Baccalaureate Service

Picture of the Baccalaureate ceremony from the North Balcony.

About the Service

The Baccalaureate Service is a multi-faith service celebrating the completion of each undergraduate's academic career from Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of General Studies, and Barnard College.

Service highlights include hymns, musical selections, readings, reflections, and speeches by students. All undergraduate degree candidates and their guests are invited to attend. 

Vice President for Student Affairs Jospeh Greenwell and two Baccalaureate Speakers pause for a selfie.

Ceremony Details

Sunday, May 15, 2022, 10:00 a.m. at St. Paul's Chapel 

Watch a recording of the 2022 Baccalaureate Service here


Graduating seniors are invited and encouraged to be a part of the Baccalaureate Service each year. Students are required to register if they wish to participate and are encouraged to invite friends and family to attend. Tickets are not guaranteed for guest admission; however, seating in the Chapel is only guaranteed for candidates. 

2022 Participants


The Baccalaureate Service is believed to have originated at Oxford University in 1432 when each bachelor was required to deliver a sermon in Latin as part of his academic exercise. This historical British practice continued with the earliest universities in this country, which were founded primarily to educate ministers. Columbia University began this tradition in 1897 and the ceremony continues today as an interfaith, intercultural service celebrating each undergraduate's academic career.

Mother hugging her daughter after the Baccalaureate ceremony outside the front of St. Paul's Chapel.


Columbia University is committed to ensuring that all Commencement activities are accessible to all graduates and guests. If you need any accommodations, please contact Disability Services.

The service is coordinated jointly by the Earl Hall Center for Religious Life and the Commencement Office/University Programs and Events. For more information about this event, please visit the University Commencement Website and the Commencement Baccalaureate page.