Congratulations! All your hard work has led you to this point: graduation.

  • Graduation is the process of SMCC officially granting you a degree or certificate and sending you a diploma. 
  • This is different from Commencement, which is the official ceremony held to celebrate your graduation. 
  • In order to officially complete your degree or certificate and receive a diploma, you MUST apply to graduate. 
  • If you do not apply to graduate, you will not receive a diploma. 

Graduation Application Deadlines

The deadline for Spring 2024 graduation has passed. Any applications that are received now will be processed for Summer 2024.

If you are currently registered for the last classes needed to complete your degree, submit your application immediately. Do not wait until your classes end to apply.

  • Spring Graduates – March 20
  • Summer Graduates – June 15
  • Fall Graduates – November 15

Applications received after the semester ends will be carried over to the following semester. Applications received after the Spring deadline will not be considered for valedictorian.

Who Can Graduate

The Maricopa Community Colleges offer Certificates of Completion, Associates Degrees, and a Bachelor’s Degrees. For a comprehensive list of degrees and certificates available at SMCC, please visit:

All students are required to complete the degree and/or certificate requirements as approved by the MCCCD Governing Board. The college reserves the right to make necessary course and program changes in order to meet current educational standards.

Students maintaining continuous enrollment at any public Arizona community college or university may graduate according to the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of initial enrollment or according to the requirements of any single catalog in effect during subsequent terms of continuous enrollment. Students may maintain continuous enrollment whether attending a single public community college or university in Arizona or transferring among public institutions in Arizona while pursuing their degrees.

Steps to Graduation

Fill out the Request to Graduate form online. Your signature on the Request to Graduate form gives consent to publish your name in the college commencement program.

Ensure that all college credits and prior learning assessment credits received at other non-Maricopa colleges are part of your SMCC student record. 

Order official transcripts from each non-Maricopa college and have them sent directly to South Mountain Community College. Please review the transcript evaluation process to ensure credits can be reviewed for course degree requirements.

Please note: You do not need to request that other Maricopa Community College transcripts be sent to SMCC.

Your Advisor will review your graduation request, academic record, and degree completion progress. If all requirements appear to be met, your Advisor will approve your request. However, if your Advisor has any questions or sees any potential deficiencies, they will contact you by email for more information or to request you schedule an appointment. Your application will not be complete until any deficiencies are fixed and your Advisor approves it.

SMCC holds one commencement ceremony annually in May. 

Participation in the ceremony is optional, but you still must apply to graduate to receive your diploma. At commencement, you will be provided a diploma cover when walking across the stage and will be mailed your diploma within 6-8 weeks after the end of the semester.

Students who may be graduating in Fall or Summer semesters prior to Spring commencement are welcome to participate in the Spring ceremony. In some cases, if a student lacks no more than 6 credits, they may be permitted to walk in the Spring commencement ceremony. In this case the degree is officially awarded in a future term when the remaining credits and degree requirements are complete.

Information about Commencement (i.e., deadlines, cap/gown ordering) will be emailed to your Maricopa Student email account as it becomes available. Deadlines will be important to meet, so please watch your account.

Visit the Commencement page for more information. If you have any questions about participating in the ceremony, please email

Graduation FAQ

Yes. You must apply to graduate regardless of ceremony participation. If you do not apply to graduate you will not receive a diploma and your degree and/or certificate will not show up on your official transcripts.

There is no charge to apply to graduate.

At the end of the semester, all graduation applications are reviewed to ensure all academic requirements have been met. Once the review is complete, the award will be posted to your account and will be posted on your official transcript. You will receive an email notification via their Maricopa student email account when this is completed. Your diploma(s) will be printed and mailed 6-8 weeks after the end of the semester. Diplomas are mailed to your home address listed on your Student Center. Be sure your home address in your Student Center is current and accurate.

Commencement FAQ

A cap and gown are required to participate in the ceremony. Information on ordering your cap and gown can be found on the Commencement page.

No tickets are needed and we encourage your family and friends to attend. Information on traveling and parking at the commencement venue can be found on our Commencement webpage.

No, you do not receive your diploma during the ceremony, it will be mailed out to your address on file after final grades are posted following the end of the semester and graduation processing is completed. Please note, for all degrees and certificates (with an exception for the Associate in General Studies), all courses must be completed with a letter grade of ‘C’ or better to have a course used for graduation purposes. Diplomas are mailed to the mailing address in your Student Center.

AGEC/Associates degree posting to transcript time:

  • Fall semester - degrees get posted in January - send final transcript to your University after the degree/AGEC is posted in early Spring.
  • Spring semester - degrees get posted in June - send final transcript to your University after the degree/AGEC is posted in Summer.
  • Summary semester - degrees get posted in September - send final transcript to your University after the degree/AGEC is posted in early Fall.

Please contact the Admissions and Records Office at South Mountain Community College

Official transcripts from all colleges or universities need to be on file at South Mountain Community College and evaluated for transfer credit through our Admissions, Records, and Registration Office. Prior Learning Assessment through National Standardized Exams (like Advanced Placement [AP] or College Level Examination Program [CLEP]) also require that you have official transcripts on file with the Admissions, Records, and Registration Office.

South Mountain has a commencement ceremony once per year in May and celebrates all students who graduated the prior academic year. Participation is optional. There is no fee to participate.