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Commencement vs Graduation


The Commencement ceremony is a ceremony to celebrate students at the end of their educational journey. Often, it is referred to as "Graduation," but that is not necessarily correct.  This celebration is generally hosted at the end of the spring semester to acknowledge students completing their coursework ​​in the current academic year, including anticipated summer completers.  For example, students completing coursework in Fall 2022, Spring 2023, and Summer 2023 are included in the 2023 Ceremony.  Students participating in Commencement are identified as "Candidates for Graduation" until they have successfully earned a degree.

Students do not receive a diploma at the commencement ceremony. Diplomas are mailed to the student's mailing address on file in Self-Service at the end of the graduation evaluation process; usually, a few months after final grades are posted.  

The Office of Student Development coordinates the ​Commencement ceremony.  SCC hosts only one Commencement ceremony per year.  This ceremony is separate from Santa Ana College and Orange Education Center.  


Graduation is the correct term to identify students who officially completed all your graduation requirements. Students participating in Commencement are identified as "Graduates."

Students are highly recommended to meet an academic counselor before their last semester or once they have completed 30 units to ensure they will meet all graduation requirements. Students can view ​their academic progress using the Online Education Plan.  Students must apply for graduation by submitting a Petition to Graduate.  The graduation evaluation process takes a few months, and students should plan according to the processing timelines posted on​

The Graduation Office performs the final evaluation for graduation.