Important Information About December Graduation

The information contained in this guide is important for your participation in Convocation; it should not be construed as evidence that degree requirements have been met.  Please read this information thoroughly and share relevant information with your guests. 

   

GRADUATION APPLICATION
In order for a degree to be granted, students must complete the following:

  • Students must fill out a graduation application. Applications can be picked up in the Records Office, located in the Enrollment Services Suite of the Health Education Complex, or with their dean’s/division chair’s office.
  • Fill out an Application for Degree with the dean of his/her school/college.
  • Dean needs to sign graduation application and it must be returned to the Records Office by September 6.
  • Prospective graduates, who are unsure if they have fulfilled all degree requirements for graduation, should contact their dean in their school/college.

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TICKETS
Students will each receive six tickets. Guests must have a ticket to enter the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. All tickets will be General Admission seating.  Lost tickets cannot be replaced.  All persons attending MUST have a ticket.  

Ticket Information for Spartanburg Students:

  • Tickets will be available beginning Monday, November 11, 2013 in the HPAC Box Office from 1-5 p.m.
  • Students MUST show ID card and sign for the tickets.
  • Students will receive six tickets.
  • Guests CANNOT pick up tickets for students, even if they have their ID card.  
  • Students MUST pick up their tickets by no later than Friday, December 13, 2013.
  • TWO additional tickets available on a first come, first served basis on Monday, December 16, 2013 from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.  Students must again show their ID and sign for the additional tickets.

Ticket Information for Greenville Students:

  • Students on the Greenville campus can request tickets through the USC Upstate Office in Greenville Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Friday 8:30 a.m. – noon beginning November 11, 2013.
  • Students MUST show their ID card and sign for the tickets.
  • Within one week, tickets will arrive from Main Campus. 
  • Students will receive six tickets.
  • Guests CANNOT pick up tickets for students, even if they have their ID card.
  • The last day ticket requests can be made at the Greenville Campus is Monday, December 9, 2013.  
  • After this date, students must pick up tickets on the main campus as outlined above.
  • TWO additional tickets available on a first come, first served basis on Monday, December 16, 2013 from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.  Students must again show their student ID and sign for the additional tickets.

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VIP
Degree candidates are urged to check their Application for Degree or Certificate information available on VIP.

  • Please check that your name is spelled correctly and your degree major and minor information is accurate.
  • If this information is NOT correct, please contact the Records Office in person.
  • Please be aware that this letter will also contain information concerning the Columbia Campus ceremony. This information does not apply to those participating in Convocation Exercises at USC Upstate.

Using any web browser on a computer with access to the Internet, degree candidates may access VIP to view their Application for Degree or Certificate information. Visually-impaired degree candidates may have someone assist them with accessing VIP or contact Disability Services at 864-503-5199. 

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GRADUATION CEREMONY
Convocation will be held on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 6:45 p.m. at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. We expect the convocation to last approximately one hour. USC Upstate Chancellor Thomas Moore will preside at convocation. 

  • There are no rehearsals prior to graduation.  
  • Students should report dressed in academic regalia to the arena of the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium (lower level) by no later than 6 p.m.
  • In the arena, students will find his/her assigned seat, which will include their name card and a program.
  • If a degree candidate anticipates that his/her name may be mispronounced, he/she may write the name phonetically on the top of the name card.
  • Students arriving late may risk not marching in the procession and will be placed at the end of the line, out of their degree order.
  • Please do not bring umbrellas, purses, or any valuables with you, as there will not be a secure place to store them.

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STUDENT RECOGNITION AT GRADUATION
During the exercises, degree candidates will be asked to stand by row and approach the platform. Marshals will assist the degree candidates during this portion of the event.

Students will hand their name card to the marshal at the platform who will in turn hand the card to the announcer. As the name is read, the candidate will walk across the platform and be greeted by Chancellor Moore and then by the dean of his/her school/college. All degree candidates will return to their seats and are expected to remain seated until the ceremony is concluded.  

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BASIC GUIDELINES
December Graduation is a time to celebrate your educational efforts.  However, in keeping with the idea that this should be a dignified ceremony, we will conduct a formal graduation.  Please adhere to the following guidelines.

  • Men, it is recommended that you wear a white dress shirt and tie, dark pants and dark shoes. Jeans, tennis shoes and/or flip flops are not appropriate.
  • Women, it is recommended that you wear a skirt or a dress and dress shoes. Please make sure that your dress is not longer than your graduation gown. Consider you will be walking up and down steps and across the stage when selecting the height of your heels. Jeans, tennis shoes and/or flip flops are not appropriate.
  • Caps should be worn so that they sit level rather than on the back or to the side of the head.
  • In respect for each graduate and their families, we ask that spectators and degree candidates remain seated.
  • Degree candidates and their guests should not participate in disruptive behavior until the last graduate walks across the stage. Noisemakers, beach balls, balloons and other items that could disrupt the ceremony will not be tolerated.

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DISABILITY SERVICES
The University of South Carolina Upstate wants to ensure that all degree candidates may participate in the December Convocation. Degree candidates who have special needs, including mobility impairments due to health conditions, or who are unable to walk moderate distances are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services at 864-503-5199 no later than December 3 for convocation.

*It is important to note that the balcony of the Auditorium can only be accessed by stairs. If you have family members requiring the use of a wheelchair, please have them arrive early as the floor of the Auditorium is the only option available for wheelchair seating and these spaces fill up quickly.

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DIRECTIONS
The Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium is located at 385 North Church Street next to Wofford College. Please click here for detailed directions.

 
GRADUATING WITH HONORS
Honors will be based on the final cumulative grade point average on all collegiate work. The following designations indicate a consistently high level of academic achievement through the student's entire academic career.
  • Summa cum Laude: A cumulative GPA of 3.95-4.00
  • Magna cum Laude: A cumulative GPA of 3.75-3.94
  • Cum Laude: A cumulative GPA of 3.50-3.74

Diplomas of those students who achieve honors will be sent to the printer to have the award posted and mailed to the graduate as soon as they are available. Students who have questions about honors must address these concerns with the Records Office prior to the day of the ceremony. Please refer to the USC Upstate catalog for additional information or call the Records Office at 864-503-5220

Graduating with Honors  

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HONOR CORDS AND STOLES
Degree candidates are permitted to wear honor cords, stoles, and/or medallions representative of various honor or service societies authorized by the USC Upstate. Degree candidates who are eligible to wear honor cords will be contacted by his/her school/college prior to the day of the ceremony.

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DIPLOMAS
Diplomas will not be distributed during the commencement exercises.

  • You must satisfy all of your degree requirements before officially graduating and receiving your diploma.
  • Students who do not satisfy all degree requirements will be sent a letter by their dean and they must re-apply for a subsequent term.
  • Degree candidates may wish to periodically check his/her Record of Academic Work for Advisement Only on the Academics tab of VIP to see if his/her degree is posted.
  • Diplomas will be mailed to the graduate's permanent address. If there is an address change, please be certain to notify the Office of the University Registrar at 864-503-5220.
  • December graduates can expect to receive their diploma in March

According to University policy, diplomas will be held if all financial obligations to the University of South Carolina Upstate are not properly satisfied. If you think you may have an unsatisfied debt, contact Financial Services Office at 864-503-5326.

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TRANSCRIPTS
To obtain an official transcript of your University of South Carolina Upstate academic record, you may send a written request to the Office of the University Registrar, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208-0001 or fax 803-777-6349. You may also download the Transcript Request form online. Please include your name, student ID number and last term of attendance. There is an $8 charge for each copy. Please also be sure to request that we mail your transcript after your degree is posted.

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ANNOUNCEMENT CARDS
Convocation announcement cards and personalized invitation cards may be purchased in the University’s Bookstore.  Your announcements and/or invitations should be mailed early so your guests will receive them two weeks before your ceremony. For information on how to purchase announcements/invitations cards, you may visit the University Bookstore. Contact them at 864-503-5167 or visit their website.

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CAPS AND GOWNS
Caps, gowns, tassels and academic hoods may be purchased in the University’s Bookstore. For information on how to purchase caps, gowns, and tassels, you may visit the University Bookstore. Contact them at 864-503-5167 or visit their website.

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PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER
There will also be a professional photographer available to take still cap and gown photographs of the degree candidates on this special day. No prior arrangements are necessary for this service. The photographer will be located in the lobby of the Auditorium’s Arena for December Convocation from 3:30-5:30 p.m. For more information, contact the Grad Images at 1-800-261-2576 or visit their website at www.gradimages.com.

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VIDEOS
Professional, multi-camera commemorative videos that will include the individual recognition of each degree candidate, will be available for purchase through the Office of Media Services. For more information, or to order, you may wish to contact Teresa Truesdale at 864-503-5564, or by email at ttruesdale@uscupstate.edu.

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ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
The University of South Carolina Upstate Alumni Association is a service organization established by the University to promote the interests of the institution and to develop and maintain a close bond between the University and its alumni. As you pursue life and career opportunities, USC Upstate encourages you to be an active member in the USC Upstate Alumni Association.

Your membership is FREE and offers many campus privileges. As an alumnus, you will have access to career services, alumni directory, the library and a one year membership to the wellness center. You will also receive our Upstate Magazine and invitations to special alumni activities and events.

At USC Upstate, we make a special effort to reach out to our graduates wherever they are. To be proactive with your future, stay connected with us by updating your contact information at www.uscupstate.edu/update.

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MORE INFORMATION?
If you have any questions regarding the commencement exercises or the convocation, you may wish to telephone the University Registrar's Office at 864-503-5220, visit the Office of the University Registrar's web site, or read the graduation Frequently Asked Questions.

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