Student posing for a photo at graduation

Graduating Students

Graduation

Important Note: Students who will complete the requirements for a degree in a given semester must complete the online application for graduation. “Applying to graduate” means you want your degree conferred and officially recorded on your academic transcript (whether or not you attend the commencement ceremony).

Important Dates to Remember

Graduation application available online for Aiken campus students who wish to graduate in Spring Dec. 15 - Jan. 31
Graduation application deadline for Aiken campus students who wish to graduate in Spring; online application available in Self Service Carolina under "Apply to Graduate." Jan. 31
Early Recognition request deadline for Aiken campus students graduating in August; Summer graduation candidates wishing to be recognized at the May Commencement Ceremony MUST complete the Early/Late Commencement Participation Form  Jan. 31
Graduation clearance forms deadline for May graduates – Advisors only Mar. 1
GCF reviews completed, students emailed reminders Mar. 15
Possible honors calculated for May and Early Walk grads using only grades entered on or before this date, students emailed, Mar. 30
Grad Fest Apr. 20
Name change forms due Apr. 1
Commencement program due for printing Apr. 12
Spring Commencement May 4
All spring candidates are approved or disapproved On or before June 14
Diplomas mailed by the University of South Carolina Columbia On or before Aug. 12

Graduation application available online for Aiken campus students who wish to graduate in Summer May 15 -June 15
Graduation application deadline for Aiken campus students who wish to graduate in Summer; online application available in Self Service Carolina under "Apply to Graduate" June 15
Graduation clearance forms deadline for August graduates – Advisors only June 22
GCF reviews completed, students emailed reminder about late walk in Dec. July 1
All summer degree candidates are approved or disapproved On or before Sept. 15
Diplomas mailed by the University of South Carolina Columbia On or before Nov. 15

Graduation application available online for Aiken campus students who wish to graduate in Fall July 15 - Aug. 31
Graduation application deadline for Aiken campus students who wish to graduate in Fall; online application available in Self Service Carolina under "Apply to Graduate" Aug. 31
Late Recognition request deadline for Aiken campus students graduating in August; Summer graduation candidates wishing to be recognized at the December Commencement Ceremony MUST complete the Early/Late Commencement Participation Form  Aug. 31
Graduation clearance forms deadline for December graduates – Advisors only Oct. 1
GCF reviews completed, students emailed reminders Oct. 15
Possible honors calculated for December and Late Walk grads using only grades entered on or before this date, students emailed, Oct. 15
Name change forms due Oct. 23
Commencement program due for printing Nov. 2
Grad Fest Dec. 1
Commencement  Dec. 8
All fall candidates are approved or disapproved Jan. 25
Diplomas mailed by the University of South Carolina Columbia On or before Mar. 18

Preparing for Graduation

Students wishing to receive a degree from the University of South Carolina Aiken must use the online graduation application on Self Service Carolina (SSC). The online application will not be available after the posted deadline.

Failure to apply for graduation by the deadline will delay your application until another term.

    • May (Online Application available from December 15 - January 31)
    • August (Online Application available from May 15 - June 15)
    • December (Online Application available from July 18 - August 31)

If you experience difficulty with the online graduation application, contact the Office of the Registrar at 803-641-3550 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Information for August Graduates

Any August graduate who wishes to participate in the May ceremony must complete this form no later than January 31 to receive recognition in the USC Aiken Commencement program.

August Graduation Participation Form

If you would like to check on your application, follow these steps:

    • Log into SSC
    • Click on "Student"
    • Click on "Student Profile"
    • You should see "Graduation Information: Graduation Applications"
    • Click on "Active (1)" to go to a graduation application information page. From here, you can check your diploma name, diploma mailing address, and degree status. Please note that your status will remain pending until final grades are entered.

Cap and gown orders are currently being taken through the Jostens USC Aiken website. Your grad regalia will be shipped to the bookstore and can be picked up in mid-April.

Here are the current prices:

Bachelor Set (includes cap, gown, tassel, and diploma cover): $92.50

Masters Set (includes cap, gown, tassel, Master’s hood, and diploma cover): $117.80

Please make sure to place your order by Thursday, March 10, 2022 to ensure timely arrival before the ceremony. The website will no longer be available after this date as the items will not arrive in time if not ordered by then. 

If you have any questions regarding cap and gown orders, please email the Pacer Shoppe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Regalia for Honor or Service Organizations

Only students who are members of recognized USC Aiken honor or service organizations are allowed to wear the regalia of these organizations. A list of those organizations is below. Please make sure your organizational advisor knows you are graduating and should receive the regalia.

View list of student organization advisors

Organization Cord or Stole Color(s)
African American Student Alliance Stole Black
Alpha Kappa Alpha Stole Green & Pink
Alpha Omicron Pi Stole Red
Alpha Psi Omega (Theatrical Honor Society) Cord Blue & Gold
Alpha Sigma Lambda Stole Cream
Baptist Collegiate Ministry Cord Burgundy & White
Beta Gamma Sigma (Business Honor Society) Stole Blue & Gold
Broken Ink Cord Pink & White
Circle K Stole Navy
CURLS Cord Coral, Chocolate & White
Delta Sigma Phi Stole White
Delta Sigma Theta Stole Black, Red & White
Gamma Beta Phi Stole Gold
Habitat for Humanity Stole White
Kappa Alpha Psi Stole Red & White
Kappa Delta Pi (Education Honor Society) Medallion & Cord Teal & Purple
Lambda Chi Alpha Stole Green 
Lambda Pi Eta (Communication Honor Society) Cord Red & White
MAP Mentors Stole Black, Green, Red & Yellow
NAACP Stole Navy
National Society of Leadership and Success: Sigma Alpha Pi Stole Silver
Omega Phi Alpha Service Sorority Stole Blue
Omega Psi Phi Stole Purple
Omicron Delta Kappa (Leadership Honor Society) Cord Black, Blue & White
Order of Omega (Greek Honors) Cord Gold & Ivory
Pacer Accounting Club Cord Navy, Maroon & Silver
Pacer Spirit Cord Navy & Silver
Pacer Times Cord Burgundy & Silver
Pacesetters Cord Grey & Crimson
Phi Beta Sigma Stole Blue & White
Phi Mu Stole Pink 
Pi Gamma Mu (Science Honor Society) Cord Navy & White
Psi Chi (Psychology Honor Society) Medallion Blue & Gold
Resident Student Association Stole Blue
Rotaract Club Stole Red & Yellow
Shutgun Team Stole Burgundy
Sigma Gamma Rho Stole Blue
Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society) Cord Black & Red
Sigma Theta Tau International (Nursing Honor Society) Cord Lavendar & White
Sign Language Club Cord Pink & Black
Student Athletic Advisory Committee Stole White
Student Government Association Cord Red & Navy
Student Nurses' Asociation Cord Blue & White
Student Nursing Government Stole  Burgundy & Gold
Tau Kappa Epsilon Stole White
Tri Beta (Biology Honor Society) Cord Green & Red
UNITY! Cord Purple
Veteran Honor Society Cord Red, White & Blue
Zeta Phi Beta Stole Blue & White
Zeta Tau Alpha Stole Silver

The Chancellor's Medal

Degree candidates who qualify for graduation with honors from the university will wear the Chancellor's Medal. This medal is a gift from the university to those students who have achieved the highest level of academic excellence. If you have been notified that you are likely to graduate with honors, please pick up your medal from the Records Office on the morning of Commencement.  For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

See the email forwarded by Ahmed to you about the Organizations and Stoles Chart.

Pacer Pursuit Medallion

The Pacer Pursuit Medallion will be distributed by the Division of Student Affairs.  For more information, contact Ahmed Samaha, Vice Chancellor for Student Engagement and Inclusivity, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Each student must complete a Graduation Update Form to participate in the ceremony. 

Graduation Ticket and Update Form

For December Graduates

No tickets are required.

For May and August Graduates

Each graduate will receive 7 tickets for guests. Infants will need a ticket.

Tickets can be picked up at Grad Fest on Thursday, April 14, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. After that, students can pick them up at the Alumni House from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. until Tuesday, May 3.

Graduates will need to complete the Graduation Tickets and Update Form in order to get their tickets.

*We do not sell extra tickets. If, for some reason, we end up with any extras, they will be handed out one by one, first come, first serve at the 11:30 a.m. information session the morning of the ceremony.

Ceremony tickets for Masters and other online students: Online students can pick up their tickets the day of from the Alumni House until 4:00 pm or can pick them up at the Convocation Center ticket window the day of the ceremony after 4:00 pm.

Along with graduation, you have the opportunity to participate in the traditional Class Gift Program. With a $25 donation, you will receive an Alumni t-shirt, a special alumni gift, and a one-year membership to the Alumni Association’s Pacer Perks Program. To do this complete the class gift form and bring or mail both the form and your donation to the Alumni Relations Office in the Alumni House.

By being a member of the Alumni Association, you gain access to our PacerPerks program that provides discounts at retailers, restaurants, travel and more across the country!


Celebration Brunch/ Class Gift Form

Celebrate with your parents, family, and USC Aiken Faculty on Thursday, December 8, 2022, at 10:30 am in the Convocation Center. The Celebration Brunch will allow your family to view the Convocation Center, meet with faculty & staff, and spend part of a very special day with you.

Graduates receive a free Brunch ticket. Additional tickets are $10 per person ($5 for children ages 2-6). These tickets must be purchased in advance from the Alumni Relations Office in the Alumni House. Although Graduate tickets are free, you must pick them up in advance.

Please purchase family tickets in advance using any of the below methods:

  • Mail your check payable to Aiken Partnership and return the form to Alumni Relations - 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801. Please enclose the Family Celebration Brunch form.
  • Purchase your brunch tickets at the Alumni House on the USC Aiken campus; the address is 471 University Parkway, Aiken, South Carolina 29801.
  • Call the Office of Alumni Relations at 803.641.3480

Yes. The session will be held at the Convocation Center at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 8. 

On the day of graduation, there will be an opportunity for students to practice the pronunciation of their names with the commencement speakers. The speakers will phonetically spell out the names to ensure correct pronunciation. This is highly recommended if you think there is even a small chance of mispronunciation.  More details about the time and location will be provided once the time of the ceremony is set. 

Name changes must be turned in 4 weeks prior to to commencement in order to appear on your diploma. Please contact the Registrar's Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Students receiving bachelor's or master's degrees wear navy-blue gowns and caps. The color of your tassel is determined by your degree. These items should have been purchased at Grad Finale.

Women are strongly encouraged to wear flat or very low-heeled shoes. Some women wear dresses, while others wear dress slacks. Men generally wear dress slacks, a dress shirt and tie, and dress shoes.

The Graduation Ceremony

Degree candidates should enter the front side entrance of the Convocation Center as marked with green arrows.

View a Map of the Convocation Center

Please note the candidate entrance, seating, and line-up locations are all designated in green. The candidate check-in area is in black.

All degree candidates (as well as guests) will be participating in a security check, and candidates should arrive at 4:30 p.m. to allow enough time to complete the process and allow you to check in by the 5:00 p.m. deadline. By 5:00 p.m., you should be wearing your cap and gown and prepared to begin the line-up.

5:00 p.m. is the check-in deadline - not a suggested time for arrival.

If you miss the Information Session, make sure you know your degree name and approximately where you will be in the order of degree candidates.

Guests must be on time and seated no later than 5:45 p.m. The doors to the arena area will close at 5:50 p.m. for the processional. The ceremony will begin at 6:00 p.m.

If a member of your party needs a sign language interpreter for hearing impairment reasons, please contact Ahmed Samaha, Vice Chancellor for Student Engagement and Inclusivity, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 803-641-3411. 

If an interpreter is requested, there will be a special area of the Convocation Center offering unobstructed views of the sign language interpreter.

Family and friends who cannot attend can still be part of the event by watching a live stream of the entire ceremony. By the evening of commencement, there will be a link to the broadcast on the home page of our website: www.usca.edu. This live stream will begin about 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony.

Send a Letter or Message to Your Graduate

Parents who are unable to attend may send their graduates a special letter or message through our Office of Parent and Family Relations

Unfortunately, we will not be able to deliver items other than letters or cards. Please include your graduate's first and last name and middle initial and submit it to the Office of Parents and Family Relations by November 18, 2022. If they are attending the ceremony, we will make sure it is delivered on the day of graduation. Submissions after that date are not guaranteed to be delivered.

Families can email the message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send via US Postal Service to:

Parent and Family Relations
"Your Student's Name
USC Aiken 
650 Trolley Line Rd. Graniteville, SC  29829

Food and beverages are strictly prohibited.

Noise Reduction

Please turn off your cellular phones and/or pagers. Cowbells, air horns, whistles, and other loud artificial noisemakers are not allowed.

Families are asked to withhold applause or loud celebrations during the announcement of graduate names so that we don’t prevent any family’s ability to hear clearly, and to refrain from using any noisemakers items or from causing distractions that would prevent others from enjoying the ceremony. We’ll collectively congratulate all of the graduates after all names have been read.

As a courtesy to other audience members, please be aware that sound reverberates in a gymnasium and that even the slightest noise is magnified. Please keep movement to a minimum.

We respectfully ask that younger children not be brought to the ceremony at all since they can become restless and disruptive. Also, no baby strollers are permitted inside the Convocation Center.

Photography

Please do not to step into the aisle during the processional or recessional or rush across the stage to take photographs. The marshals will be instructed to return guests to their seats if they attempt to do this. There will be a photographer taking photos of each graduate during the ceremony.

During Commencement, professional photographers from Grad Images will take photographs throughout the evening. Multiple individual shots of graduates will be taken during the ceremony, which graduates will have the opportunity to purchase later. The Alumni Office is pleased to provide a complimentary photograph of each graduate, which will be mailed approximately 4 weeks after the ceremony.

Additional photos will be available for purchase online at www.gradimages.com.

After Graduation

Graduates, as you finish your senior year and join the ranks of the Alumni, be sure to watch your student email account for instructions to set up your @alumni.usca.edu email account! You will receive a "free" USC Aiken Alumni email address that never changes, even when you change jobs or mail providers. It should arrive within just a few weeks of graduation.

Regular student email accounts are removed after one year of non-activity as a student, but once you switch to your Alumni account, it’s yours for life!

Learn more about alumni email accounts