Graduates fill the Quad.


May Graduation

Commencement is held outdoors on the USC Upstate Quadrangle located behind the Stockwell Administration Building. Please arrive early to avoid traffic and to allow plenty of time for parking. 

  • Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 6 p.m.
  • Processional begins at 5:30 p.m.

800 University Way, Spartanburg, SC, 29303 Map Location to the Convocation


Livestream will be available for the May Graduation Ceremony 2019. YouTube

General guidelines

May commencement is a time to celebrate your educational efforts; however, in keeping with the idea that this should be a dignified ceremony, we will conduct a formal graduation. Please adhere to the following guidelines.

  • Men, it is recommended you wear a white dress shirt and ties, dark pants and dark shoes. Jeans, tennis shoes and/or flip flops are not appropriate.
  • Women, it is recommended you wear a dress and dress shoes. Please make sure that your dress is not longer than your graduation gown. Consider that you will be walking in grass when selecting the height of your heels. Jeans, tennis shoes and/or flip flops are not appropriate.
  • Caps should be worn so they sit level rather than on the back or to the side of the head.
  • In respect for each graduate and their families, we ask spectators and degree candidates remain seated.
  • Degree candidates and their guests should not participate in disruptive behavior until the last graduate walks across the stage. Noisemakers, beach balls, balloons and other items that could disrupt the ceremony will not be tolerated.


We expect the convocation to last about 90 minutes. USC Upstate Chancellor Brendan Kelly will preside at convocation.

  • There are no rehearsals prior to graduation.
  • Students should report dressed in academic regalia to the G.B. Hodge Center no later than 4:40 p.m.
  • If a degree candidate anticipates his/her name may be mispronounced, he/she may write the name phonetically on the top of the name card.
  • Students arriving late may risk not marching in the procession and will be placed at the end of the line, out of their degree order.
  • Please do not bring umbrellas, purses, or any valuables with you, as there will not be a secure place to store them.


The USC Upstate campus has ample parking PDF Document surrounding the quadrangle where the ceremony will be held. We anticipate a large crowd for the commencement exercises, please plan to arrive in ample time to park and walk to the quad. Parking is prohibited in fire lanes and/or on sidewalks.

Accessible parking spaces are located in all parking lots* on campus.


Professional photographers will photograph each degree candidate as he or she is greeted by Chancellor Kelly. Complimentary photograph proofs will be sent to the permanent address of each degree candidate about 30 days after the ceremony. Additional photographs may be purchased upon receipt of the proof, but there is absolutely no obligation to purchase any photographs.

There will also be a professional photographer available to take still cap and gown photographs of the degree candidates on this special day. This photographer will be located in the lobby of the G. B. Hodge Center from 3:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. for the May Commencement exercises. For more information, contact Grad Images at 1-800-261-2576 or at


In the event of severe weather, the ceremony will be split into three separate ceremonies and moved inside to the Hodge Arena, as follows:

Ceremony 1 at 12:00 noon

  • College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
  • University College

Ceremony 2 at 3:00 p.m.

  • School of Education, Human Performance, and Health
  • College of Science and Technology

Ceremony 3 at 6:00 p.m.

  • Mary Black School of Nursing
  • George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics 

Overflow seating will be made available in the Great Room of the University Readiness Center, where the ceremonies will be live streamed on the mounted screens.

The decision to implement the severe weather plan will be made by Noon on the day before (May 6) commencement.

Involved parties will be informed of this decision by the following communication methods:

  • Our website
  • Email: Students, faculty and staff will be sent an email announcing the change of venue by no later than 12:15 p.m. the day before commencement
  • Campus and highway electronic signage will announce venue changes
  • The university switchboard operator will have all relevant information for those wishing to call campus 864-503-5000 for inclement weather announcements
  • Select media outlets will be asked to communicate any severe weather announcements


The Senior Legacy Project is a long-standing tradition in which each graduating class presents the University with a gift to commemorate their time at USC Upstate and give back to help give future generations of students the opportunity to experience a life-changing students opportunity to leave your mark on USC Upstate.