2019 Spring Commencement Ceremony

2019 Commencement Ceremony

Things to take care of right now:

  • Make sure you mark your calendar for the mandatory Commencement Orientation on Thursday, May 23 from 6pm-8pm in the auditorium (Room 708). We will distribute your caps, gowns, and your commencement and reception tickets at orientation, as well as give you an overview of what to expect on the big day. If you haven’t already RSVP’d, check your SPH email for the link to the RSVP form

Check your CUNY SPH email regularly! RSVP links and other information are being sent to your SPH emails!

When and Where

This year’s commencement will take place on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, from 3pm – 5pm. We continue our tradition of holding CUNY SPH commencement at Harlem’s world-famous Apollo Theater at 253 West 125 Street.

Students and faculty should arrive to the main entrance of the Apollo Theater by 1:30pm. Students will need to have a CUNY SPH ID and ticket in order to enter the Apollo Theater. Graduates who arrive late will not be seated until the Procession and the National Anthem have been completed. Guests that arrive late will be ushered into the theater at an appropriate time, so as not to interrupt the ongoing ceremony.

A reception at the Alhambra Ballroom (2116 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.) will follow immediately after the ceremony and continue through 7pm.


Those eligible to participate in this year’s commencement are MPH, MS, and DPH graduates from Summer 2018 and Fall 2018, as well as Spring 2019 applicants for graduation.

This year’s keynote speaker and honorary Doctor of Science awardee will be Dr. David Nabarro, former Special Advisor to the UN and Professor of Global Health at Imperial College London.

The Champion of Public Health award will be presented to Dr. Lyndon Haviland, an international health consultant with more than 30 years public health experience.


Electronic invitations have been sent to graduating students via their CUNY SPH email address. The RSVP deadline has now passed. If you have any questions about attending Commencement, please email commencement@sph.cuny.edu.



The school will provide high quality gowns and hoods which will be loaned to students at no cost. The school will also purchase caps and tams which students may keep as a memento. Doctoral students may also keep their doctoral hoods. Master’s graduates will wear a black master’s gown, a master’s hood showing the colors of the school (blue) and of the field of public health (salmon), and four-cornered black mortarboard graduation cap. Doctoral graduates will wear a black doctoral gown with colored hood and black velvet tam. Students will be able to order regalia via the RSVP link in the official invitation that was sent to your CUNY SPH email.

Regalia, along with instructions for return, will be distributed at Commencement Orientation to be held on Thursday, May 23 from 6pm-8pm in the auditorium (room 708).

NOTE: The Apollo does NOT provide a secure space for your belongings while you are taking part in the ceremony. We recommend very strongly that you bring only what you will wear at the ceremony, and leave any additional clothing, bags, and other personal belongings with one of your guests.


Special Accommodations

CUNY SPH is committed to accommodating graduates and guests with disabilities. If you or any of your guests will require special accommodations in order to attend the ceremony, please contact Disability Coordinator Jeanette Rodriguez (Jeanette.Rodriguez@sph.cuny.edu) to make arrangements.


All participating graduates must attend a Commencement Orientation which will be held on Thursday, May 23 from 6pm-8pm in the auditorium (room 708), in order to receive information and instructions regarding Commencement. If you have an extenuating circumstance that prevents you from attending the Commencement Orientation, please contact commencement@sph.cuny.edu.


Each graduate may bring four guests (in addition to yourself) to the ceremony and reception. We have emailed those students who were on the waitlist for additional guest tickets to the ceremony. Please check your CUNY SPH email to see if we were able to accommodate your request. Due to space constraints, we will not be able to offer additional tickets (other than the maximum 5 per graduate) to the reception.


The Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA) is sponsoring a professional portrait session and providing one 5×7 portrait for all 2019 graduates! Please check your CUNY SPH email for details on how to sign up. 

A photographer will also be present at the ceremony to take general photos of the event. No flash photography will be allowed inside the theater during the commencement ceremony.


Grads and guests are strongly advised to use public transportation.  The School is not able to provide parking, and street parking is very limited.  Parking apps such as Spot Hero and NYC Best Parking may be helpful if public transportation is not an option.


Formal diplomas will be available approximately 3 months after the official degree conferral date.  Please refer to the CUNY SPH Academic Calendar for the appropriate conferral dates. Graduation applications are now being processed and audited. Students will be contacted via email to their CUNY SPH email account regarding the status of the audit and if there are any problems.


Represent CUNY SPH! If you would like to sport your school pride, you can purchase T-shirts and other CUNY SPH merchandise here.


If you have any questions related to commencement, please contact commencement@sph.cuny.edu.

Additional details will be posted here as they are available, and relevant information will be sent to your CUNY SPH email. Please check this page and your CUNY SPH email often for important information and updates. 

Page last updated: 05/17/19