Commencement Ceremony Information for Graduates
- Graduates should arrive at the Main Campus at 3:00 p.m. for check-in. Line up for the processional will be at 4:45 p.m. The ceremony will promptly start at 5:00 p.m.
From Check-In to End of Ceremony
- You must be at the SMC Pavilion by 3:00 p.m. to check-in with your QR code.
- A photo identification is required.
- You will receive your name card for the ceremony. DO NOT LOSE THE NAME CARD as it will be used to call your name on stage at the ceremony. Late arrivals will be turned away.
- No person may substitute for you at the ceremony. Only graduating students may participate and must wear the SMC graduation cap and gown.
- Do not bring any valuables to the ceremony. Purses and backpacks cannot be carried with you. You may check-in small items for safe- keeping (guarded by College Police staff) at the Pavilion. Items can be picked up immediately following the ceremony (no later than 8:30 p.m. as the Pavilion will close at this time).
- Friends and family cannot accompany you at the Pavilion. They should go directly to Corsair Field and take their seats. Gates open at 3:00 p.m.
Be Seated by 4:35 p.m.
- Graduates will be asked to sit down around 4:35 p.m. so that event staff may go over Processional and Ceremony details. All activity booths will close at this time.
- You will be asked to line up in two separate lines. One line will enter Corsair Field, where the ceremony is held, from the north gate and the other line will enter from the south gate. If you requested a special accommodation, please line up at the front of the line heading north. Signs will point you to each line.
- Bachelor’s degree graduates will line up at the front of both lines but will sit all together once at Corsair Field. Students graduating with an Associate Degree or a Certificate will follow.
- Marshals will lead each line to Corsair Field. Once at Corsair Field, Pomp and Circumstance will play in the background and the streaming of the ceremony online will start. Marshals will tell you where to sit and will fill one row at a time at the Corsair Field bleachers. Watch the rows as you are sitting down to ensure you are not leaving space between you and the next graduate.
- Sit down as soon as you arrive at your seat in the bleachers.
- The Commencement program will be available online at our Graduation webpage and on the SMCGO app a few days prior to the ceremony. A printed program will be given to you and your guests.
- Introductory remarks will be made and the Pledge of Allegiance will formally start the ceremony.
- At a point during the ceremony, you will be asked to come receive your “diploma.” Process onto the stage at the signal of the Marshal. Students on the right side of the stage (facing the stage) will turn to their right and will proceed out their aisle and onto the stage. Students on the left side of the bleachers (facing the stage) will turn to their left and will proceed out their aisle and onto the stage.
- Students receiving the Bachelor’s degree will go to the stage first.
- The college photographer will take your photo as you get to the stage.
- Once on the stage, hand your NAME/PHOTO CARD to the faculty member reading the names.
- You will receive your diploma case from a member of the SMC Board of Trustees.
- Receive the diploma with your left hand, pause, smile, and shake hands.
- When you reach the center of the stage, the College President will also shake your hand.
- You must remain seated throughout the ceremony and must follow the direction of the marshals.
- At any point during the ceremony, If you are suddenly feeling unwell and need assistance, please call the Marshal near your area for assistance. If you exhibit signs of physical impairment due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other substances, you will be asked to leave.
On May 9, it was announced that the Associated Students would generously sponsor free regalia (cap, gown, and tassel) to the first 1,100 graduates who RSVP to participate in Commencement and Grad Fest by May 31. Eligible graduates must pick up their regalia at Grad Fest on June 1.
Honor sashes are on sale at the SMC Bookstore. Wear your cap and keep your tassel on the right side.
- Interaction Design degree graduates may rent their bachelor degree regalia through the Bookstore and will require a credit card to secure the transaction. The rental for the 17 graduates who requested regalia will be covered (aka, free regalia RENTAL).
- Students graduating with Honors may purchase the corresponding honor sash at the SMC Bookstore after receiving an email from Admissions & Records authorizing the purchase. Emails will be sent by mid-May.
- Announcements and assorted gifts for the graduate are also available at the Bookstore.
- For more details about the bookstore's hours and location, visit the SMC Bookstore.
- The SMC Bookstore will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Commencement day.
B.S. Interaction Design Graduates
- FREE Rental for a Bachelor Degree cap/gown/tassel set
- Valued at $54.00 +tax
- IxD students must provide info by March 25 to their IxD counselor. Late orders will not be accommodated)
Associate Degree and Certificate Graduates
- FREE cap/gown/tassel set
- Valued at $50.99 +tax
- Graduates must RSVP to participate in both Commencement and Grad Fest by May 31 to qualify--while quantities last (first 1,100 graduates to RSVP)
- Must attend Grad Fest on June 1 to pick up regalia. If you cannot attend Grad Fest on June 1, any left over regalia not given out at Grad Fest may be picked up by an eligible graduate starting June 5 at the SMC Bookstore (Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Honor Cords and Sashes (pre-approved eligible students only)
- Honor cords $17.99 +tax
- APK/PTK/Honor sashes $40.99 +tax (limited quantities)
- Blue - Honors
- Silver - High Honors
- Gold - Highest Honors
- AGS members: contact Prof. John Quevedo to purchase your AGS sash.
FREE Regalia Caveats
Thanks to the generous support from the Associated Students, regalia (cap, gown, and tassel) will be free to the first 1,100 graduates who RSVP to participate in both Commencement and Grad Fest. Graduates must RSVP by May 31.
The free regalia will be distributed to graduates at Grad Fest on June 1--not anytime earlier than this.
- You will come to the Main Campus and head to the Bookstore.
- Bring a government issued photo identification.
- Know your height so you can be given the right size gown. If you do not know your height, we can take it when you arrive. Unfortunately, you will not be able to try on the gown.
- There is no guarantee we will have your exact size.
- Exchanges/returns will not be accepted.
- If any regalia sets are left after Grad Fest, graduates may pick up their set at the SMC Bookstore starting on June 5 (Hours: Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.; first-come, first served; government issued photo ID required).
- The Bookstore will be provided a list of eligible graduates.
To enter the contest:
- Decorate your grad cap (BTW, join us Grad Fest 2023 on June 1 where free cap decorating supplies will be provided).
- Post a picture of your cap on Instagram.
- Tag your photo with #SnapMyCap and @smcedu by June 13. Your Insta profile must be public to enter.
- The winner of our grand prize will be announced on Instagram and other college publications. All participants must adhere to SMC’s Student Conduct Rules.
- Have fun, be creative with your design! We can't wait to see what you come up with.
Official photographers will be in attendance at Commencement.
- Save 20% on official photos taken by GradImages (our event photographer partner), including your graduation portrait! You must Pre-register to get the discount.
- Photo stations for the graduates will be available in the SMC Pavilion upon check-in.
- Photo stations for graduates and guests will be available after the ceremony at the SMC Campus Quad.
- Personal photos may be taken during the ceremony by guests directly from their seating location only.
Diplomas Come Later
- Diplomas are not distributed at the Commencement ceremony. Your diploma will be mailed to your mailing address after the final evaluation of your record takes place.
- Diplomas are mailed approximately 12-16 weeks after the Ceremony to students who confirm their address in Corsair Connect.
- Only students attending the Commencement Ceremony will receive a free SMC diploma case. Diploma cases are not available for purchase.
- An unpaid balance will prevent you from receiving your diploma. Take care of any fees owed.
- Graduates requiring accommodations for this event should contact the Center for Students with Disabilities at 310-434-4265 or firstname.lastname@example.org at least 5 business days in advance. The Center’s staff will assess your needs and work with the Commencement team to ensure approved accommodations are met.
- A limited number of seats for guests with disabilities and one accompanying guest will be available. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.
Graduate and Guest Parking is free on Structures 3 and 4--closest to the event venue (see Campus Maps)
USE OF IMAGE, LIKENESS, AND VOICE
When you enter a Santa Monica College campus or event, you enter an area where photography, film, audio, video, and/or other recording activities in a variety of media may occur. Santa Monica College reserves the right to engage in these activities and to use photographs, videos, and electronic or other media images and/or likenesses and/or voice recordings taken of you on College property and at College-sponsored events for advertising, marketing, and other promotional purposes, without payment or other compensation to you.
Keeping Us Safe
- Santa Monica College has implemented security measures to ensure the safety of all participants and guests at Commencement. Please listen to and follow directions from event personnel, security, and College Police officers. If you have security concerns during the ceremony, please get the attention of an event staff member.