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Commencement Resources

  • Fall Graduates - November 1st
  • Spring Graduates - March 1st 
  • Summer Graduates - June 1st

Who Can Graduate

The Maricopa Community Colleges offer Certificates of Completion as well as Associate Degrees, one of which is conferred on each student who has completed a program of study. These certificates and degrees are:

  • Certificate of Completion (Career Program Specified)
  • Academic Certificate; General Education Certificate
  • Associate in Arts; Associate in Science
  • Associate in Business
  • Associate in General Studies
  • Associate in Transfer Partnership
  • Associate in Applied Science (Career Program Specified)
  • For more details and additional requirements and limitations please review the Catalog.

Credit Programs

The Maricopa Community Colleges offers certificates and degrees in a variety of areas. Each certificate and degree has specified program requirements for graduation. See certificate and degree information for specific program requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of these requirements.

Candidates for graduation must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Complete the minimum number of credits required for the certificate or degree. For degrees, at  least 15 credits must be completed at the awarding college. For certificates that are 15 or more credits, at least 6 credits must be completed at the awarding college. For certificates that are 14 or  fewer credits, at least half of the credits must be completed at the awarding college. Exceptions to this institutional residency policy must have prior written approval of the program director, department/division chair, or designee and documentation of rationale and approval included as part of application to graduate.
  2. Meet the general education, program requirements, and electives for the certificate or degree required. Requirements can be satisfied by MCCCD coursework, prior learning assessment, and  transfer credit. No more than 45 credit hours can be accepted and applied to a degree using transfer credit and/or prior learning assessment. Transfer credit and prior learning assessment does not count as  hours in residence for graduation requirements. Exceptions to this institutional policy must have prior written approval of the program director, department/division chair, or designee and documentation of rationale and approval included as part of application to graduate.
  3. Earn a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 on a four-point grading scale in all letter-graded courses (100-level and above) (completed in residence and accepted in transfer) used to fulfill requirements at the college granting the degree or certificate. Some awards may specify additional GPA requirements.
  4. Remove all deficiencies (e.g. incomplete grades, missing transcripts, national test results, etc.) on the record to use those courses toward program completion.
  5. Fulfill any financial obligations with the college.
  6. The same degree or certificate can only be awarded once within the Maricopa Community College District.

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 catalog in effect during subsequent terms of continuous enrollment. Students may maintain continuous enrollment whether attending a public community college and/or public university in the state of Arizona.

The rules for maintaining continuous enrollment are:

  • A semester in which a student earns course credit will be counted toward continuous enrollment.
  • Noncredit courses, audited courses, or courses from which the student withdraws do not count toward continuous enrollment.
  • Failure to enroll in three consecutive regular (fall or spring) semesters breaks continuous enrollment; however, enrollment in the intervening summer terms may be used to maintain continuous enrollment status.
  • If continuous enrollment is not maintained, the student must fulfill the requirements for graduation specified in the catalog in effect for the academic year in which they re-enroll or any subsequent catalog of their continuous enrollment.
  • Students who initially enrolled or re-enrolled during a summer term must follow the annual catalog of the subsequent academic year or any subsequent catalog of their continuous enrollment.

In areas of study in which the subject matter changes rapidly, material in courses taken long before graduation may become obsolete or irrelevant. Coursework that is more than ten years old is applicable to completion of certificate and degree requirements at the discretion of the designated individuals at the college. The college may accept such coursework, reject it, or request that the student revalidate its substance. The ten-year limit on coursework applies except when program accreditation agencies limit the life of coursework to less than eight years. Departments may also require students to satisfy current major requirements rather than major requirements in earlier catalogs, when completing earlier requirements is no longer possible or educationally sound.

Steps to Graduation

Step 1: Request your official transcripts be sent to GWCC

Ensure that all credits received at other non-Maricopa colleges are part of your GWCC student record.  Order official transcripts from each non-Maricopa college and have them sent directly to Gateway Community College:

Gateway Community College
Admissions & Records

108 N 40
th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Step 2:  Meet with an Academic Advisor

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, s(he) 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. (Final confirmation of eligibility for graduation will be conducted by the Admissions & Records Office)

Step 3: Participation in the Commencement Ceremony (optional)

Clock Students fall under the MCCCD Auto-Award Program and do not need to submit an application for graduation.  Admissions & Records will automatically begin the conferring process at the completion of their program.

GateWay Community College will be celebrating our graduating students with an in-person event this May.

Graduation Date: Thursday, May 12, 2022

Location & Start Times:

Location: ASU Gammage 
1200 S. Forest Ave. Tempe, AZ 85281 

3:30 p.m.: Doors open for guests
4:30 p.m.: Ceremony Starts
6:30 p.m.: Ceremony Ends

Separately, several cultural convocations will be held, leading up to GateWay's graduation ceremony. Visit the Maricopa County Community College District website for details. Registration is required. 

Commencement FAQ

Credit students must apply to graduate regardless of ceremony participation.

Graduates (clock and credit) will receive communications by email to their Maricopa email account with invitations to participate in the ceremony.  Information will also be posted on this webpage when available. Graduates will receive information on how to register and what information is needed to participate in the ceremony.  Deadlines to register will be included in the communications.

No. If students choose not to take part in any ceremony and their academic requirements are met, similar to prior years, students will receive their diplomas in the mail.

At the end of the term, all graduation applications are reviewed to ensure all academic requirements have been met. Once the review is complete, the award will be posted to the student account and will be posted the student transcripts. Diplomas will be printed and mailed 4-6 weeks after final grades are posted. Graduates will receive an email notification via their Maricopa student email account when the award has been posted to their account. Diplomas are mailed to the graduate’s home address. Graduates are requested to keep their home address in their Student Center at current and accurate.

*Please note, diplomas are printed with the primary name on your student record. Please visit if you need to update your primary name.

Honor cords are presented to graduates who participate in the in-person commencement ceremony. Honor Cords are distributed based on graduating GPA:

  • Distinction: 3.5-3.69
  • High Distinction: 3/7-3.89
  • Highest Distinction: 3.9-4.0

Please note: Honor cords are for students who are applying for an Associate Degree, Certificate Programs are not eligible.


PTK students should visit this site to order your stole prior to commencement.

Veteran students should register at this site to receive your stole.

There is no fee for applying to graduate.  The $25 commencement fee for participation in the  ceremony has been waived for Spring 2022.