GWC - Grad Students

Graduation Information

Degrees and certificates are not automatically awarded when you have completed all your requirements. If you are seeking an Associates Degree or a Certificate, you may submit a petition to graduate during the filing periods. Please petition during your last semester using this form (see below).


Graduation Period AA/AS Filing Period ADT Filing Period
Summer July 1 - August 1 July 1 - August 1
Fall August 15 - November 15 August 15 - September 15
Spring January 15 - April 15 January 15 - February 15



Although current circumstances prevent us from holding the traditional in-person Commencement Ceremony this spring, our enthusiasm to celebrate the achievements of our students has never been more inspired and we encourage you to join us. All graduates should take note of the following:

  • Golden West College will be holding a virtual ceremony on Thursday, May 27th to commemorate and celebrate our graduates. A virtual ceremony has many of the same components of a live ceremony, including presentations from the College President, distinguished faculty, and students. During the ceremony, your name will be announced as your awards and other recognition are displayed.
  • All graduates who wish to participate in the Virtual Commencement Ceremony will need to register by responding to the RSVP form that they will receive via text message or to their student email.
    If you did not get that link, please use this one: (With this link we ask for your student email so that we can identify the graduation students.)

    When you register, you will be asked to:
    • Provide your preferred name
    • Provide a phonetic spelling of your name to ensure your name is pronounced correctly.
    • Upload a picture or short 3-5 sec video clip that you would like to represent you in the Virtual Commencement Ceremony.
    • Include a personal message.

    Only graduates need to register for the ceremony; your family and friends do not need to register to view the Virtual Commencement Ceremony.
  • All eligible Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 graduates, as well as 2019-2020 graduates will receive an invitation to participate and information to share with their family and friends.
  • Your diploma and/or certificate will be mailed to you after the semester has ended and the college has verified that you have met all institutional requirements to graduate.

The Virtual Commencement Ceremony will be held on May 27, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. (PST).

The ceremony will be streamed via YouTube. The access link will be made available to you via email and posted on this webpage. Please share the link with all your guests so they would be able to join your celebration.

The virtual ceremony can also be watched afterward. A link to the video will be provided to you on this page shortly after the conclusion of the ceremony.

Check this webpage often for more details about your Spring 2021 celebrations. We will also send information to graduates via your student email.


Graduates can visit the Herff Jones website to purchase regalia and other commemorative graduation items before the ceremony as a keepsake for their hard work and achievement at Golden West College. Although regalia is not required to participate in Commencement exercises, graduates may wish to dress in regalia for their Virtual Commencement photo or video.

In addition to regalia, which includes a cap with tassel and gown, graduates may purchase personalized graduation announcements, diploma frames, and class rings via Herff Jones' website. Graduates in Special Programs should contact your program’s office for instructions on acquiring regalia.

Order your regalia by April 27, orders after April 28 will incur expedited shipping fees.

Graduation FAQ

  1. What will happen after I submit the graduation petition? Your petition will go through a series of evaluation. Please ensure successful completion of all your in progress courses. If you do not have in progress courses, no further action is required unless notified.
  2. Will I be notified of my status? If you are required to perform further action or have been denied, you will be notified through your student email and personal email (if any). All students may check their unofficial transcript for most updated degree/certificate status.
  3. How do I update my mailing and email address? You may update your mailing and personal email address by logging on to your MyGWC account.
  4. When is commencement? Graduation ceremony, also known as Commencement, takes place every year towards the end of May after the Spring semester to celebrate the previous years Summer and Fall graduates, as well as this years Spring graduates.
  5. How do I RSVP for commencement? Even though commencement is not mandatory, we encourage you to join us in celebrating your success. Beginning of May, the graduation department will contact all students through email with all necessary commencement information.
  6. Will I receive my diploma at commencement? No, students will only receive diploma covers at commencement. Your diploma will be available for pick up when you receive an email notification (typically 2-3 months after the semester is over) from the graduation department. If you are unavailable to pick up your diploma, we will mail it to your mailing address after 3 weeks from the email notification.
  7. If I walk in commencement, does that mean I have been awarded my degree? Since commencement takes place during the last week of Spring, all Summer and Fall graduates have been awarded their degree on their GWC official transcript. As for all Spring graduates, since final evaluation happens after commencement, please note that Spring graduates who participate in the ceremony may be denied the degree if they do not meet all necessary requirements during the final evaluation.

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Associates Degree


To earn an Associates Degree, you must (1) complete one option of general education patterns, as well as (2) meet requirements for your chosen Major offered at Golden West College, (3) have at least 60 units toward your degree, meet 12 residency units at GWC, and (4) meet the minimum GPA requirements.

  1. Complete one of the following:

OPTION 1 Career Focus

OPTION 2 CSU Breadth Requirements

OPTION 3 IGETCIntersegmentall General Education Transfer Curriculum) Requirements

  1. Complete required major courses with grades C or better.
  1. Units and Residency requirements:Students must complete at least 60 degree units. A minimum of 12 units must be taken at Golden West College. At least six of these units must be in courses required for the major.
  2. GPA requirements:Students must have a cumulative minimum 2.0 grade point average. All courses required for the Major must be completed with a grade of C or better.

What is an Associate Degree?

The associate degree is typically completed in two years and has two main purposes. It prepares the student to transfer to a four-year university, or is intended to prepare the student for immediate employment.

Please Note:

If you began your studies at GWC before FALL 2008 and have maintained continuous enrollment (completion of at least one college course per catalog year), you may be able to graduate under the old requirements. Please contact your counselor in regards to your educational plan.

Associates Degree for Transfer


  1. Minimum of 60 CSU-transferable semester units.
  2. Cumulative minimum 2.0 grade point average.
  3. Completion of a minimum of 18 semester units in a specific AD-T major. All courses in the major must be completed with a grade of C or better or a P if the course is taken on a pass/no pass basis (title 5 55063).
  4. Certified completion of the OPTION 2 CSU Breadth Requirements [PDF] or OPTION 3 Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) [PDF] Please consult with a counselor for more information.

What is an Associates of Art for Transfer (AA-T) or Associates of Science for Transfer (AS-T)?

The AA-T or AS-T (also known as AD-T: Associates Degree for Transfer) is intended for students who plan to complete a bachelors degree in a similar major at a California State University (CSU) campus. Students completing these AD-T are guaranteed admission to the CSU system, but not to a particular campus or major.

Students should consult with a counselor when planning to complete the degree for more information on university admission and transfer requirements.

What does this mean for GWC students?

  • By following this degree pattern, you will complete OPTION 2 CSU Breadth Requirements [PDF].
  • You will be CSU General Education Certified This will appear on your official GWC transcript.
  • You will be ready to apply to the CSU.
  • You will have completed the Major Preparatory Requirements for your degree program.
Coursework from Other Colleges

Official transcripts from all other institutions you have attended must be submitted to the Admissions & Records before petitioning to graduate for a degree or certificate. You do not need to submit official transcripts from Orange Coast College or Coastline Community College.


Official transcripts from other institutions must be submitted in a sealed envelope. Students may personally hand in their transcripts, have it sent directly from the institutions, or if the other institutions permit, students may have e-transcripts emailed to

Course Substitutions

What is a course substitution?

If you believe a course taken at GWC or at another institution should be used to substitute for a requirement within a major or certificate, you may file a Course Substitution Form [PDF].


Please submit this form to the Admissions & Records prior or concurrent to petitioning for graduation. Course Substitution Forms must be complete with Instructors signature and a signature from either the chair or Dean of the department being petitioned. Please submit any necessary official transcript and/or course descriptions and/or course syllabus with the course substitution. Incomplete forms will not be processed.

Please Note: The Course Substitution Form may not be used for courses being used toward an AD-T. Students attempting to fulfill AD-T requirements with coursework from other colleges or institutions must speak with a counselor for evaluation.

Duplicate Diploma

Due to the recent campus closure we are unable to process duplicate diploma orders at this time.

To show proof of degree please order official transcripts. Official transcript orders can be placed at:

Mailing Address:

Golden West College Admissions and Records Office
ATTN: Graduation 15744 Goldenwest St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

For further questions regarding graduation you may contact the Graduation Clerk at

Helpful Links:

The California Community Colleges Chancellors Office:

The California State University:

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Previous Graduation


Class of 2020 Virtual Commencement Celebration

Click here to view the celebration

Commencement Program


Commencement Program [PDF]

Commencement Program FlipBook


View the Commencement Program FlipBook

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