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SMC|Enrollment Development|Admissions|Ready to Graduate?

Ready to Graduate?


Graduation is coming....are you ready?

Here are some frequently asked questions that will help you successfully graduate from

Santa Monica College!  

Graduation and Certificate of Achievement Petitioning Periods:



Filing periods


Start of Spring semester through April 30th


Start of Summer term through July 31st


Start of Fall semester through December 1st


When is the graduation ceremony at Santa Monica College?

Date:   Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Time:  6p.m.

Location: Corsair Field (football stadium), Santa Monica College

Students participating in the graduation must attend a rehearsal on Tuesday morning, June 17th at 11 a.m. at the Corsair Field.  Please report to the Pavilion at 4:30 to line up for the actual graduation.

No tickets are required to attend this event.


Who is eligible to participate in the graduation ceremony?

Santa Monica College holds one graduation ceremony each year at the end of the spring term for:

  • Students who have met the Associate degree requirements and have petitioned for graduation during the current spring term or during the previous summer or fall terms. 

  • Students who have petitioned for an Associate degree but are missing one class of the degree requirements and are registered for that class for the coming summer session.

  • Students who have completed Certificate of Achievement requirements and petitioned for the certificate during the current spring term or during the previous summer or fall terms.


How do I petition to graduate?

Students planning to graduate should first make an appointment with a counselor to see if they are eligible for graduation. Graduation Petitions are available in the Admissions and Records office and can be downloaded from the SMC website.  

Is there a fee to submit a petition for graduation?

There is no fee to submit a petition for graduation. 

What are the deadlines for submitting the petitions for graduation?

The petitioning periods are :

            SPRING---------------Start of Spring semester through APRIL 30

            SUMMER-------------Start of Summer term through JULY 31

             FALL-----------------Start of Fall semester through DECEMBER 1


What are the deadlines to let the college know that you will be participating in the graduation ceremony in June?

Once you’ve submitted your petition for graduation and it has been approved, you will be emailed information in May.  You will need to RSVP online by Monday, June 2nd to let us know that you are going to participate in the event. 


If I am graduating in the summer, or mid-year, can I still walk in the June graduation?

The June graduation ceremony is for all those who have been declared eligible since the last ceremony.  That includes students who finished their requirements during the previous summer and fall as well as those completing their work during the current spring term.


What will I receive at the ceremony and when will I get my diploma?

At the graduation ceremony you will receive an empty diploma case and a SMC pin.  The diplomas are mailed to graduates as soon as they are available, usually within four months of the ceremony.


What if I need proof of my graduation right now?

Your graduation will be noted on your official transcripts within four weeks after the semester has ended.  Once the degree is posted you can order a copy of your official transcripts online by going to the Admissions website and clicking on Transcripts.  Degree verifications can also be done in the Admissions office.


What will my diploma say?

Your diploma will state that you have received an Associate degree from Santa Monica College with the date, the signature of the College President, Chair of the Board of Trustees and the college seal.  It will also state if you graduated with honors.  Your diploma will not state your major nor your GPA.


How do I get my cap and gown for the ceremony?

Santa Monica College orders caps, gowns and honor sashes and makes them available to graduates through the SMC Bookstore. Emails authorizing their purchase are sent to all students (via their SMC email account) who qualify for participation in the ceremony.  To order your cap and gown online, please go to the following website:


How much does it cost and where do I get it?

The SMC Bookstore charges $43.90 (tax included) for the cap, gown & tassel package. Because of cost increases, the price for the embroidered honors sashes will be $39.50 (tax included) prices are subject to change.  You will be mailed cards that authorize you to purchase the cap and gown and the appropriate honors sash at the Bookstore.


Do I have to wear a cap and gown to participate in the ceremony? 

Yes.  You will not be able to participate in the event without the appropriate attire.


What should I expect on graduation day?

11 a.m.  Mandatory rehearsal for all graduates will be at 11a.m. at the Corsair Field. Do NOT bring your cap and gown to the rehearsal.

4:30p.m. Graduates ONLY must assemble at the Pavilion (basketball gymnasium behind the library) by 4:30pm SHARP.  Bring, or wear your cap and gown.  The processional (entrance march for all graduates) will begin promptly at 6pm. The ceremony will last approximately 2 ½ hours.

After all of the graduates, faculty and dignitaries are seated, the superintendent/president and others will speak to the graduating class.  Each student will then proceed to the stage where their name will be read and a picture will be taken by a professional photographer as they receive their degree from a member of the Board of Trustees.  After all the names of the graduates have been read, there will be a recessional.


Do’s and Don’ts for Graduation Day:

If you want to participate in graduation you must abide by the following guidelines:

  • DO remember to attend the rehearsal at 11 a.m. on the day of graduation at Corsair Field.

  • DO remember to iron your gown before the event (cool iron).

  • DO remember to bring extra bobby pins to secure your cap (optional).

  • DO wear the cap straight, pulled down over the forehead.  Caps should be worn at all times during the ceremony by men, except during the National Anthem. 

  • DO make sure your tassel is draped over the left front corner of the cap.

  • DO show up to the Pavilion (basketball gymnasium behind the library) by 4:30 pm SHARP to start lining up.

  • DON’T bring any illegal substances or alcoholic beverages with you to the event.  Coolers, bottles, and alcoholic beverages are NOT permitted at the ceremony.

  • DO check all personal belongings (coats, purses etc.) in the secured coat check in the Pavilion.

  • DO plan to line up with your friends who are graduating and enjoy your accomplishment!!


My guests or I have special accommodation needs.  What do we do?

If you or a guest require special accommodations, please call Ann Marie Leahy, assistant to the Dean of Enrollment Services at (310) 434-4502 for more information.  There will be a designated area for elderly guests and guests in wheelchairs. Only one additional guest may accompany these guests with special needs.


Who are the honor graduates?

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 guidelines for all degree applicable class work from SMC and other colleges.  The honors distinction is printed in the graduation program and students graduating with honors are allowed to wear a sash indicating such with their gowns.

          Honors:  3.0 to 3.69 GPA    Light blue sash

          High Honors:  3.70 to 3.99 GPA   Silver sash

          Highest Honors:  4.0 GPA       Gold sash


I am a member of an honor society. Will that be indicated on my diploma or in the graduation program?

Your membership in an honor society is not indicated on your diplomas nor in the graduation program.  However your organization may provide special insignia for you to wear with your cap and gown.  Information about your organization’s customs can be obtained from the faculty advisor for the group.


What honor societies are recognized by SMC?

Alpha Gamma Sigma  (AGS)

Phi Theta Kappa  (PTK)


What are the Associate degree graduation requirements?

Students may graduate from Santa Monica College with the Associate Degree if they have satisfactorily completed 60 units of degree applicable coursework and they have met the subject requirements of their major and general education with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher.  At least 12 of the 60 units must be earned at SMC. At least 50% of the courses for the major must be taken at Santa Monica College. Grades in courses for the major must be a "C" or higher.


What if I am “eligible pending”?

It means that the award is not confirmed and is dependent upon successful completion of work in progress. Awards are approved or denied after completion of all coursework and after all the grades for the semester have been posted on the student’s record.  This usually happens 3-4 weeks after the end of the semester in which the student has petitioned to graduate.  If you are notified you are “eligible pending” you may participate in the graduation ceremony.


What if I am missing ONE CLASS and I’d like to graduate?

If you have completed all the other requirements for graduation, you may participate in the Spring graduation ceremony if you are enrolled for that last class for the summer term at SMC.  You will need to petition for graduation by April 30th.  After your petition is evaluated you will be contacted by the Admissions and Records office with your eligibility to participate in the ceremony.  You will need to petition for graduation again after your coursework has been completed or during the summer filing period.

The petitioning periods are :

             SPRING---------------Start of Spring semester through APRIL 30

            SUMMER-------------Start of Summer term through JULY 31

             FALL------------------Start of Fall semester through DECEMBER 1

Your AA degree or Certificate of Achievement will not be awarded and will not appear on your transcript until you have completed the final class and re-petitioned for graduation.


What is the Global Citizenship Requirement about?

Students who want to graduate from Santa Monica College with an Associate degree must complete at least one course that meets the Global Citizenship requirement as part of the mandatory 60 units for graduation. For more information please see a counselor or review the current college catalog.  Here are some helpful links: COUNSELING and ARTICULATION pages.


Can I earn multiple degrees from Santa Monica College?

Santa Monica College will award up to two Associate degrees to students who have met the requirements.


I have petitioned for two degrees in the same semester.  Will I receive two diplomas?

Although both degrees will be posted to your transcript, you will only receive one diploma. 



What are the Certificate of Achievement Requirements?

Santa Monica College awards Certificates of Achievement in approximately thirty fields of study.  Students complete the Certificate of Achievement petitions in their area of interest at the Admissions and Records Office during the graduation filing periods.  There is no fee to apply for these Certificates of Achievement and there is no limit to the number of certificates a student may earn.

The petitioning periods are :

            SPRING---------------Start of Spring semester through APRIL 30

            SUMMER-------------Start of Summer term through JULY 31

             FALL-----------------Start of Fall semester through DECEMBER 1