Before You Can Graduate

Steps you must follow

STEP 1: See a Counselor: Develop an Education Plan with a Counselor

  • You MUST have official transcripts from all previous colleges on file and evaluated. Transcripts must be mailed to:
  • San Diego Community College District
    Transcripts Department
    3375 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92108
  • Follow up two weeks later and ask for “Request for Transcript Evaluation” at Records Office in Room A-109 or in the Counseling Office in Room A-110. The "Request for Transcript Evaluation" may also be completed by phone with our Records Department at (619) 388-3474 or our Counseling Department at (619) 388-3540. This process may take up to 2-4 weeks. You will receive an email notice when your evaluation is completed.
  • Meet with a counselor to develop an electronic “Education Plan” for your AA, AS, or Certificate of Achievement.

STEP 2: Petition to Graduate

  • You may file your “Petition to Graduate” on-line at, by fax at 619-388-3135, or in person at the Evaluations/Counseling Office Room A-110.
  • The declared Major (Degree or Certificate Title) in your Petition MUST match your Education Plan on file.
  • Deadlines for students to Petition to Graduate and Participate in the Commencement Ceremony for Spring 2014:

      March 28
    • Deadline to file a Petition for Graduation, and also guarantee an evaluation for eligibility to participate in the Commencement Ceremony, and have your name in the Commencement program 

    • April 21
    • Notify the Evaluations Office if you do not want your name printed in the Commencement program.

    • April 30
    • Students who plan to graduate in the summer, must complete their petition to graduate by April 30 if they intend to participate in the Spring 2014 Commencement Ceremony; however, your name will not be included in the Commencement program

Step 3: Wait for your evaluation review to arrive in the mail

  • It is highly recommended to submit your Petition one year in advance of anticipated graduation. It is also CRUCIAL that you keep your e-mail and mailing address up-to-date.
  • Update your information online at
  • Wait for your Evaluation Review to arrive in the mail. It may take up to 3-4 months from the time you petition. DO NOT PANIC! It is not an Approved or Denied decision.
  • When your evaluation arrives in the mail, READ the evaluation letter carefully and review the copy of your Education Plan to ensure you are on the right track to complete your major requirements.
  • If you have trouble understanding your evaluation, contact your counselor.

Step 4: Receive an Invitation for the Graduation Ceremony

  • Your participation in the Graduation Ceremony is OPTIONAL, but strongly encouraged.
  • Your Invitation to Participate will be sent via email and/or U.S. Mail in April.
  • You do not have to respond to the invitation if you are not interested in participating in the Graduation Ceremony.
  • Graduation Ceremony is ONLY once a year—generally, the last Friday of the spring semester. The exact date and time will be included in your invitation.
  • Spring 2014 Graduation Day is May 23, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.
    Graduates must check in by 3:00 pm.
  • ALL students who submitted a “Petition to Graduate” are invited to participate based on the following:
      •   Have completed the requirements to graduate in Fall semester 2013
      •   In progress to complete the requirements for Spring 2014
      •   Have a maximum of 3 courses to complete (maximum of 9 units) in Summer 2014

Step 5: Register to Participate/Walk in Graduation Ceremony

  • To participate in the Graduation Ceremony, follow the instructions on your invitation. Registration in the Graduation Ceremony is completed ONLINE at a specific web address provided in your invitation.
  • At the registration for the Graduation Ceremony website, be sure to include the PHONETIC spelling of your name (example: Jessica Serrano – JEH-sih-Kuh Seh-RAH-no). It is very important to complete this step in order for your name to be pronounced correctly when you walk across the stage.
  • After you complete the registration for the Graduation Ceremony form, you must click the “Submit Graduation Registration” button to complete your registration. You will receive a confirmation page; please print this for your records.
  • You may only complete your registration for the Graduation Ceremony ONCE. Contact the Evaluations Office in room A-110 or call (619) 388-3466 if you need to make any changes to an existing entry.
  • If you need assistance with registering for the Graduation Ceremony, contact the Student Affairs Office in Room D-106 or (619) 388-3498.
  • Participating students MUST attend a Graduation Rehearsal.
  • Rehearsal is May 22, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. (SHARP) at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park
  • Wear the official San Diego City College Cap and Gown the day of graduation (available in City Bookstore on April 28).
  • Your name will be printed in the Commencement Program if you meet the “Petition to Graduate” deadline, regardless if you do not register for the Graduation Ceremony.
  • You must notify the Evaluations Office in room A-110 or call (619) 388-3466 if you DO NOT want your name printed in the Commencement Program, especially if you do not plan to participate in the Commencement Ceremony.

      April 21

      • Deadline for students to notify the Evaluations Office if you do not want your name printed in the commencement program.

Step 6: Receive your Diploma in the Mail

  • ALL course work requirements for your Degree and/or Certificate of Achievement MUST BE COMPLETED prior to being noted on your transcript and before the diploma is mailed to you.
  • Degrees and/or Certificate of Achievements will be posted on official transcripts on the following dates:
      •   Spring graduate 05/2014, petition by April 30, 2014 – Posted on transcript by July 15, 2014
      •   Summer graduate 08/2014, petition by July 31, 2014 – Posted on transcript by September 15, 2014
      •   Fall graduate 12/2014, petition by November 15, 2014 – Posted on transcript by February 15, 2015
  • Expect your official diploma via U.S. mail within 8 weeks after the end of the semester. Diplomas are issued only after completion of all graduation requirements have been verified, and will be issued in the name and to the address on record at the time the diploma is awarded. (See SDCC Catalog page 91)

RESOURCES: Additional Information and Contacts

  • The Graduation Ceremony is to honor your accomplishments. You will receive a diploma cover when you participate in the ceremony.
  • For special accommodations or information about the Graduation Ceremony, you may contact the Student Affairs Office in Room D-106 or (619) 388-3498.
  • For information about the status of your “Petition to Graduate,” you may contact the Counseling/Evaluations Office in Room A-110 or (619) 388-3540/(619) 388-3466.
  • For information about your degree requirements or any questions related to your academic status, contact your counselor’s office:
      •   Counseling Office, Room A-110, (619) 388-3540
      •   DSPS counseling, Room A-115, (619) 388-3513
      •   EOPS counseling, Room L-117, (619) 388-3209
      •   FYE counseling, Room L-206, (619) 388-3998

Click here to print Steps to Graduate.