FAQs

General Graduation and Commencement Questions

What is the difference between graduation and commencement?

Graduation is the completion of all degree requirements as recorded on the official transcript. 

Commencement is the ceremony that celebrates the completion of a degree. In order to walk at commencement, students must submit a graduation application. Friday, April 14 was the last day to apply for Fall 2023 graduation with no late fee. Students can still submit their graduation application but will be subject to a late fee. Applications should be submitted online through Self Service. Click here, for instructions on how to apply. Students will receive an email acknowledgment to their CCU email address within 5 minutes of applying for graduation with all active academic advisors copied on the email.

Do students have to apply for graduation?

Yes, Friday, April 14 was the last day to apply for Fall 2023 graduation with no late fee. Students can still submit their graduation application but will be subject to a late fee. Applications should be submitted online through Self Service. Click here, for instructions on how to apply. Students will receive an email acknowledgment to their CCU email address within 5 minutes of applying for graduation with all active academic advisors copied on the email.

After submitting your graduation application, you will be added to the commencement mailing list and will begin getting commencement-related emails as your commencement date approaches. Next, the application will move through departmental and college-level reviews and end up with the Registrar's Office. The Registrar's Office will email the student confirming that their application is now "pending complete" with the Registrar's Office. In order for the student's name to be printed in the commencement program, they must have received this email by Monday, Oct. 23. If this email is received after Oct. 23, the student's name will not be printed in the commencement program. The application will remain in the "pending complete" status with the Registrar's Office until after final grades have been received for the semester, which occurs after the commencement ceremony. Once a final determination has been made on the student's application, the student will receive an email from the Registrar's Office detailing that decision. Diplomas are mailed six to eight weeks after the commencement ceremony to the address the student entered on their graduation application.

What do I need to do if I want to participate in the commencement ceremony?

Students wanting to participate in commencement need to take the following steps:

Submit your graduation application.

Order your regalia

Claim your tickets

Follow the commencement Facebook page (@CCUGrad) and continue to check the commencement website and your CCU email for announcements.

How do I know what academic college my student's degree falls under?
Click here, to view the undergraduate programs within each academic college. Click here, to view the graduate programs within each academic college.
How do I know if my name will be listed in the printed program?

After submitting your graduation application, the application will move through departmental and college-level reviews and end up with the Registrar's Office. The Registrar's Office will email the student confirming that their application is now "pending complete" with the Registrar's Office. In order for the student's name to be printed in the commencement program, they must have received this email by Monday, Oct. 23. If this email is received after Oct. 23, the student's name will not be printed in the commencement program. The application will remain in the "pending complete" status with the Registrar's Office until after final grades have been received for the semester, which occurs after the commencement ceremony.

What is the dress code for commencement?

Business casual is the dress code of choice for commencement ceremonies. Please keep the following factors in mind when determining what to wear:

  • Temperatures in Conway, SC, during the beginning of Dec., can range from highs in the 60s to lows in the 30s.
  • Graduates are required to wear full academic regalia (cap, gown, and tassel) for the ceremony.

Academic Honor Stoles and Regalia

How do I know if I am graduating with Latin honors?

Honors that are recognized at commencement ceremonies are based upon the student’s cumulative grade point average available at the beginning of the semester of graduation.

Actual graduation with honors is calculated after the final semester’s grades have been received and certified and will be indicated on the diploma and official transcript.

All students eligible to wear an academic honor stole at commencement will receive an email, from the Office of the Registrar, notifying them of eligibility along with instructions on how to purchase their stole. If a student did not receive an email and believes that they might be eligible, please email graduation@coastal.edu.

Latin Honors:

Summa cum Laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.95 or higher
Magna cum Laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.75 - 3.949
Cum Laude: a cumulative GPA of 3.5-3.74

How can I purchase an academic honor stole?

All students eligible to wear an academic honor stole at commencement will receive an email notifying them of eligibility along with instructions on how to purchase their stole. If a student did not receive an email and believes that they might be eligible, please email graduation@coastal.edu.

How do I order regalia?

Click here, to view detailed information on ordering regalia.

Ceremonies and Venue Information

How long does the ceremony last?

The ceremonies should last approximately 90 minutes; however, the length of the ceremony may vary due to the size of the graduating class within each academic college.

Will concessions be available?

Yes, limited concessions will be available at the HTC Center. No outside food or beverages (except for a 16.9 FL OZ sealed water bottle) are allowed inside the arena.

What time will students and guests be allowed into the venue?

Doors into the HTC Center will open one hour prior to the start of the ceremony. Students are to arrive dressed in regalia, no later than one hour prior to the start of the event and enter at Gate 3.

Can I enter through the same gate as my graduate?

Graduates are the only ones who can enter through Gate 3. Gates 1 and 2 are the designated entrances for guests.

Will the ceremonies be streamed online?

Yes, all the ceremonies will be streamed live and viewable on the Live Streaming page and the Commencement YouTube Channel.

We have a guest that needs ADA seating and transportation. Is there anything we need to do to make arrangements?

Accessible seating is available in the first row of each bleacher section, which is designated by white and blue tape. Due to high demand, patrons using accessible seating may have one companion accompany them in the accessible seating areas. As space permits, families and friends are welcome to sit near or behind individuals using accessible seating. However, it is important to note that accessible seating areas, like all commencement seating, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Event staff will be on hand on the day of commencement to assist.

Limited accessible parking is available in the AA lot in front of the HTC Center. This lot is accessible via Founders Drive, and only open to those with an official state-issued ADA placard. Designated accessible golf cart shuttles will be available to transport guests who need assistance getting to the HTC Center. All CCU shuttles are wheelchair accessible.

Please visit the accessibility page for details. If you have further questions, you may contact the Office of Special Events at specialevents@coastal.edu or 843-349-2517.

Tickets

How many tickets are graduates able to claim?

The number of tickets each graduate is eligible to claim up to (6) six tickets. For specific information regarding ticket numbers and distribution, visit the Claim Tickets page.

Do family members and guests need tickets to attend the ceremony?

Yes, tickets are required for the ceremony. For specific information regarding ticket numbers and distribution, visit the Claim Tickets page.

What if I can't get the number of tickets that I need for all my guests?

After initial tickets have been claimed and the number of available seats has been established, an email will be sent to eligible graduates with more information on how to obtain additional tickets online. Additional tickets are not guaranteed but are subject to seating availability. Rush tickets, if available, will be accessible starting Thursday, Dec. 7, at Noon ET, until tickets are exhausted or by Tuesday, Dec. 12, at Noon ET.

Do graduates need a ticket?

No, tickets are only required for the guests of the graduating student. For specific information regarding tickets, visit the Claim Tickets page.

Do infants require a ticket for the ceremony?

Children, ages one and older, are required to have a ticket.

Can a family member or guest request tickets on their own?

No, all tickets must come from your student who is the only person able to claim tickets.

Are tickets for a specific seat?

Graduate seating will be assigned, but guest seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Post Commencement Details

How do I order photos taken at the ceremony?

GradImages is the official vendor for CCU commencement photos. Graduates will receive an email, to their CCU email account, with a link to their picture proofs along with ordering instructions. Photos from the ceremony can also be accessed through GradImages' website

Will the ceremony be recorded for future viewing?

Yes, recordings of Coastal Carolina University Commencement ceremonies are archived on the Commencement YouTube Channel.

When will I receive my diploma?

The Office of the Registrar will review graduation applications once final grading is complete. Because this occurs on a rolling basis, diplomas will be mailed six to eight weeks after the date of the ceremony. Diplomas will be mailed to the diploma mailing address specified on your graduation application unless you submitted a Student Address Update Form.

Please visit, https://www.coastal.edu/registrar/diplomainformation/, for more information.

Email graduation@coastal.edu for assistance if your diploma was damaged upon arrival or if you have additional questions about diplomas.

How do I know if I graduated?

An email regarding a degree candidate’s graduation status will be sent to their coastal email address once it is determined. Electronic transcripts can be ordered, which display the degree earned and the date the degree was conferred. More information on transcripts »

To be eligible for graduation, the student must meet all course requirements, all “in residence” requirements, all departmental or program requirements, and have submitted a graduation application. Graduates must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 (3.0 for Graduate level students) on all work attempted at Coastal Carolina University, and have earned the minimum hours as determined by the degree (120 earned hours minimum for Undergraduates). If a student has received a grade of I (incomplete) for any of his or her classes for the current term (or have an “I” from a previous term), he or she must have completed all coursework and turned it into their instructor by the end of the term.

How do I join the Alumni Association?

All graduates will automatically receive a one-year membership to the CCU Alumni Association. Visit coastal.edu/alumni/alumnibenefits/ to view all the included membership benefits. Your official CCU Alumni Association membership card will be mailed to the address you supplied on your graduation application. Be sure to use the Alumni Association as a resource for any questions that you may have after graduation, and stay connected by sending them an email anytime at alumni@coastal.edu or calling 843-349-ALUM.