Celebrate with us.

At the College of Charleston, commencement is truly a one-of-a-kind event – a quintessentially Southern tradition that bonds generations of College of Charleston alumni and creates indelible memories in an iconic setting.

Join us in celebrating the dedication and hard work of our graduating students, while extending our heartfelt wishes for their bright futures ahead.

Students, for more information go to The Hub

The Commencement program is available to download as a pdf here

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Commencement Dates

The College of Charleston hosts Commencement in both the Winter and the Spring. Spring Commencement is split into three ceremonies, based on the School of the major.

Commencement Information

College of Charleston commencement ceremonies are a time for reflection, recognition and inspiration. Here are a few tips to help make your ceremony memorable and joyous.
  • Tickets

    Tickets are issued based on the Participation Survey which is distributed to each student's College of Charleston email address. This survey is also how students with multiple majors choose which major they wish to walk with.

    Spring Commencement

    Each graduate will receive four tickets to the Spring commencement ceremony in which they are walking. We cannot issue any additionally tickets. For guests without a ticket, there will be a satellite viewing location on campus, at the Rita Liddy Hollings Science Center. This space is indoors and airconditioned and does not require a ticket for entry.

    Winter Commencement

    Each graduate will receieve ten tickets to the Winter commencement ceremony. We cannot issue any additionally tickets.

    Transferring Tickets:

    Once signed into your Student Ticketing Portal, go to the 'My Account.' From there, you should be able to click on 'Transfer Tickets,' select the tickets you'd like to transfer, and fill out the information for the transfer recipient. You will then be taken to a confirmation page to review your transfer and double check the information. Once approved by you, the recipient will be sent a link to accept the tickets. The recipient will need to create or sign in to their own account within our ticketing system in order to receive the tickets. If the recipient does not have their own account and does not accept the ticket transfer from you, they will not receive the tickets and you will have to repeat the process above.

  • Attire

    Rather than caps and gowns, the long-standing College of Charleston tradition calls for graduating undergraduate women to wear white dresses and graduating men to wear white dinner jackets. For the Winter Ceremony, graduates wear black dresses and black dinner jackets.

    Our master's candidates wear regalia with their graduate school discipline's corresponding hood and do not carry flowers. Visit the Graduate School for details about how to order regalia, rental options, hood colors, etc. 

    Attire for undergraduates may be purchased, rented, or crafted from a store or person of your choice. Master's candidates order caps and gowns through the College Bookstore. Below are a few tuxedo rental companies (provided for informational purposes only and not affiliated with or endorsed by the College). 

  • Flowers

    Traditionally at Commencement, women have carried red roses while men have worn a red rose boutonniere. Flowers, including bouquets and boutonnieres, can be ordered from The Commencement Group for pick-up on the day of commencement. 

    We encourage ordering ahead of time to guarantee availability. 

    The Commencement Group
  • Schedule

    Below is a link to School-based events surrounding commencement. This document will be updated as more events and details are added.

    School-Based Events
  • Weather Policy

    Leading up to the ceremony, College of Charleston monitors the weather for Commencement weekend 24 hours a day.

    If inclement weather occurs, the President’s Office will make an announcement that will be prominently displayed on the College of Charleston website home page ( as well as on local TV and radio stations. 

    Weather can also delay the start time of the ceremony, and if so, this information will be included in any announcements.

  • Traditions, Memorabilia & Mementos

    Keep the celebration going with these gifts, keepsakes, and alumni connections.

    College of Charleston RingCollege of Charleston Ring

    Celebrate your graduate by ordering an official College of Charleston Ring. 

    Shop for your official College of Charleston Ring

    College of Charleston diploma frame sampleDiploma Frames

    Show off your achievement with a College of Charleston diploma display frame.

    Shop the College of Charleston Bookstore for diploma frames.


    Clock with College of Charleston "C" logo on the clock face.Gifts & Accessories

    Select that perfect College of Charleston gift for your grad.

    Shop the College of Charleston Barnes and Noble Bookstore



    College of Charleston logo with "alumni" underneath.Class Notes & Alumni Benefits

    Once a Cougar, always a Cougar.

    Join us by staying connected with your classmates and forging new relationships with fellow College of Charleston alumni.

    Whether it’s through a local chapter event, or through social media, the Alumni Association is your source for all things College of Charleston.

    As soon as you graduate, you become a lifetime member of the Alumni Association and there are no dues.

    Update your information and submit a Class Note!



    Grad Pack

    Visit our Grad Party Materials page to download graduation signage, sheet cake graphics, party decorations and more.

    Go Cougars!

    Visit the Grad Party Page!


    College of Charleston Graduate yard sign in maroon with College of Charleston logoYard Sign

    For front yard fanfare or to let graduation party guests know they're in the right spot, share your Cougar pride with friends and family. 

    Download the College of Charleston Graduate Yard Sign


    College of Charleston graduate Instagram frame examplesInstagram Frames



    Personalized Graduation Announcements
    Personalized graduation announcements may be ordered online through Balfour. Please place your order 4-6 weeks prior to ceremony. You can then mail your graduation announcements to family and friends two weeks prior to ceremony.

    Special Note: Graduation announcements are not tickets for reserved seating at the College's commencement ceremony in the Cistern Yard.

    Guests with graduation announcements and no ticket can sit at one of the satellite viewing locations, which are located in close proximity to the Cistern Yard and do not require a ticket.

    Order your graduation announcements through Balfour



    Hometown News Announcement

    Media Relations at the College of Charleston regularly distributes news releases announcing graduation, awards, offices held and other student accomplishments to the hometown newspapers of our current students.

    To submit your Hometown News item, please complete and return the Hometown News Form to the contact and address listed on the form.

    Download the Hometown News Form

  • Photography

    Images from Commencement can be ordered from GradImages

    Customer Service Department at (800) 261-2576, online at, or email We have a large team of customer care representatives ready to help graduates and family members with anything they may need.

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