Commencement Information

*Information below subject to update. Please check back regularly for updates.

This is the College of Charleston's official commencement information site.


News

The College of Charleston Commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 2020 have been postponed. All events on campus are canceled, regardless of size, through May 15. Please check back later for updates. Keep up to date with COVID-19 announcements at go.cofc.edu/covid19. 

Spring commencement ceremonies have been postponed. Our spring commencement ceremonies are a signature moment in our students’ College of Charleston experience. And it will happen, just not when it was originally scheduled. We do not have a new date as of yet for the Class of 2020, but we will communicate that to everyone as soon as possible. As an institution, we will celebrate their accomplishments and success in the Cistern Yard in true College of Charleston fashion! Even without a commencement ceremony on May 8-9, our students’ graduation date will still be in May 2020, once final grades are received. Regardless of the timing of the postponed ceremonies, diplomas will be mailed this summer, in accordance to our standard university process. Regarding other end-of-year events, all events on campus are canceled, regardless of size, through May 15. Read more: Message from President Hsu on the extension of the eLearning period for Spring 2020 and Commencement changes


Spring 2020 Commencement - POSTPONED

There are three commencement ceremonies, broken up into groups based on a student’s academic school. Graduating students must attend a mandatory rehearsal during the week before commencement. The College's clear bag protocol is in effect for all attendees. Each commencement ceremony will last about 2 1/2 hours and will begin at the following times:

4:00 PM, FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 - POSTPONED
Graduate School; School of Humanities and Social Sciences; School of Professional Studies

  • 2:30 pm: Gates to Cistern Yard and doors to all satellite viewing areas open to guests. 
  • 2:30 pm: Master's degree candidates should assemble on the third floor of Robert Scott Small, and all Bachelor's degree candidates should assemble in Maybank Hall.
  • 4:00 pm: Ceremony begins. 

10:00 AM, SATURDAY, May 9, 2020 - POSTPONED
School of the Arts; School of Business

  • 8:30 am: Gates to Cistern Yard and doors to all satellite viewing areas open. 
  • 9:00 am: All Bachelor's degree candidates should assemble in Maybank Hall.
  • 10:00 am: Ceremony begins. 

4:00 PM, SATURDAY, May 9, 2020 - POSTPONED
School of Education, Health, and Human Performance; School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs; School of Sciences and Mathematics  

  • 2:30 pm: Gates to Cistern Yard and doors to all satellite viewing areas open. 
  • 3:00 pm: All Bachelor's degree candidates should assemble in Maybank Hall.
  • 4:00 pm: Ceremony begins.

Apply to Graduate

A graduation application is required before a student is eligible to participate in an upcoming Spring or Winter Commencement Ceremony. Failure to complete the application promptly can result in a delay in both degree posting and diploma ordering, and it can also result in the student's name being omitted from the commencement program and ceremony ticket list. (Participation in commencement is assumed and encouraged, however, it is not mandatory.) 

  » Undergraduate Student Graduation Application
  » Graduate Student Graduation Application

Announcements for Students

A graduation application (Undergraduate Application | Graduate Application) is required before a student is eligible to participate. Students must attend the manadatory rehearsal on May 6, 2020. Please check back and visit our Additional Events for updates about future senior class meetings and graduation receptions. 

Ceremony Location

Each Spring Commencement ceremony is scheduled to be held in the Cistern Yard, located at 66 George St., but a ticket is required for admittance. One commencement ticket per adult/child/baby is required for entry.

Additional On-Campus Locations to View the Live Ceremony (no tickets required)

There will also be seven satellite viewing locations within a 100 yards of the Cistern, where additional guests can watch the ceremonies live. Tickets are not required for admission to these sites, all of which have air-conditioning and easily accessible restrooms. They are:

  • The Stern Student Center Ballroom on the fourth floor of the Stern Student Center at 71 George St.
  • Child-friendly rooms on the second floor of the Stern Student Center at 71 George St.
  • The Recital Hall of the Simons Center for the Arts at 54 St. Philip St.
  • The Emmett Robinson Theatre at the Simons Center for the Arts at 54 St. Philip St.
  • Rita Hollings Science Center (Rooms 101, 102, 103) at 58 Coming Street.

Viewing the Ceremony from Off-Campus

For guests who can’t make it to campus, live video from each ceremony will be broadcast on the College’s Facebook page and at cofc.edu. Additionally, a recording will be posted online shortly after the ceremonies. 

In Case of Inclement Weather (or other events causing changes to the ceremony location or times)

If the event of rain or other changes, an announcement will be displayed here and on the College's homepage (www.cofc.edu), as well as on local TV and radio stations as outline on our inclement weather plan.

Admissions and Ticket Information

Students receive FOUR tickets for Spring Commencement. Tickets are required for all family and guests viewing the ceremony in the Cistern Yard. One commencement ticket per adult/child/baby is required for entry into the Cistern Yard. Tickets are not required for guests to enter designated satellite viewing locations. Tickets will be distributed electronically to graduation candidates in April. Please see Ticket Information. There is no charge for commencement ceremony tickets.

Commencement Speakers

These nationally recognized speakers will deliver their addresses to the graduates during the three graduation ceremonies in Cistern Yard on May 8 and 9, 2020.  This has been postponed.

Honorary degrees will also be presented. Read more about Commencement Speakers and Honorary Degrees.

For Your Safety, Our Clear Bag Protocol

In order to expedite entry and provide a safe and secure environment for our students, faculty, guests, and other visitors, the College of Charleston has implemented a Clear Bag Protocol for its ticketed events, including Commencement. 

Only clear bags and small clutch size purses are allowed in the Cistern Yard. Bags will be checked by security upon entry to the Cistern Yard (or TD Arena rain location). Please read our Prohibited Items List (which includes, but is not limited to, unapproved bags, strollers, alcohol, smoking, vaping, drones, and weapons). Please note that the College of Charleston is a Tobacco-Free campus. 

For graduating students, there will be a bag check conducted by security before the ceremony in the student assembly area. Only clear bags and small clutch size purses are allowed. You are advised to bring as few personal belongings as necessary. No bags will be allowed on stage. No outside food or beverages will be allowed in the assembly area. Please do not bring opened outside beverages because water will be provided on stage to graduates. The following items are prohibited: alcohol, smoking, vaping, weapons, and open, outside beverages. Please view the Alcohol Policy. Staff will monitor entrances and exits with support from Public Safety and our security team.

Additional Information




View: Winter 2020 Commencement Ceremony