Spring Commencement October 10, 2020

This is the College's official commencement site. Information below subject to update. Please check back regularly for updates.

Congratulations Class of 2020

Ceremony Dates and Times

Spring 2020 commencement will take place on Saturday, October 10, 2020*, with Sunday, October 11 serving as the inclement weather date. If there is a storm (hurricane), the dates will be Saturday, October 24 with Sunday, October 25 serving as the inclement weather date. Each ceremony will last approximately one hour.

  • 9:00 am - School of Business
  • 12:00 pm - School of Education, Health and Human Performance; The Graduate School and School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs
  • 3:00 pm - School of the Arts, School of Professional Studies and School of Sciences and Mathematics
  • 6:00 pm - School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Ceremony Location

The October 2020 Commencement ceremony is scheduled to be held in the Cistern Yard, located at 66 George St. Only graduates participating in the ceremony are admitted entrance. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) mandates that the maximum capacity for events is 250. As such, we are not allowed an in-person audience. 2020 graduates may choose to participate in a future ceremony.

“Crossing the Cistern” is a tradition that has been a hallmark of the College of Charleston graduation for over 75 years. The Class of 2020 will have the unique experience of crossing the actual cistern (rather than a large built stage) for the first time in decades. 

Viewing the October Ceremony Online

 The ceremonies will be attended by graduates only and will be live streamed on the College’s Facebook page and at cofc.edu. Approximately one week later, videos of the ceremonies with additional content will be available on the commencement website.

Instructions for Graduates (Students)

There will not be rehearsals, but participants will receive instructions outlining the logistics for their participation. In keeping with safety precautions, this will be a no contact (i.e., no handshakes or congratulatory hugs, ceremony). Master’s graduates will wear their hoods as there will be no hooding ceremony.

If you have not done so, please upload a photograph at the personalized link email to you. This is important if we have to go to a virtual celebration. Regardless of in-person or virtual participation, you will receive a link to a 30-45 second video of your portion of the ceremony to send to family and friends and share on social media. If you participate in-person, the clip will contain you crossing the Cistern; if you participate virtually, it will be of a slide with your photo (if you provide one), name, school(s), major(s) and if earned, Latin honors and top honors. Please upload a photograph! Deadline is September 23.

We will be mailing commencement programs and earned academic medallions to the address you provided for your diploma mailing. Bachelor’s graduates, you can check your diploma mailing address by visiting MyCharleston>Academic Services tab>Banner Self Services>Student>Student Records>View Application Graduate. 

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. The weekend of October 23-25 is currently reserved as a make-up/storm (hurricane) date.

For Your Safety - Our Masks and Clear Bag Protocols

The College of Charleston is dedicated to providing you with the safest and most meaningful celebration of your academic accomplishments. Participants have been given the option to participate in-person, virtually, or to attend a future ceremony. Unfortunately, due to SC DHEC regulations on groups over 250, we will not be allowed to have an in-person audience. As such, we are working with our graduates and videography team to collect photographs of each student, and we plan to stream our ceremonies live and provide graduates with videos approximately one week later, including the clip as you cross the Cistern. 

In order to expedite entry and provide a safe and secure environment, the College of Charleston has implemented a Clear Bag Protocol for 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. 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 outside food or beverages will be allowed in the assembly area. 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.

Commencement Speakers

Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Washington Post Kathleen Parker and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston and interm CEO of the International African American Museum Bernard Powers are the featured speakers for the 2020 College of Charleston Commencement ceremonies. 


Class of 2020 Awards and Profile

Undergraduate Class of 2020
Graduate Class of 2020

Apply to Graduate

A graduation application is required before a student is eligible to participate in an upcoming 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

Diplomas and Transcripts

Spring undergraduate degrees will be conferred on May 9, 2020, and posted to the student record on May 12, 2020. Spring graduate degrees will be conferred on May 8, 2020, and posted to the student record on May 12, 2020. Summer degrees will be conferred and posted to the student record on August 10, 2020.

All diplomas will be mailed six (6) to eight (8) weeks after the degree conferral.  

Additional Virtual Events and Shareable, Printable CofC Graduation Signs

For those celebrating online and at-home this year, we welcome you to visit these pages and join us in celebrating the Class of 2020:

Future Ceremonies

Announcements about commencement exercises for the remainder of the 2020-2021 year will be updated after the October 10, 2020 events. Graduates and graduate candidates who plan to participate in a future ceremony are asked to please check back for updates.