Skip to Content

Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning

  • GLD Cording Ceremony

Graduation with Leadership Distinction

Advancing leadership is an important component of USC’s role as South Carolina's flagship university and its dedication to educating the future leaders of the state, the nation and the world.

Students who earn Graduation with Leadership Distinction demonstrate extensive, purposeful engagement beyond the classroom, understanding of course concepts in “real world” settings, and application of learning to make decisions and solve problems.


This formal distinction honors the broader scope of achievements for students engaged within and beyond the classroom and sets them apart in ways worthy of recognition by others (e.g., potential employers, graduate schools). Students are recognized with graduation cords and the distinction appears on graduates’ transcripts and diplomas as “With Leadership Distinction in (Pathway Name)” or “With Leadership Distinction” on the diploma if multiple pathways are completed (with the complete list of pathways appearing on the transcript).  


Students can earn Graduation with Leadership Distinction if they meet the requirements, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater, and  graduate with an associate or baccalaureate degree in any major from USC Columbia, Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter or Union.

GLD Orientation

The first step in pursuing Graduation with Leadership Distinction is completing the GLD Orientation


COVID-19 Update

All GLD appointments for the foreseeable future will be held via telephone, Zoom or Skype for Business only. Please include your preferred meeting method in the "Comments" box when making an appointment. 

Please visit UofSC's Novel Coronavirus website for more information.

 Students are encouraged to meet with a GLD Advisor as soon as they consider pursuing GLD. Students will be encouraged to think about and discuss numerous possibilities to engage in purposeful activities year to year and make meaning of those experiences along the way. You can sign up under Involvement and Engagement for one of two types of meetings:

GLD Introductory Meeting:
To gain awareness of the GLD process in anticipation of pursuing GLD during your USC academic career. Meeting covers one or more of the following: identification of resources, questions about the orientation or application process.

GLD ePortfolio Meeting: (only for seniors or those completing their ePortfolio)
To ask questions in order to advance your current ePortfolio content and to further your understanding of GLD. Meeting covers one or more of the following: identifying specific within and beyond the classroom experiences for ePortfolio content, articulation of experiences through ePortfolio sections (written elements and/or artifact selection).

Palmetto College GLD Support

Students at a Palmetto College campus can enroll in UNIV 401 GLD or contact a GLD advisor on their campus:


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.