Important Note: Students who will complete requirements for a degree in a given semester must complete the online application for graduation. “Applying to graduate” means you want your degree conferred and officially recorded on your academic transcript (whether or not you attend the commencement ceremony).
Important Dates to Remember
|Graduation application available online for Aiken campus students who wish to graduate in Spring||Dec. 15 - Jan. 31|
|Graduation application deadline for Aiken campus students who wish to graduate in Spring; online application available in Self Service Carolina under "Apply to Graduate"||Jan. 31|
|Early Recognition request deadline for Aiken campus students graduating in August; Summer graduation candidates wishing to be recognized at the May Commencement Ceremony MUST complete the Early/Late Commencement Participation Form||Jan. 31|
|Graduation clearance forms deadline for May graduates – Advisors only||Mar. 1|
|GCF reviews completed, students emailed reminders||Mar. 15|
|Possible honors calculated for May and Early Walk grads using only grades entered on or before this date, students emailed,||Mar. 30|
|Program line-up available on USC Aiken website||Apr. 1|
|Grad Fair||Apr. 1|
|Name change forms due||Apr. 1|
|Commencement program due for printing||Apr. 19|
|All spring candidates are approved or disapproved||On or before June 14|
|Diplomas mailed by the University of South Carolina Columbia||On or before Aug. 12|
|Graduation application available online for Aiken campus students who wish to graduate in Summer||May 15 -June 15|
|Graduation application deadline for Aiken campus students who wish to graduate in Summer; online application available in Self Service Carolina under "Apply to Graduate"||June 15|
|Graduation clearance forms deadline for August graduates – Advisors only||June 22|
|GCF reviews completed, students emailed reminder about late walk in Dec.||July 1|
|All summer degree candidates are approved or disapproved||On or before Sept. 15|
|Diplomas mailed by the University of South Carolina Columbia||On or before Nov. 15|
|Graduation application available online for Aiken campus students who wish to graduate in Fall||July 18 - Aug. 31|
|Graduation application deadline for Aiken campus students who wish to graduate in Fall; online application available in Self Service Carolina under "Apply to Graduate"||Aug. 31|
|Late Recognition request deadline for Aiken campus students graduating in August; Summer graduation candidates wishing to be recognized at the December Commencement Ceremony MUST complete the Early/Late Commencement Participation Form||Aug. 31|
|Graduation clearance forms deadline for December graduates – Advisors only||Mar. 1|
|GCF reviews completed, students emailed reminders||Mar. 15|
|Possible honors calculated for December and Late Walk grads using only grades entered on or before this date, students emailed,||Mar. 30|
|Program line-up available on USC Aiken website||Nov. 1|
|Name change forms due||Nov. 1|
|Grad Fair||Nov. 5|
|Commencement program due for printing||Nov. 22|
|All fall candidates are approved or disapproved||Jan. 25|
|Diplomas mailed by the University of South Carolina Columbia||On or before Mar. 18|
Preparing for Graduation
Students wishing to receive a degree from the University of South Carolina Aiken must use the online graduation application on Self Service Carolina (SSC). The online application will not be available after the posted deadline.
Failure to apply for graduation by the deadline will delay your application until another term.
- May (Online Application available from December 15 - January 31)
- August (Online Application available from May 15 - June 15)
- December (Online Application available from July 18 - August 31)
Additional Information for August Graduates
Any August graduate who wishes to participate in the May ceremony must complete this form no later than January 31 in order to receive recognition in the USC Aiken Commencement program.
If you would like to check on your application, follow these steps:
- Log into SSC
- Click on "Student"
- Click on "Student Profile"
- You should see "Graduation Information: Graduation Applications"
- Click on "Active (1)" to go to a graduation application information page. From here you can check your diploma name, diploma mailing address, and degree status. Please note that your status will remain pending until final grades are entered.
Website : www.bkstr.com/uscaikenstore/home
Caps and gown can also be ordered at the annual Grad Fair, which will be held on April 1, 2020 from 10 am - 1 pm and 3 - 6 pm in the SAC MEZZ. Many additional graduation resources will be available for students that day.
NOTE: An order placed for a cap and gown and announcements, does not guarantee a student will march in a commencement/convocation ceremony. The graduation application must be completed by the deadline and be on file in the Records Office to be eligible to march in a ceremony.
Regalia for Honor or Service Organizations
Only students who are members of recognized USC Aiken honor or service organizations are allowed to wear the regalia of these organizations. A list of those organizations is below. If you have not already received your regalia, please contact the advisor for the organization.
|Organization||Cord or Stole||Color(s)|
|Admissions Ambassadors||Cord||Navy & Silver|
|African American Student Alliance||Stole||Black|
|Alpha Kappa Alpha||Stole||Green & Pink|
|Alpha Omicron Pi||Stole||Red|
|Alpha Psi Omega (Theatrical Honor Society)||Cord||Blue & Gold|
|Alpha Sigma Lamda||Stole||Cream|
|Baptist Collegiate Ministry||Cord||Burgundy & White|
|Beta Gamma Sigma (Business Honor Society)||Stole||Blue & Gold|
|Broken Ink||Cord||Pink & White|
|CURLS||Cord||Coral, Chocolate & White|
|Delta Sigma Phi||STole||White|
|Delta Sigma Theta||Stole||Black, Red & White|
|Habitat for Humanity||Stole||White|
|Kappa Alpha Psi||Stole||Red & White|
|Kappa Delta Pi (Education Honor Society)||Medallion & Cord||Teal & Purple|
|Lambda Chi Alpha||Stole||Green|
|Lambda Pi Eta (Communication Honor Society)||Cord||Red & White|
|MAP Mentors||Stole||Black, Green, Red & Yellow|
|National Society of Leadership and Success: Sigma Alpha Pi||Stole||Silver|
|Omega Phi Alpha Service Sorority||Stole||Blue|
|Omega Psi Phi||Stole||Purple|
|Omicron Delta Kappa (Leadership Honor Society)||Cord||Black, Blue & White|
|Order of Omega (Greek Honors)||Cord||Gold & Ivory|
|Pacer Accounting Club||Cord||Navy, Maroon & Silver|
|Pacer Times||Cord||Burgundy & Silver|
|Pacesetters||Cord||Grey & Crimson|
|Phi Beta Sigma||Stole||Blue & White|
|Pi Gamma Mu (Science Honor Society)||Cord||Navy & White|
|Psi Chi (Psychology Honor Society)||Medallion||Blue & Gold|
|Resident Student Association||Stole||Blue|
|Rotaract||Stole||Red & Yellow|
|Sigma Gamma Rho||Stole||Blue|
|Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society)||Cord||Black & Red|
|Sigma Theta Tau International (Nursing Honor Society)||Cord||Lavendar & White|
|Sign Language Club||Cord||Pink & Black|
|Student Athletic Advisory Committee||Stole||White|
|Student Government Association||Cord||Red & Navy|
|Student Nurses' Asociation||Cord||Blue & White|
|Student Nursing Government||Stole||Burgandy & Gold|
|Tau Kappa Epsilon||Stole||White|
|Tri Beta (Biology Honor Society)||Cord||Green & Red|
|Veteran Honor Society||Cord||Red, White & Blue|
|Zeta Phi Beta||Stole||Blue & White|
|Zeta Tau Alpha||Stole||Silver|
The Chancellor's Medal
Degree candidates who qualify for graduation with honors from the university will wear the Chancellor's Medal. This medal is a gift from the university to those students who have achieved the highest level of academic excellence. If you have been notified that you are likely to graduate with honors, please pick up your medal at the Grad Fair on April 1, 2020.
Each student must complete a Graduation Update Form in order to participate in the ceremony. You must complete the form found at the link below and return it to the Alumni Office in the Alumni House (Pickens-Salley House).
Tickets are not required for the December Ceremony, but each student must complete a Graduation Ticket and Update Form in order to participate in the ceremony. You must complete the form and return it to the Alumni Office in the Alumni House (Pickens-Salley House).
For May and August Graduates
Each degree candidate who has indicated they will participate in the ceremony will receive 8 (eight) tickets. Tickets will be available in the Alumni House (Pickens-Salley House), between April 17 and May 1, from 8:30 am-4:30 pm, Monday-Friday. You must complete the Graduation Ticket and Update Form and present the form in person.
With a $25 donation, graduates will receive an alumni t-shirt, a special gift and one year membership to the Alumni Association. To participate, complete the form below and bring both the form and your donation to the Alumni Relations Office in the Alumni House (Pickens-Salley House).
On Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 10:30 a.m., the University will host the Senior Celebration Brunch in the Convocation Center practice gyms.
An invitation to this event has or will be sent to graduating seniors and their families from the Office of Alumni Relations. The brunch will give students and their invited guests the opportunity to view the Convocation Center, meet with faculty, and spend part of a very special day together. There will be opportunities for guests to have photos taken of graduates and their faculty members during this event.
Graduates receive a free brunch ticket. Additional brunch tickets are $10 per person ($5 for children ages 2-6). These tickets are purchased in advance from the Alumni Relations Office in the Alumni House (Pickens-Salley House). Space is limited, so please purchase family tickets in advance using any of the below methods:
- Call the Office of Alumni Relations at 803.641.3408
- Mail your check (payable to Aiken Partnership) to Alumni Relations - 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801. Please enclose this form.
- Brunch tickets can be purchased at the Alumni House (Pickens-Salley House) on the USC Aiken campus; the address is 471 University Parkway, Aiken, South Carolina 29801.
Immediately following the Senior Celebration Brunch, graduates and their guests are invited to learn a little bit about the Commencement ceremony that night.
This short 20 minute information session will take place on the floor of the Convocation Center and will feature information about photography opportunities, the order of the program, and other relevant information to help make the ceremony as smooth and stress free as possible. Graduates can also work with the person who will be reading names to make sure his/her name is pronounced correctly.
On the day of graduation immediately following the Senior Celebration Brunch, there will be a graduation information session. At this session, there will be an opportunity for students to practice the pronunciation of their names with the commencement speakers. The speakers will phonetically spell out the names to ensure correct pronunciation. This is highly recommended if you think there is even small a chance of mispronunciation.
Name changes must be turned in 4 weeks prior to to commencement in order to appear on your diploma. Please contact the Registrar's Office for more information.
Students receiving bachelor's or master's degrees wear black gowns and caps. The color of your tassel is determined by your degree. These items should have been purchased at Grad Finale.
Women are strongly encouraged to wear flat or very low-heeled shoes. Some women wear dresses while others wear dress slacks. Men generally wear dress slacks, dress shirt and tie, and dress shoes.
The Graduation Ceremony
Degree candidates should enter the front side entrance of the Convocation Center as marked with green arrows.
Please note the candidate entrance, seating and line-up locations all designated in green. The candidate Check In area is in black.
All degree candidates (as well as guests) will be participating in a security check, and candidates should arrive at 4:30pm to allow enough time to complete the process and allow you to check in by the 5pm deadline. By 5 p.m., you should already be wearing your cap and gown and be prepared to begin the line-up.
5 p.m. is the deadline for checking in - not a suggested time or arrival.
If you miss the Information Session, make sure you know your degree name and approximately where you will be in the order of degree candidates.
There is one area of the parking lot designated "by invitation only" for members of the Platform Party.
For May Commencement, all guests need a ticket for entry. If they are bringing children, each child (including babies) must have a ticket as well.
Parents and guests should use the main front doors leading into the lobby.
Guests must be on time and seated no later than 5:45 p.m. The doors to the arena area will close at 5:50 p.m. for the processional. The ceremony will begin at 6:00 p.m.
If an interpreter is requested, there will be a special area of the Convocation Center offering unobstructed views of the sign language interpreter. If a member of your party needs to be seated in this section, someone else in your group may accompany that person; however, due to the limited amount of seating in this area, not everyone in your party can be accommodated in this section.
Family and friends who are unable to attend can still be part of the event by watching a live stream of the entire ceremony. By the evening of December 12, there will be a link to the broadcast on the home page of our website: www.usca.edu. This live stream will begin about 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.
Send Letter or Message to Your Graduate
Parents who are unable to attend may send their graduate a special letter or message through our Office of Parents and Family Relations.
Unfortunately we will not be able to deliver items other than letters or cards. Please include your graduate's first name, last name, and middle initial and submit it to the Office of Parents and Family Relations by December 5, 2019. If they will be attending the ceremony, we will make sure it is delivered on the day of graduation. Submissions after that date are not guaranteed to be delivered.
Your graduate’s name
USC Aiken SAC Room 158
471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801
Food and beverages are strictly prohibited.
Please turn off your cellular phones and/or pagers. Cowbells, air horns, whistles, and other loud artificial noise makers are not allowed.
Families are asked to withhold applause or loud celebrations during the announcement of graduate names so that we don’t prevent any family’s ability to hear clearly, and to refrain from using any noise making items or from causing distractions that would prevent others from enjoying the ceremony. We’ll join together to congratulate all of the graduates collectively after all names have been read.
As a courtesy to other audience members, please be aware that sound reverberates in a gymnasium and that even the slightest noise is magnified. Please keep movement to a minimum.
We respectfully ask that younger children not be brought to the ceremony at all since they can become restless and disruptive. Also, no baby strollers are permitted inside the Convocation Center.
Please do not to step into the aisle during the processional or recessional or rush across the stage in order to take photographs. The marshals will be instructed to send guests back to their seats if they attempt to do this. There will be a photographer taking photos of each graduate during the ceremony.
During Convocation, professional photographers from Grad Images will take photographs throughout the evening. Multiple individual shots of graduates will be taken during the ceremony, which graduates will have the opportunity to purchase at a later date. The Alumni Office is pleased to provide a complimentary photograph of graduate which will be mailed approximately 4 weeks after the ceremony.
Additional photos will be available for purchase online at www.gradimages.com.
Regular student email accounts are removed after one year of non-activity as a student, but once you switch to your Alumni account, it’s yours for life!