News & Events


Commencement is the official ceremony celebrating students and their work. This year’s ceremony is scheduled take place virtually on Thursday, May 6, 2021 from 4:30 – 6:00 PM.

Watch the Livestream

Eligibility to Participate

If you complete degree requirements between June and May of the following year, you will be invited to the current year commencement ceremony. If you are not done with your requirements but anticipate being done by May, you will be invited to participate as long as you are registered for all of your final requirements in the spring semester. You will need to apply by the posted deadlines to make sure your name will not appear on the commencement program. Invitations to Commencement are emailed to College-issued student email accounts during the spring semester to eligible students.  

Commencement Information

  • Tickets

    You are eligible to request a maximum of six tickets. We ask that you request only the number of tickets that you will actually use. You as the graduating student do not need a ticket, nor do children.

    Our ticketing policy is meant to ensure that the Bank Street community can come together as one for Commencement. Therefore, we are unable to grant extra tickets. Additional ticket request and multiple RSVPs will not be granted.

    You must RSVP via the event link sent to your College-issued student email address. You will get an email to your College email account with information regarding ticket pickup.

  • Robes and Academic Regalia

    We give our students the option of wearing a cap and gown. You can order a lightweight black cap and gown, master’s hood, and black tassel from an outside company. Please note: Caps and gowns will not be available for purchase at the church.

  • Venue Information

    Each year, the Commencement ceremony is held in the beautiful Riverside Church, on Riverside Drive between 120th and 122nd streets. 

    There are two entrances to the church: one at 91 Claremont Avenue, which should be used by students and faculty, and the other at 490 Riverside Drive, which is to be used by all guests.

    Students are asked to arrive to the South Hall no later than 3:15 PM. Guests should arrive no later than 3:30 PM to be seated by 4:15 PM.  

  • Reception

    A catered reception will be held at Riverside Church in the South Hall immediately following the ceremony. Generally, the ceremony concludes at 6:00 PM and the reception ends at 7:30 PM. We look forward to celebrating you with your guests.

  • Special Ceremony

    If you are unable to attend the ceremony at Riverside Church for religious reasons, we are pleased to invite you and your family and friends to a special ceremony and reception at Bank Street College at 4:30 PM. If you plan to attend the ceremony, please contact Bettina Tillman in the Registrar’s Office at to RSVP.  Only those students who RSVP will be permitted to attend the special ceremony. Caps and gowns are optional.

  • Diploma

    Diplomas are not distributed at Commencement and will be mailed to students approximately two months from the date of graduation. Diplomas are mailed to the address you indicated when you filled out your electronic Graduation Application.  If you need to change the address where your diploma will be sent, please email

    Diplomas will not be sent to students with holds. All financial obligations must be settled with the Business Office and books borrowed from the Library must be returned. Questions regarding diplomas should be sent to Bettina Tillman at

Scenes from Commencement 2019

  • Graduates taking a selfie
  • Four Graduate School faculty members at commencement
  • Yolanda Ferrell-Brown and Fern Kahn at commencement
  • Line of drummers preparing for ceremony
  • Graduate with GSE faculty member
  • Two graduates
  • Drummers in line before ceremony
  • Drummers walking into the Riverside Church
  • Student speakers holding GSE sign
  • Dean Traugh at podium
  • Conferral of the honorary degree - Yolanda Ferrell-Brown, Dean Traugh, and Eleanor Duckworth on stage
  • Conferral of the honorary degree - Yolanda Ferrell-Brown, Dean Traugh, and Eleanor Duckworth on stage
  • Conferral of the honorary degree to Eleanor Duckworth - Dean Traugh on stage with Eleanor Duckworth and Yolanda Ferrell-Brown
  • Conferral of the honorary degree - Yolanda Ferrell-Brown, Dean Traugh, and Eleanor Duckworth on stage
  • Eleanor Duckworth at podium
  • Yolanda Ferrell-Brown at podium
  • Student speaker at podium
  • Bank Street President Shael Polakow-Suransky at podium
  • Graduates in the Riverside Church
  • FSLA Program cap "It always seems impossible until it's done"
  • Graduate holding baby
  • Graduate holding child
  • Graduate with two children
  • Graduates with GSE faculty

2019 Honorary Doctorate Recipient

Dr. Eleanor Duckworth
Dr. Eleanor Duckworth’s career began as a student at the University of Paris, where she studied and worked side by side with Jean Piaget, one of the century’s most influential psychologists. Her exceptional ability to translate his complex ideas about cognitive development to the education of children took her deep into the field of developmental psychology, and she became one of the main drivers behind the resurgence of Piaget’s ideas in the 1960s.
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