Are you ready to graduate? Did you complete all requirements for your Associate degree or Certificate of Achievement? Great! Your next step is to complete our Graduation Petition. Details are provided below.

Graduation Requirements at SMC

Eligibility Requirements

  • Unit Requirements: All Associate degrees require a minimum of 60 degree-applicable units, including General Education, major requirements, and electives. Certificates of Achievement require a minimum of 18 major-applicable units (often a lot more).

  • Units in Residence at SMC: At least 12 units of coursework must be taken at Santa Monica College.

  • GPA Requirements: A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in degree-applicable coursework. All courses in the major must be completed with a "C" or better.

Major Requirements

  • Major requirement for all Associate degrees and Certificates of Achievement may be found in the Transfer/Counseling Center's Articulation website.

Use of Transfer Credits & Select Test Scores

  • Coursework from regionally accredited colleges and universities is accepted by SMC to fulfill degree requirements.

  • PDF FileAdvanced Placement and PDF FileCLEP scores can be accepted for credit, with some limitations. Test scores must be submitted directly from the testing center to SMC.

  • Official college transcripts and test scores sent directly by the institution are required. SMC does not accept student-provided do​cuments--even if in a sealed envelope.

Steps to Gra​duation at SMC

Initial Steps

  • Ensure you have submitted official transcripts and relevant test scores from all institutions attended to the Admissions and Records Office. Please note that all transcripts from other schools must be mailed directly to SMC admissions. Hand carried transcripts will not be accepted.

  • Make an appointment with a counselor to see if you are eligible to graduate. You can also run a Degree Audit check using the SMC educational planning tool called MyEdPlan.

  • Once you determine you are eligible, complete and submit your graduation petition as noted below.

  • You may petition for any Associate degree or Certificate of Achievement you qualify for (no limit).

Graduation Petition

Once You Submit a Graduation Petition

  • You will receive an email on the status of your petition within 4 weeks after submitting it to the Admissions Office.

  • You will be provided with instructions on how to participate in our annual Graduation Ceremony a few months ahead of the event. In order to participate in the ceremony, you must submit the graduation petition by April 15.

Graduating with Honors

  • Graduation honors are awarded to students who have met all the graduation requirements, who have never been suspended from Santa Monica College, who are not currently on academic or progress probation, and who meet the following GPA qualifications for all degree applicable coursework.

    • Highest Honors: 4.0 GPA

    • High Honors: 3.70 to 3.99 GPA​

    • Honors: 3.0 to 3.69 GPA

  • Graduation honors will be annotated on your SMC transcript and your diploma.

Congratulations! You Are a College Graduate

  • Transcripts: Once the Admissions & Records Office has verified you completed all degree/certificate requirements, your official Santa Monica College transcripts will be annotated with the degree/certificate and major you completed. This annotation will appear on all transcripts we generate.

  • Diplomas: Will be mailed to you within 4 months after the appropriate filing period. Only one diploma (per major) will be provided to you at no cost. If you graduated with more than one major, you will receive a separate diploma for each major. It will also state if you graduated with honors.

  • Duplicate Diplomas: Duplicate diplomas may be ordered directly from the Admissions & Records Office by completing the appropriate form at a cost of $20 each.

Graduation Ceremony Participation

Who May Participate

  • Students completing all graduation requirements for an Associate degree or Certificate of Achievement during the Summer, Fall, or Spring term preceding the graduation ceremony may participate.

  • If you are missing one course and are enrolled in it during the Summer session following the graduation ceremony, you may participate, provided you petition to graduate by April 15.

  • The Admissions & Records Office will confirm you eligibility to participate in the graduation ceremony during the month of May. A single graduation ceremony is held in June.

  • Please refer to our Graduation Day webpage for details on the graduation ceremony.