Mesa Journeys



Commencement vs. graduation


For San Diego Mesa College, the Commencement Ceremony is the end-of-year celebration in May for students that have completed or are expected to complete their degree/certificate requirements within the academic year. Students that completed their graduation requirements in the prior Fall or Summer semesters may also participate in the May commencement ceremony. Participation in commencement does not guarantee your application for graduation will be approved. For more information on the annual commencement ceremony, please visit the commencement website here!

Graduation, on the other hand, is a multiple step process of developing an educational plan with a counselor, submitting an Application for Graduation, and completing your course requirements. The Graduation process is not automatic. 

Applications for graduation are processed at the end of the semester. Once your final grades are posted, your academic records will be evaluated to determine if you completed all requirements and your diploma will be mailed to the address listed in your MySDCCD student portal

Are you ready to graduate?

Watch this tutorial to prepare for your application for graduation!

Below are the 4 steps you need to take to ensure you graduate and can participate in the May Commencement Ceremony.

Step 1: Prepare for Graduation

  • Create an education plan with Counseling.
    • All outside transcripts must be on file and evaluated to receive a degree through SDCCD. *Not applicable to apply for Certificate of Achievement completed within SDCCD.
  • Update your email, address, and phone number in the mySDCCD portal under "My Personal Information".

Step 2: Apply for Graduation By of Before Deadline

    • Apply for graduation though your MySDCCD portal. Under "My Academics" -> "Apply for Graduation". Be sure to click submit at the end!
    • Please note that if you do not see your degree and/or certificate displayed, please meet with a counselor.
    • View your graduation status under "My Academics" -> "View Graduation Status".
    • Note: Students may apply for graduation 1 to 2 semesters in advance as long as they will complete requirements by the end of the semester.

23 Spring Grad Deadlines
Click here for a printable flyer.

2022-2023 Apply for Graduation Deadlines:

Fall Graduation Deadlines: 
October 1, 2022  - Deadline to Apply for Graduation ONLY for students transferring to a CSU in Spring 2023 who are completing an Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or an Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT).

November 15, 2022 - Deadline to Apply for Graduation and be a Fall 2022 graduate. Students filing after this date will be a Spring 2023 graduate.

Spring Graduation Deadlines:

February 15, 2023 - Deadline to Apply for Graduation for students transferring to a CSU in Fall 2023 who are completing an Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or an Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT).

March 15, 2023 - Deadline to Apply for Graduation and ensure your name will be included in the commencement program. **Students filing after this date, but before April 30, 2023 will still be Spring 2023 graduates, but their name may not be in the Commencement Program Booklet.**

April 30, 2023 - Deadline to Apply for Graduation and be a Spring 2023 graduate. Students filing after this date will be a Summer 2023 graduate.

Summer Graduation Deadline:

July 31, 2023 - Deadline to Apply for Graduation and be a Summer 2023 graduate.  Students filing after this date will be Fall 2023 graduates.

Step 3: Register to Participate in the Commencement Ceremony

  • Your participation in the Commencement Ceremony is OPTIONAL for you to receive your degree or certificate.
  • You must register if you wish participate in the Commencement Ceremony.
  • Your email invitation will contain registration information including a website where you will register to participate. 
  • The deadline to register for the 2023 Commencement Ceremony is: May 1, 2023.
  • If you need assistance with the registration website contact the Mesa Evaluations Office at with your name and student User ID number.

step 4: Receive Your Diploma in the mail

You will not receive your diploma for your degree or certificate at the Commencement Ceremony. Diplomas for summer, fall, and spring graduates are mailed directly to the students after ALL coursework requirements for your degree or certificate are completed successfully.

  • All financial holds must be cleared on your student account before your diploma can be mailed. 
  • Diplomas are mailed to the address listed on mySDCCD usually 8 weeks after the end of the semester.
  • Make sure your mailing address and email is up to date. You can update your mailing address on mySDCCD. Information updated after applying for graduation should be emailed to Mesa Evaluations. 
  • Degrees and/or Certificates of Achievements will be posted on official transcripts in the following months:
      • Fall Graduates: End of January
      • Spring Graduates: End of June
      • Summer Graduates: End of September

Graduating with Honors

Graduation with honors distinction is based upon all coursework that is associate degree and lower division baccalaureate degree applicable or coursework applicable to the certificate of achievement. If eligible, an honors notation is placed on the student's official transcript and diploma.

  • Honors is granted to students who achieve an overall 3.5 GPA.
  • High Honors is granted to students who achieve an overall 3.75 GPA.
  • Highest Honors is granted to students who achieve an overall 4.0 GPA.

Associate Degree Honors, 3.5-4.0 GPA: Gold Tassel, Gold Cord

Certificate of Achievement Honors, 3.5-4.0: GPA White Tassel, White Cord.

Dean's List

A Dean’s Honor List is compiled after each spring term for the academic year (Fall to Spring). To be eligible for the Dean’s Honor List, a student must complete 12 units or more during the academic year and have earned a grade point average of 3.5 or better.

Dean’s Honor List notifications are emailed to students at the end of each academic year (late summer). Please note: Dean’s List is not posted on the students’ transcript.

Catalog Rights

Students who maintain continuous enrollment may choose to graduate under the college catalog in effect at the time they began their studies in a California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus, or under the catalog in effect at the time of graduation.

Continuous enrollment is defined as attendance in one semester or two quarters (excluding summer) within a calendar year in the CSU, UC, or California Community College System.

Certification of a student's completion of CSU general education requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) is not a graduation requirement. Therefore, students do not have catalog rights to a certification pattern used by a certifying institution or a CSU or UC campus.