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Commencement Information


This is the College of Charleston's official commencement information site. Please check back regularly for updates made throughout the year. Information about how to apply to graduate and about both our Spring 2019 and Winter 2019 commencement ceremonies are listed below. We are excited to have you join us at one of our commencement ceremonies and hope you have a wonderful time!


Spring 2019 Commencement Ceremonies

There are three commencement ceremonies this year, broken up into groups based on a student’s academic school. Beforehand, graduating students must attend a mandatory rehearsal during the week before commencement. Each commencement will last about 2 1/2 hours and will begin at the following times:

4:00 PM, FRIDAY, May 10, 2019
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 11, 2019
 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 11, 2019
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.

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.

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.

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.eduIf the event of inclement weather, an announcement will be displayed 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 

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 guest 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

Emmy Award-winning producer Sonya Renee Houston ’86,  media executive Jody Gottlieb ’89, and anesthesiologist Ebony Jade Hilton-Buchholz ’04 will be the featured speakers during the 2019 College of Charleston Spring Commencement ceremonies.

Read more about the 2019 commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients

For Your Safety

*NEW* 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





Winter 2019 Commencement Ceremony

NOTE: All information below subject to update.

Winter, 2019 Commencement Ceremony is Saturday, December 12, 2019 Registrar's Academic Calendar

All academic schools with candidatesparticipate in one ceremony for the winter commencement exercises.

  • 12:30 pm: Doors open to guests. 
  • 12:30 pm: Master's degree candidates should assemble in Media Room, and all Bachelor's degree candidates should assemble in practice gym.
  • 2:00 pm: Ceremony begins. 

Location

The Winter commencement ceremony will be held in the TD Arena, located at 301 Meeting St., and a ticket is required for admittance. One commencement ticket per adult/child/baby is required for entry.

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.

The Winter Commencement ceremony is indoors, so the location will not change in the event of rain. If the event of inclement weather, an announcement will be displayed 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

Students typically receive TEN tickets for Winter Commencement. Tickets are required for all family and guests viewing the ceremony in the TD Arena. One commencement ticket per guest is required for entry. Tickets will be distributed electronically to graduation candidates during the Fall 2018 semester.  Please see Ticket Information for future distribution details. There is no charge for commencement ceremony tickets.

For Your Safety

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 TD Arena. Bags will be checked by security upon entry. 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.

Speakers and Honorary Degrees

Speakers are TBA. For more information, please visit the Commencement Speaker(s) and Honorary Degree Recipients.

Parking

Graduates and guests should park at one of the public garages near the TD Arena. The closest garages are the Gaillard Garage, located at 32 Alexander Street, and the George Garage, located at 34 St. Philip Street. The rate for each of these locations is $1 per each half hour or portion thereof, with a daily maximum of $16 per calendar day.

The College of Charleston surface parking lots will be available only to faculty, staff, and students working the ceremony.

Additional Information


Apply to Graduate

graduation application is required before a student is eligible to participate in the 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 STUDENTS: Go to the graduation application.  

  » GRADUATE SCHOOL CANDIDATES: Go to the Graduate School graduation application.