Info for Students

If you have any questions regarding the commencement exercises, you may wish to telephone the University Registrar's Office at (864) 503-5220, For other contact information, please visit the university contacts page. You may also call the university switchbaord at 864-503-5000.

Graduation Application

In order for a degree to be granted, students must complete the following:

  • Students will apply for graduation online through their SSC account August 15 through October 15. 
  • August graduates must complete the Request to Participate in Commencement Early/Late Form.
  • Prospective graduates, who are unsure if they have fulfilled all degree requirements for graduation, should contact their dean in their school/college.

Degree candidates are urged to check their Application for Degree or Certificate information available on SSC. 

  • Degree candidates may access SSC to view their Application for Degree or Certificate information.  
  • Please check that your name is spelled correctly and your degree major and minor information is accurate
  • If this information is NOT correct, please contact the Records Office in person.
  • Visually-impaired degree candidates may have someone assist them with accessing SSC or contact Disability Services at (864) 503-5199.

USC Upstate will honor the May graduating class with commencement exercises on Tuesday, May 7 at 6 p.m. Processional begins at 5:30 p.m.

Upcoming graduations

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 that 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.
Ticket Requirements - For Auditorium Pick Up At Grad Fair

Each graduate will receive five tickets for the ceremony. These tickets will first be made available at Grad Fair. At the end of Grad Fair, starting Oct. 30, tickets may be picked up in the Humanities and Performing Arts Center Box office from 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. The last day to pick tickets up will be Thursday, Dec. 14.

Lost tickets cannot be replaced. All people attending graduation must have a ticket.

Directions to Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium

Ticket Pick-Up Information

May Graduation Information

Inclement weather graduation tickets for May graduation will all be General Admission seating. Each graduate will be issued four tickets for the Hodge Arena, where the live ceremony will take place. Lost tickets cannot be replaced. All persons attending must have a ticket, this includes infants and young children.

Spartanburg Campus:  

  • Tickets will be available beginning Monday, April 10, 2017 the HEC 2080 from 9-5 p.m. 
  • Students will be required to show a picture ID and sign for the tickets.
  • Students MUST pick up their tickets by April 26, 2017 at 5 p.m.
  • If there are any unclaimed or extra tickets, one (1) additional ticket will be available on a first come, first serve basis on Monday, May 1. Students must again show their photo ID and sign for the additional tickets.

Greenville Campus:  

  • Can request tickets through the USC Upstate Office in Greenville Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. – Noon.
  • Within one week of making the request, the tickets will be sent from the main campus to the USC Upstate, Greenville Campus office where students can sign for and pick up their tickets.
  • Students will be required to show their photo ID. After this date, students must pick up tickets on the main campus as outlined above.
Student Recognition at Graduation

During the exercises, degree candidates will be asked to stand by row and approach the platform. Marshals will assist the degree candidates during this portion of the event. 

Students will hand their name card to the marshal who will in turn hand the card to the announcer. As the name is read, the candidate will walk across the platform and be greeted by President Pastides, Chancellor Kelly and the dean of his/her school/college. All degree candidates will return to their seats and are expected to remain seated until the ceremony is concluded.  

Name Pronunciation

Each degree candidate will find a name card on his/her assigned seat. The announcer will read the degree candidate's name from this name card. The announcer is typically a faculty member. If a degree candidate anticipates that his/her name may be mispronounced, he/she may write the name phonetically on the top of the name card. The degree candidate will carry this name card to the announcer during the degree candidate recognition portion of the commencement exercises.

Basic 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 that 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 that 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 that 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 that 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.
Event Seating

Degree candidates will be seated in reserved seating located directly in front of the platform/stage. University faculty will be seated in reserved seating, along with honored dignitaries and special guests. The platform party will be seated on the rose garden terrace in May. All other guests will be able to sit in the unmarked rows behind faculty, students and special guests.

Campus Map

Degree Candidates with Special Needs

The University of South Carolina Upstate wants to ensure that all degree candidates may participate in the May commencement exercises. Degree candidates who have special needs, including mobility impairments due to health conditions, or who are unable to walk moderate distances, are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services at (864) 503-5199 no later than March 31 for commencement.

For questions regarding handicap parking and seating, please contact the Office of Disability Services at (864) 503-5199.

Graduating with Honors

Honors will be based on the final cumulative grade point average on all collegiate work. The following designations indicate a consistently high level of academic achievement through the student's entire academic career. 

  • Summa Cum Laude: A cumulative GPA of 3.95-4.00 
  • Magna Cum Laude: A cumulative GPA of 3.75-3.94 
  • Cum Laude: A cumulative GPA of 3.50-3.74 

Diplomas of those students who achieve honors will be sent to the printer to have the award posted and mailed to the graduate as soon as they are available. Students who have questions about honors must address these concerns with the Records Office prior to the day of the ceremony. Please refer to the USC Upstate catalog for additional information or call the Records Office at (864) 503-5220.

Honor Cords, Stoles and Medallions

Degree candidates are permitted to wear honor cords, stoles, and/or medallions representative of various honor or service societies authorized by the University of South Carolina Upstate. Degree candidates who are eligible to wear honor cords will be contacted by his/her school/college prior to the day of the ceremony.


Diplomas will not be distributed during the commencement exercises.

  • You must satisfy all of your degree requirements before officially graduating and receiving your diploma.
  • Students who do not satisfy all degree requirements will be sent a letter by their dean and they must re-apply for a subsequent term.
  • Degree candidates may wish to periodically check their academic transcript student portal on the records tab of SSC to see if his/her degree is posted.
  • Diplomas will be mailed to the graduate's permanent address. If there is an address change, please be certain to notify the Office of the University Registrar at (864) 503-5220.
  • May graduates can expect to receive their diploma in August
  • According to University policy, diplomas will be held if all financial obligations to the University of South Carolina Upstate are not properly satisfied. If you think you may have an unsatisfied debt, call the Financial Services Office at (864) 503-5326.
Announcement Cards and Invitations

Commencement announcement cards and personalized invitation cards may be purchased in the University Bookstore. Your announcements and/or invitations should be mailed early so your guests will receive them two weeks before your ceremony. For information on how to purchase announcements/invitations cards, you may visit the University Bookstore; telephone them at (864) 503-5167; or visit their website.

Academic Regalia

Caps, gowns, tassels, and academic hoods may be purchased in the University Bookstore. For information on how to purchase caps, gowns, and tassels, you may visit the University Bookstore, or call them at (864) 503-5167.

Professional Photographer

Professional photographers will photograph each degree candidate as he/she is greeted by Chancellor Kelly. Complimentary photograph proofs will be sent to the degree candidate at his/her permanent address about 30 working days after the commencement/convocation exercises. Additional photographs may be purchased upon receipt of the proof. No prior arrangements are necessary for this service; all degree candidates will be photographed during the ceremony. There is absolutely no obligation to purchase any photographs. Families and guests will not be permitted on the event floor for photographs during the ceremonies.

There will also be a professional photographer available to take still cap and gown photographs of the degree candidates on this special day. 

Alma Mater

When the Chancellor closes the commencement exercises following the awarding of the degrees, the audience is asked to rise for the singing of the first verse only of the Alma Mater. The words of the song were penned by Professor George Wauchope of the English Department in 1911 (adopted in 1912) and are printed in the commencement program. The tune is that of "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton." "Here's a health, Carolina!" is a phrase which is repeated in Carolina's Alma Mater. Over the years, the custom has arisen of raising the right hand, with the fingers cupped, when the phrase "Here's a health, Carolina!" occurs, as if offering a toast. The Alma Mater is always sung with heads uncovered.

We hail thee, Carolina, and sing thy high praise;
With loyal devotion, rememb'ring the days,
When proudly we sought thee, thy children to be;
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

Since pilgrims of learning, we entered thy walls
And found dearest comrades in thy classic halls;
We've honored and loved thee, as sons faithfully;
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

Generations of sons have rejoiced to proclaim
Thy watchword of service, thy beauty and fame
For ages to come shall their rallying cry be;
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!

Fair shrine of high honor and truth, thou shalt still
Blaze forth as a beacon, thy mission fulfill;
And be crowned by all hearts in a new jubilee;
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!


Transcript requests must be in writing and signed by the student to whom the record belongs. To obtain an official transcript of your University of South Carolina Upstate academic record, log into SSC under the student portal. There is an $12 charge for each copy.

Your academic dean will verify that all graduation requirements have been met and approve your graduation. If you request that your transcript be held until after your degree is posted, it will be mailed as soon as the approval is received (about 45 days after ceremony) from your academic dean, your current semester grades are recorded and your degree is posted. According to University policy, transcripts will be held if all financial obligations to the University of South Carolina are not properly satisfied. If you think you may have an unsatisfied debt, telephone the  Financial Services Office at (864) 503-5326.

Alumni Association

The University of South Carolina Upstate Alumni Association is a service organization established by the University to promote the interests of the institution and to develop and maintain a close bond between the University and its alumni. As you pursue life and career opportunities, USC Upstate encourages you to be an active member in the USC Upstate Alumni Association. 

Your membership is FREE and offers many campus privileges. As an alumnus, you will have access to career services, alumni directory, the library and a one year membership to the wellness center. You will also receive our Upstate Magazine and invitations to special alumni activities and events. 

At USC Upstate, we make a special effort to reach out to our graduates wherever they are. To be proactive with your future, stay connected with us by updating your contact information through our website.

Career Services

Career Services serves as a comprehensive career information center providing programs to enhance the career development of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. You may wish to telephone Career Services at (864) 503-5392, or visit Career Services.