Graduation 2021

Due to the current nationwide pandemic, Haywood Community College is currently discussing options for the 2021 Graduation Commencement ceremonies, tentatively scheduled for mid-May. Please continue to check this webpage as we expect a decision and further instructions will be made public by the end of March. We apologize for this delay, however, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remain our top priority.

Download the following Invitation to Commencement

Commencement Form

If you have not already done so, please email the completed form to for processing. If you have questions, feel free to contact the Office of Enrollment Management at 828-627-4500.

In order to graduate with a certificate, diploma, or degree (“degree”), students must meet the minimum requirements stated below.  (Note: Some curriculum programs have additional, or more stringent requirements than the minimum):

  1. Successfully complete and pass all required courses within the College approved certificate, diploma, or associate degree program in which the student wishes to graduate.
  2. Hold a minimum 2.00 cumulative program grade point average (GPA).
  3. Be recommended for graduation by the curriculum department after final program evaluation.
  4. Fulfill all financial obligations to the College.
  5. Complete the Commencement Form (this must be on file at least 3 weeks before instruction ends during the semester in which a student plans to graduate in order to guarantee participation in the commencement ceremony).
  6. Per Policy 5.2.9, transfer students must complete a minimum of 25% of their program credit hours of coursework at Haywood Community College before becoming eligible for graduation.


The following information is subject to change and will be confirmed closer to the commencement date.

HCC has a professional photographer to take photographs of students as they receive their awards on stage.  Information for ordering photographs is provided in the digital graduation packet sent to each potential graduate. An information table will also be set up in the lobby of the Charles M. Beall Auditorium during each ceremony.

Please inform your family members in attendance that we request no flash photography during the ceremony to reduce distractions.

A backdrop for graduate selfies and pictures will also be provided in the second floor lobby of the 1500 building before and after the ceremony.

Logistics Information

The following information is subject to change and will be confirmed closer to the commencement date.

​​​Graduates, you need to arrive at the 2nd floor lobby near the bookstore 45 minutes prior to the ceremony for the processional lineup.

  • The auditorium will open approximately 1 hour in advance to the listed ceremony times.  Due to our graduating class size, limited seating will be available in our auditorium for family and friends and will be on a first come, first serve basis.  Attendees will receive a ticket at the door, which they must keep with them in case they need to step out before coming back in.  Overflow seating will be available for attendees once the maximum seating capacity in the auditorium is reached (capacity is determined by the Fire Marshall).  Seats may not be saved by family or friends who arrive early and attempt to hold seats for late arrivals.
  • Parking - Staff and Faculty members of the College have been asked to park up the hill to leave plenty of room for guests in front of the 1500 building.  Shuttles will be available around campus for guests who cannot park close to the auditorium.  They will be identified by the HCC logo on the side of the vehicle.  Additional handicap spaces will be blocked off on both sides of the building.  If someone in your family needs special assistance, please notify us so we can provide the help they need.
  • Please remind your family and friends attending that we are a tobacco-free campus.

Graduation Cords

If you are graduating with honors, you will receive your cord when you are lined up for the procession.  Students graduating with honors will receive a white cord based on the following:

cum laude (with praise)
magna cum laude (with high praise)
summa cum laude (with highest praise).

Other cords include:

Haywood Early College  - Purple and gray tassel and medallion

Future Cosmetologist Association – Pink cord

Medical Assisting – Peacock blue and silver

National Society of Leadership and Success – Red cord or black/white cord

National Technical Honor Society – Silver/purple cord

Phi Theta Kappa – Gold stole (on loan through PTK advisor)

Student Ambassador – Silver cord (provided during rehearsal)

Student Government Association – Teal cord (provided during rehearsal)

Veterans – Red, white, and blue cord (provided during rehearsal)

Dress Code

It is required that all graduates wear the approved regalia: black gown, cap, and tassel (begin the ceremony with tassels on the right).
Under your cap and gown, we ask that you wear nice clothes and shoes (no flip flops).  We caution against high heels, as wearing them increases the chances of falling while walking up and/or across the stage.

When Will You Receive Your Degree?

Please note, during the ceremony, we will hand out a Haywood Community College diploma cover to you.  All graduates who have completed the requirements for graduation will need to have their awards conferred (a process of approving all classes were satisfactorily completed) before they are printed and made available.  The registrar’s office will contact you approximately three-four weeks after the ceremony when your degree, certificate, and/or diplomas are ready. Graduates living in Haywood County will be contacted to pick up their credential. Credentials will be mailed to graduates living outside of Haywood County. Please make sure your mailing address and phone number are indicated correctly on your completed Commencement Form. At that time, final official transcripts with the “graduate” stamp will be available for order as well.

Early College students will not receive their degrees until after their high school year officially ends, as we cannot award an HCC degree until after the high school year and high school diploma are complete. However, Haywood Early College student will receive a Haywood Early College diploma cover during the ceremony. Associate degrees are typically awarded at the end of summer semester (end of July), and available following conferral of those degrees.

Hotel Accommodations for Out-of-Town Students and Guests

The following information is subject to change and will be confirmed closer to the commencement date.

HCC has partnered with the Best Western Smoky Mountain Inn in Waynesville to provide our out-of-town students and guests a discounted option for accommodations to attend the graduation ceremonies.

Interested parties should reserve their room(s) by contacting the hotel at 828-456-4402. The hotel has agreed to offer a 20% discount off the standard rate for each individual night reserved, or a lower average nightly rate if multiple nights are reserved. To qualify for the discount, individuals need to mention they are attending the HCC graduation when booking, and will be encouraged to bring in a graduation program (given during each ceremony) to the hotel staff upon checking out. The discount will be applied at check-out.

Live Graduation 360 Video​

We will have a 360 degree live video of the graduation ceremony for friends and family who cannot attend. 

To tune in, visit:

HCC on Facebook

HCC on YouTube