Graduation Information


Dear students, congratulations on meeting this milestone of applying for graduation. Once your academic, financial, and other records are reviewed and approved, you will be confirmed as graduates during the May 2021 Commencement Convocation. You have worked hard and deserve this recognition for your academic success at South Carolina State University. We are proud of your accomplishments!


Due to safety protocols, no graduates will be allowed to cross the stage. All graduates will remain in their seats and will be asked to stand and be recognized when their names are called. In addition, all graduates (and guests) MUST wear masks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.


Diploma Pick-up and Honor Accessories

Due to precautions developed as a result of COVID-19, and because graduates will not be crossing the stage, we are scheduling Diplomas pick-up on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 from 2:00PM-6:00PM from Staley Hall Auditorium. A photo identification is required.


Graduation Attire

Female graduates are asked to wear black dresses. Male graduates are asked to wear black slacks and white shirts.


Special Note: Only University Official caps, gowns, hoods, and other academic regalia accessories purchased through the University Bookstore are permitted at the Commencement Ceremony.


Applications for Degrees

Applying for graduation is a university requirement for all prospective graduates, undergraduates and graduate students. The application must be filed in the term prior to the expected degree completion term. The date of graduation will be recorded for the term of completion.


Failure to clear for graduation will require the degree candidate to reapply for graduation and payment of another graduation fee for the next subsequent Commencement.


All applications for degrees must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office no later than the date set forth in the University Academic Calendar. That deadline has passed for the May 2021 graduation. Applications are now being accepted for the July 2021 graduation (there will be no ceremony in July).


It is the responsibility of the student to do the following:


  1. Students are responsible for the completion of their academic programs, based upon the requirements stated in the University Catalog.
  2. Students must conduct a Curriculum, Advising, and Program Planning (CAPP) degree audit in Bulldog Connection to track degree requirements. Please click (CAPP) or CAPP PowerPoint for Students to review steps on how to perform your degree audit in Bulldog Connection.
  3. Schedule an appointment with your advisor to review all degree requirements. The advisor is available to counsel, but the responsibility to ensure all degree completion remains with the student.
  4. Complete an undergraduate or graduate application for graduation with your department.
  5. Pay the graduation fee in the Cashier’s Office or online.
  6. Submit your graduation application with proof of payment to the Registrar’s Office on or before the Graduation Fee Payment Deadline.

Attendance at Commencement

Attendance at the Ceremony is required of all candidates for degrees unless you have extenuating circumstances that will prevent you from participating in the ceremony.

Commencement Date and Ceremony

SC State will host the 2021 Spring Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 7, 2021 at 6:00PM at the Oliver C. Dawson Stadium. As a reminder, diploma pick-up is from 2:00 to 6:00pm on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. All prospective graduates MUST assemble in SHM by 4:30pm. on May 7, 2021.

Request to Graduate in Absentia

If you plan to graduate in May 2021 but will not be able to participate in the Commencement Ceremony, you must submit a letter or email requesting permission to graduate in absentia by Friday April 23, 2021 to:
Mrs. Felicia L. McMillan
Registrar’s Office
PO Box 8104
SC State University, Orangeburg, SC 29117 or

Returning May, July, and December 2020 Alumni

President James E. Clark promised students who graduated in 2020 an opportunity to return and be recognized at the first traditional commencement to be held after the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The May 2021 Commencement Convocation will be our first such graduation ceremony. However, due to COVID-19 social distancing safety guidelines, after the May 2021 graduates are seated, only 50 seats will be available on the field for May, July and December 2020 returning graduates. Others will be accommodated in a specially reserved section in the stands.


The first 50 returning graduates to register will be seated on the field. All returning graduates must submit their names and other information using the link below by noon on Friday, April 23, 2021.


All returning graduates must wear academic regalia, which can be purchased from the University Bookstore or online at:


Due to safety protocols, no graduates will be allowed to cross the stage. All graduates will remain in their seats and will be asked to stand and be recognized when their names are called. In addition, all graduates (and guests) MUST wear masks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 whether they are seated on the field or in the stands.


All returning graduates must assemble in SHM at 4:30 pm on Friday, May 7th. Any additional instructions on graduation will be sent to you via email.

Ticket Information

To keep our graduates and their families safe and in compliance with public health guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, each graduate will receive an allotment of 5 tickets for the Ceremony. Ticket allotments for Commencement 2021 will be released on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 2:00PM-6:00PM in Staley Hall Auditorium. A photo identification is required.

Inclement Weather Protocols

In the case of inclement weather, ONLY graduates will be allowed to enter SHM. A limited number of guests (including parents and guardians) can be accommodated on a first-come-first-served basis and with enforced social distancing at the following venues:
Fine Arts Center Auditorium
Staley Hall Auditorium
Engineering & Computer Science Building Auditorium

Since everyone who may wish to attend the graduation ceremony may not be able to do so, the Commencement ceremony will be livestreamed. More information about how to view the ceremony online will be shared via email and on the university’s website at

Commencement Participation Policy

Students will not be eligible to participate in a Commencement Ceremony unless all degree requirements have been met and they have cleared their balances prior to participation. In addition, students will not be allowed to participate in Commencement if they have not submitted their graduation application forms to the Registrar’s Office by the deadline listed on the University Calendar. Students who miss this deadline must apply for the next Commencement Ceremony.

NOTE: An Application for Graduation is complete only after it has been submitted to the Registrar’s Office, Second Floor, Moss Hall, Room 202 or emailed to

Graduation Clearance

Filing an application for graduation does not imply that you have been approved or cleared for graduation. If you are cleared for graduation, you will not receive any more communication from the Registrar’s Office. However, if you are not cleared, you will receive notification as soon as that determination has been made.

GPAs for Graduation with Honors

Summa Cum Laude 3.75 or above
Magna Cum Laude 3.50 – 3.74
Cum Laude 3.00 – 3.49

Graduating Students: Final Exams and Final Grades

Final examinations for graduating students are scheduled for April 25-29, 2021. Please ensure that a final grade is reported for each course that you are taking this semester by checking Bulldog Connection. A grade that is not reported will delay your graduation clearance. For a missing grade, please contact your instructor immediately for a missing grade to be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Transfer Courses

Students, who are currently taking courses at other institutions to complete requirements for graduation, must have official transcripts or official statements of the grades earned sent from the Registrar’s Office of that institution by May 3, 2021 to: Mrs. Felicia L. McMillan, Acting Registrar, South Carolina State University, P. O. Box 8104, Orangeburg, SC 29117. An official transcript must be on file before transfer credits are posted on a student’s transcript.

Transfer Credits/Students

Please ensure that the Office of Admissions has an official final transcript from ALL colleges/universities you have attended or are attending including Technical Colleges. To follow-up, you may contact Ms. Stacy Sowell at (803) 533-3601.

Seating Assignments – Coming Soon

Alumni Weekend Activities

Alumni who may have questions regarding Alumni Weekend activities should contact Mr. Davion Petty at 803-516-4616 or email him at