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Enrollment Management | University Commencement

Information for Candidates

Commencement will be held at 9:00 a.m., May 19, 2017, in the Horseshoe on the Medical University of South Carolina Campus at 171 Ashley Ave. 

The expected date of graduation is determined administratively upon admission. However, students themselves must confirm their intention to graduate directly with their college Dean's office in the semester prior to graduation. While there is only one Commencement ceremony in May of each year, degrees may be conferred in August, in December, and in May. A student is awarded a graduation date subsequent to completion of all requirements for the degree. Specific degree requirements are described in each college section of the University Bulletin. Approval to graduate requires permission of the college Dean or designee.

Students may complete degree requirements at the end of the Spring semester, or the Summer semester, or the Fall semester, although the University conducts only one graduation ceremony held in the morning on the third Friday in May. Students graduating in August and December are eligible to participate in the following May commencement ceremony. By special permission from their Dean, students expecting to complete requirements in August may participate in the prior May ceremony. Students completing their requirements in May are expected to participate in the May ceremony. (Student fees are used to pay for one diploma, mailing/handling and related Commencement activities.)

Students are expected to file with the Office of Enrollment Management one online form related to graduation: the Degree Application Form, filed the semester before the candidate's final semester.

Exit interview forms and any outstanding bills must be resolved with Student Accounting prior to graduation.

Academically outstanding undergraduate degree winners are eligible to receive Latin Honors, based on the final cumulative grade point average on a scale where 4.0 is perfect. The honor is inscribed on the diploma. For Summa Cum Laude, the student must have a 3.90-4.00 average; for Magna Cum Laude, the student must have a 3.80-3.89 average; and for Cum Laude, the student must have a 3.70-3.79 average. Students earning graduate and professional degrees do not receive these undergraduate honors designations.

Diplomas are mailed to August and December graduates in the month following completion of requirements, but are presented to May graduates at the conclusion of the Commencement ceremony.

Announcements are available on-line from Jostens. For more information go to Announcement Information.

Commencement Day Robing
7:30 a.m.
Arrive at the Drug Discovery Building with your academic regalia

Commencement Day Line-up and Processional
8:00 a.m.
Candidates receive a line-up card with their position clearly identified by number and either an "L" (for LEFT line) or an "R" (for RIGHT line). Candidate marshals supervise the line-up. Two lines (a LEFT line and a RIGHT line) will form for each college.

9:00 a.m.
The Grand Marshal announces, "Let the procession begin." Accompanied by processional music, the candidates enter the Horseshoe on Ashley Ave. in two columns. Marshals will lead candidates to proper seating row and seat. Be seated as they enter. All rise when faculty process.

Commencement Program
Minister gives invocation. (All males remove hats during invocation. Hats are then replaced.) President offers his welcome and introduces the speaker, who gives the address.

Conferring of Degrees at Commencement
The Vice-President for Academic Affairs (AAVP) announces honorary degrees, which are conferred by the President.

The AAVP introduces the Dean of the College of Health Professions.

As the Dean rises, the first row of B.S. candidates from the College of Health Professions rises and moves toward the steps (on their right) which leads to the platform. Candidates have a photo taken by a professional photographer at the bottom of the ramp, ascend the steps in order and wait at the top to pass their name card to the reader. As the name is being read, the candidate walks across the stage, receives a congratulatory handshake from the President and their Dean (in the center of the platform), walks across to the Chairman of the Board, receives a congratulatory folder, and shakes hands with the Chairman where a second professional photographer is stationed. The candidate walks ahead, down the steps and back along the proper row to his/her seat (and sits immediately). (Note: candidates claim their diplomas when they exit the Horseshoe.)

After all candidates within the degree group have crossed the stage, the President goes to the microphone and requests that the candidates rise and then confers the degrees. The President signals the graduates to be seated.

Next, the same procedure is repeated for each degree group with the exception of the MD/PhD candidates who remain on stage for the conferral.

President introduces the President of the Joint Alumni Association.

President congratulates graduates, thanks the speaker, and expresses appreciation to the audience for attending. Minister gives benediction. (All males remove hats. Hats are then replaced.) Graduates and faculty remain standing.

Commencement Recessional
Recessional music begins. Presidential party exits first, then the faculty, and then the graduates. Those who entered last are the first to leave. After the faculty pass, the person nearest the aisle on the last two rows falls in immediately behind the faculty. The first person to enter the row during the processional is the first to leave. Those who entered on the right aisle should exit on the left and those who entered on the left should exit on the right.

All graduates must claim their diplomas before exiting the Horseshoe. 

Reserved Seating for Disabled Guests
Commencement guests who are disabled are eligible to receive a pass for themselves and for one assistant to sit in a special reserved section. Seating in this area is limited. Passes will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

This reserved section is located next to the candidate seating facing the platform.  Ushers will be present to collect passes and to give assistance as needed.

Reserved Parking for Disabled Guests
Guests who are disabled are also eligible for reserved parking.  Only one parking pass is available to each candidate.

To request Disabled Guest Seating or Parking passes, please complete the Parking Request form beginning April 1, 2017.


Last Published with Edits:January 17, 2017 3:24 PM
Last Comprehensive Review:January 2017



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