Columbia University awards degrees three times during the year: in February, May, and October. There is one commencement ceremony in May.

Application or Renewal of Application for the Degree

In general, students pick up and file an application for a degree at their schools or departments, but there are several exceptions. Candidates for Master of Science degree may pick up and file their application for the degree with the Diploma Division, 210 Kent Hall, or through the Registrar’s website. Candidates for doctoral and Master of Philosophy degrees should inquire at their departments but must also follow the instructions of the Dissertation Office, 107 Low Library.

General deadlines for applying for graduation are November 1 for February, December 1 for May, and August 1 for October. (When a deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline moves to the next business day.) Doctoral students must deposit their dissertations two days before the above conferral dates in order to graduate.

Students who fail to earn the degree by the conferral date for which they applied must file another application for a later conferral date.


There is no charge for the preparation and conferral of an original diploma. If your diploma is lost or damaged, there will be a charge of $100 for a replacement diploma. Note that replacement diplomas carry the signatures of current University officials. Applications for replacement diplomas are available on our website. Any questions regarding graduation or diploma processing should be addressed to