Cu doped silicon carbide is shown to be ferromagnetic based on experiment results and first-principles calculations. The magnetization value of the Cu doped silicon carbide decreased as the Cu concentration increased. When the films were annealed at 800 °C, the ferromagnetic signal was increased. Reduction of the C vacancy concentration will introduce a large total moment in the system. Theoretically, compared with the case of one Cu atom replacing one Si atom, increasing the Cu doping, changing the Cu atom location or including carbon vacancies in the calculations for the system all make the ferromagnetic moment decrease. One Cu atom replacing one Si atom with the addition of one C vacancy makes the energy band gap of the system disappear. Our investigations suggest that the ferromagnetism arises from the hybridization between Cu 3d orbital and C 2p orbital. Ferromagnetic moment is influenced by a symmetry-lowering distortion of the surrounding lattice by the Cu dopant.