The expected date of graduation is determined administratively upon admission. Students may complete degree requirements at the end of the spring semester (May), or the summer semester (August), or the fall semester (December). However, students themselves must confirm their intention to graduate directly with their college dean’s office in the semester prior to graduation. Students eligible for graduation will be notified when it is time to complete the degree application. Students are expected to complete the application at their appointed time. A student is awarded a graduation date subsequent to completion of all requirements for the degree. Approval to graduate requires permission of the college dean or designee with approval by the University Board of Trustees.
The University holds only one commencement ceremony held in the spring on the morning of the third Friday in May. Spring degrees are granted as of that day. Students graduating in August and December are eligible to participate in the following May university commencement ceremony, however summer and fall semester degrees are awarded on the day after the final examination period that is shown on the University calendar for those semesters. By special permission from their dean, students expecting to complete requirements in August may participate in the prior May ceremony. Students completing their requirements in May are expected to participate in the May ceremony.
Certain programs at MUSC have as a degree requirement that students must pass a national board exam for their intended profession. In some cases these examinations, or the opportunity to retake them if needed, are scheduled after a student's final registered semester at MUSC. Students who have completed required coursework, but who have not completed other requirements for their degree, will be allowed to participate in the commencement ceremony, but the ceremony program will be annotated indicating that their diploma is pending completion of requirements. Such students will not receive a degree or diploma and will be reported as being on a Leave of Absence until all requirements are met.
Academically outstanding undergraduate degree recipients are eligible to receive Latin honors based on the final cumulative grade point average on a scale where 4.0 is perfect. The honor is inscribed on the diploma. For Summa Cum Laude, the student must have a 3.90-4.00 average; for Magna Cum Laude, the student must have a 3.80-3.89 average; and for Cum Laude, the student must have a 3.70-3.79 average. Students earning graduate and professional degrees do not receive these undergraduate honors designations.
Graduate and professional programs may designate a maximum of two first honors and two second honors graduates. Honor graduate designation is granted in recognition of the highest academic achievement as defined by each degree program. Honor graduates are recognized in commencement materials and commencement related events.
Diplomas are mailed to August and December graduates in the month following completion of requirements, but are presented to May graduates at the conclusion of the commencement ceremony.