptoms will remain available at the Student Health Center. 

Best in Class: Registration Timeline and Reminders 

There are so many things to learn at Columbia College Chicago. For students to be in the best position to take the classes they want and need in the summer and fall of 2023, they should be proactive prior to their assigned registration time slot. Here are some steps to remember to make the process go as seamlessly as possible: 

  • In early to mid-March, students should meet with an advisor to make sure they’re on the right track and know what classes will fulfill requirements.
  • In the weeks leading up to registration, check for any account holds. These can be medical, financial, or something else, and they can take time to clear. Getting them resolved prior to registration will reduce stress.
  • Get excited for the next semester by looking over all the course offerings for the coming term. This is typically released shortly before registration begins.
  • Keep an eye out for assigned registration dates and times. This information will come through MyColumbia accounts. Remember — this is just when a student can start registering for classes. They can continue to change their schedule after that time.
  • Attend RegFest! The festivities at the beginning of registration celebrates the students’ readiness to keep their education moving and provides the opportunity for fun prizes and goodies.