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What you need to know BEFORE you plan to graduate


Petition for Graduation:

Graduation is not automatic upon completion of requirements. A student who expects to receive the Associate Degree or a Certificate of Achievement must file a PETITION in the Admissions and Records Office. The deadline for filing this petition is April 30.


Unit requirements:

Santa Monica College grants the Associate degree to students who have successfully completed sixty (60) units—consisting of courses that meet State and local general education (GE) requirements, courses that fulfill requirements for a major, and elective courses—with a cumulative grade point average of C (2.0) or higher.


Major requirements:

Major requirement sheets for the Associate degree and the Certificate of Achievement Certificate can be found in the Transfer/Counseling Center or at .


Degree limitations:

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


Residency Requirements:

At least twelve (12) units of coursework must be taken at Santa Monica College.


Transfer credit:

Lower division credit is accepted for transfers from institutions which are accredited by a recognized regional accrediting association. Upper division courses cannot be used for credit. Advanced Placement and CLEP scores can be accepted for credit.


Official college transcripts from all colleges attended must be on file before submitting the petition.

A petition for an Associates degree evaluation should be submitted before the student plans to graduate. An evaluation is a summary of college work completed and of requirements to be completed for the Associates degree or the Certificate of Achievement. NO HANDCARRIED TRANSCRIPTS WILL BE ACCEPTED. The transcripts must be sent directly from the other institutions to SMC.


Students who have filed for a petition for graduation and/or a certificate of achievement should notify the evaluator immediately of any name or address change.

Students who are working toward a Certificate of Achievement should file the Certificate petition form during the semester in which they plan to complete the requirements of their Certificate program. The filing deadlines are the same as for the Associate degree. They are available online.


Continuous Enrollment:

Students may graduate under the general education and major requirements in effect at the time of their initial enrollment if continuous enrollment is maintained, or at the time their continuous enrollment commences, or under requirements in effect at the time of graduation. Continuous enrollment is defined as enrollment in each Fall and Spring semester (excluding summer and winter term) until graduation.

Catalog Rights:

Students who maintain continuous enrollment may choose to graduate under the SMC catalog in effect at the time their continuous enrollment commenced at SMC, or under the catalog in effect at the time of graduation. 

Awarding of Degrees or Certificates:

The graduation ceremony is held once a year at the end of the spring semester. Students who complete requirements for the Associate Degree or the Certificate of Achievement within a fiscal year may participate. Ex: Summer '08, Fall '08, Spring '09. Spring graduates must petition by April 30 to be granted the degree in the Spring.

Summer candidates for graduation may participate in the graduation ceremony the preceding Spring if the petition for Graduation is filed by the April 30 deadline. A second petition for Graduation form needs to be submitted during the term the class is being completed at SMC.