Important Update for May 2020 Graduates...

After announcing our shift to a virtual commencement, on Thursday, March 26, we received a handful of responses from graduates requesting consideration for an alternative plan. To ensure that our plans aligned with the wishes of our graduates, we sent out a survey to all graduating students. The response was overwhelmingly in support of an August graduation instead of a virtual one. Commencement is ultimately for our graduates, so we have decided to shift our original plan.

We will host a commencement ceremony for our Spring 2020 graduates on Saturday, August 15, 2020.  

If unable to attend the August commencement, graduates are still welcome to participate in our May 2021 ceremony. 

CIU has been working to respond quickly and thoughtfully to the rapidly changing situation. Sometimes that means changing a plan in response to feedback. Thank you for your support and understanding!

Please direct any questions or feedback to the Office of the University Registrar (Email: or Phone: (803) 807-5059).

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the commencement ceremonies be held?

Normally commencement ceremonies are held in Fall (December) and Spring (April/May).

This year because of the COVID-19 response, CIU will be hosting a special commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 on August 15, 2020. May and August 2020 graduates will have the option of participating either in this special August ceremony.

Am I eligible to walk in the August ceremony?

Participation in the August 2020 ceremony is open to students who have applied for Spring or Summer 2020 conferral. 

 You will need to submit a Commencement Confirmation form to let us know if you will walk in the ceremony on August 15, May 2021, or in absentia.  Once you are logged into myCIU you can find the form here.

When will my degree be conferred?

CIU has three conferral dates per year-- Fall (December), Spring (April/May), and Summer (August).

Your conferral date is based on which term you applied for Graduation and when all degree requirements are completed.

If you selected Spring 2020 your conferral date will be May 1, 2020. If you selected Summer 2020 your conferral date will be August 21, 2020.

How many guests can I invite to my commencement ceremony?

Typically, graduates are provided with eight (8) tickets for their guests. 

For August 2020, we are anticipating your family and friends being able to attend graduation.  Each guest will be required to have a ticket in order to attend the August 15 ceremony.   We will be communicating with graduates regarding the final number of tickets to be allotted no later than mid-July.  Along with this information, we will send them details on how to obtain tickets and how to request additional tickets, if needed.

How do I order regalia?

Regalia can be ordered on-campus through the Tree of Life Bookstore or online at Jostens.  Please note that ordering is only open for a limited period of time. 

The next ordering window for the August 2020 Commencement will be posted in the upcoming weeks, though pricing information is available at the Jostens site.

Where does CIU hold commencement ceremonies?

The ceremony will take place on the CIU campus in Shortess Chapel.  CIU is located at 7435 Monticello Road, Columbia, SC 29203.  

I'm coming to graduation from out of town. Where can I stay?

Columbia, SC offers a wide range of off-campus accommodations, many of which are located within a short driving distance to CIU.  CIU also maintains guestrooms at the Alumni Center, which are available to alumni, as well as current students and their families.