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A student, wearing a graduation cap and gown, makes the hand signals for "Spurs up!" as she crossed the commencement stage

Get ready for graduation

It may feel far away, but the countdown to graduation is on. Spring commencement ceremonies will be held May 3-4 in Colonial Life Arena. We’ve compiled a roundup of what graduating seniors need to do before then, along with some suggestions for enjoying the rest of your time at the University of South Carolina. 

Need to do

  • The first step to graduate, aside from finishing your course work, is to submit the graduation application. Apply to graduate by March 15 through Self Service Carolina
  • Now you’ll need the right outfit. Graduation regalia is available to order through the Oak Hill portal. Order by April 2 to ensure delivery before commencement. 
  • Between March 18 and April 5, submit a voice recording  to let the university know how to pronounce your name on commencement day.
  • During the same timeframe, students who are approved to participate in commencement will be able to claim up to five guest tickets. If there are tickets available after the first claim period, you can claim more the week of April 15

Fun things to do

  • Take a drive down the street where so many memories were made. On April 15, graduating seniors can cap off their USC experience by driving down Greene Street during Drive Down Memory Lane. Registration is required. 
  • Want one last visit to Willy B. as a student? The Garnet and Black Spring Game will be April 20, and Flick on the Field will be on April 22. Be sure to take it all in and reflect on your time in the Cockpit. 
  • Capture the memories and celebrate all of your accomplishments by taking graduation photos. Local photographers would be happy to capture your special moment. Just don’t trash campus: clean up after your photoshoot, and leave the confetti at home.
  • If you’re feeling creative, make sure to decorate your cap for graduation. This is a way to show off your personality or announce your next chapter while you walk across the stage. 
  • The USC Alumni Association is hosting Tassels & Taps on May 3. Join them at Columbia Craft for an evening of craft beer and camaraderie. Registration is open. 
  • The USC Alumni Association wants to welcome all of the new alumni with Grad Fest. This event, which will feature appetizers, drinks and giveaways, will be held on May 4 at the Pastides Alumni Center. The event is free to attend and registration is open. 
  • After your ceremony, donate your graduation robe to the Gamecock CommUnity Shop, which provides free food, clothing and other essentials to USC students and community members. You can drop your donation in a collection bin at Colonial Life Arena, or stop by the shop at the Carolina Coliseum.
  • Take your commencement guests at one of your favorite restaurants in Cola. It’s a great way to be able to reflect on your experiences while sharing one of your favorite parts of this city with your loved ones. Just be sure to make a reservation.


  • Display your diploma with pride. Diplomas will be mailed on or around Aug. 5.
  • No matter what you choose to do leading up to and after graduation, take the time to celebrate your accomplishments with the people who mean the most to you.