Do I qualify for financial aid?

How long does it take to complete a degree?

  • You have 2 years to complete the Certification, 5 years to complete the MS, and 7 years to complete the DES. While enrolled in these programs, you are required to maintain continuous enrollment or a minimum of 2 classes per year, one in the Fall and one in the Spring. You may take more than one course during each semester and take courses during the Summer but you are not required to. On average, students take 3.5 years to complete the degree, however, we encourage each student to take courses at a pace that suits their schedule.

I'm done! How do I graduate?

  • First, check in with your advisor. Together with your advisor, make sure that you've met your program requirements, and provide your advisor with the approvals you've secured for any deviations/exceptions/substitutions to your course of study.  Please note that Deans and advisors are the final authority on whether graduation requirements have been met.
  • Second, candidates preparing for graduation should submit a completed application for degree to the Registrar’s Office. Be sure to indicate which conferral you prefer (degrees are conferred in October, February, and May only).
  • Third, submit a graduation checklist to your department, check departmental website for additional information.  
  • Finally, if you are eligible and interested in joining Commencement activities, be sure to watch Columbia University's Commencement page ( for updates and instructions. Commencement is held in May of each year for degrees conferred that May as well as the two previous conferrals (February of the same year and October of the previous year).

How will I recieve my diploma after I graduate?

  • When you graduate (either in October, February, or May/June), your diploma will be ordered and mailed by the printer after the conferral date. It will take a few weeks to complete the process so it’s important that the address you have listed on SSOL is accurate.
  • If you need to update your address, you may do so through Student Services Online (SSOL) anytime until 5 p.m. on the Monday before graduation – please be sure to select the DP (Diploma) address option. 
  • Please check out the registrar's website for degree application for more information.