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We are committed to making the Columbia University Commencement Week events accessible to all guests. Disability Services coordinates this effort for University Commencement as well as all individual school ceremonies and the Baccalaureate Service. These services are available to guests who use wheelchairs, have limited mobility, the elderly needing assistance, and those in need of sign language interpretation. During Commencement events, Disability Services staff, Event Hosts, and Public Safety officers will be on hand to assist guests with disabilities.

The information below is for the University Commencement ceremony only. For more information on accessibility for all individual school ceremonies and the Baccalaureate Service. Please email Disability Services at access@columbia.edu or call 212-854-2388.




The following gates are designated for use by guests with disabilities, limited mobility, older individuals needing assistance, or those in need of sign language interpretation:

  • 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue
    Gate opens at 8:30 a.m.
  • 115th Street and Amsterdam Avenue (between Wallach and Hartley Halls)
    Gate opens at 8:30 a.m.

It is important that guests with disabilities enter campus through the above designated gates. The general admission gates on 114th Street have stairs and considerable distance from the designated seating areas. The large crowds at Commencement will make movement on campus difficult. Additionally, there is no access across campus on Commencement Day. Movement from Broadway to Amsterdam Avenue may require traveling long distances around the campus perimeter. Therefore, we suggest you consider the location of these gates when planning your arrival to campus.


There are two dedicated seating areas on campus during Commencement for guests with disabilities. Guests with disabilities do not need to alert the University in advance to reserve seating or to make other arrangements. No special tickets are required to enter designated seating areas; general admission tickets should be used. The locations of the two seating areas are as follows:

  • College walk near Kent Hall (with seating, wheelchair accessibility and sign-language interpretation). The best gate to use to gain access to this area is at 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.
  • Tent adjacent to Hamilton Hall (with seating, wheelchair accessibility, sign-language interpretation and closed-caption video of the Commencement exercises). The best gate to use to gain access to this tent is at 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.
  • The Levien Gymnasium of the Dodge Fitness Center will serve as an indoor, weather-friendly, accessible viewing location for any guest with a general admission ticket.


There is no on-campus parking. However, there are several parking garages in the neighborhood. Drivers are advised to drop off and pick up passengers with disabilities at either of the accessible gates listed above, before parking.

Shuttle Bus

A wheelchair accessible shuttle bus will circle the perimeter of campus to pick up guests with disabilities, their families and those who may need assistance. The bus will transport guests to the designated disability access gates (116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, 115th Street and Amsterdam Avenue) Event staff will be available at the gates to assist guests to their seats. Because of the large crowd at Commencement, the waiting period for the shuttle can be long. To avoid waiting for the shuttle, we suggest you plan to arrive to campus at the designated disability access gates.

Services for Guests with Visual Disabilities

Large-print Commencement programs will be available at both disability access areas on campus.

Services for Guests who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

The University's Commencement exercises will include sign language interpretation in both disability access areas. The disability access tent will also have closed-caption video of the Commencement exercises.

Contact Us

For further information, call Disability Services at 212-854-2388 or email access@columbia.edu.

Campus Access Information

Disability Access Map (pdf). Printed copies of the Disability Access Map are available at the Public Safety booths on 116th Street at Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue or at the Disability Services' office located in Wien Hall Suite 108.

Please note: Only College Walk and lower campus (South Lawn) will be open to guests during the Commencement exercises. After the main ceremony is completed (at approximately noon), the entire campus will open, and guests with disabilities may use the elevator to upper campus at the east end of Dodge Hall. (Public Safety officers will be available to assist guests.)