Students completing transfer program requirements receive an Associate in Arts degree (AA) and are certified as completing General Education requirements. Some technical courses cannot be used as electives in the AA degree programs; also, college developmental courses cannot be applied toward graduation. Students should visit with an advisor for information regarding transfer degree requirements and applicable courses. AA student must complete 60 credit hours within the AA degree program and meet foreign language proficiency at college-level II or equivalent.
Students completing occupational/technical degree programs receive either an Associate in Science (AS) or Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree, depending upon the program selected. Students in health-related programs may be required to earn a grade of C or higher in all discipline-specific courses. College developmental courses do not apply toward either AS or AAS degree requirements.
Certificate and advanced technology diploma completers must meet the academic requirements of the program in order to graduate.
Students completing a four-year degree receive a Bachelor's degree. College developmental courses do not apply toward any Bachelor's degree requirements.
To qualify for graduation at Polk State College, the student must:
- Complete all degree-seeking admission requirements, including the submission of all necessary transcripts and other required documents.
- Complete the required credit hours in a prescribed program of study.
- Complete any other applicable requirements. For example, some occupational/technical programs require a grade of C or higher in all program courses.
- Have an overall cumulative GPA of at least 2.00. A minimum cumulative program GPA of 2.0 is required for graduation with a credit or vocational certificate or applied technology diploma.
- Satisfy the foreign-language requirement for graduation which is proficiency at college-level ll or equivalent. Any of the following items satisfy the language requirement for a baccalaureate degree:
- Successful completion of high school foreign-language study in the same language.
- Successful completion of a high school foreign-language at the second year level, second semester.
- Two college semesters of foreign-language classes in the same language.
- Successful completion of one semester of college-level II foreign-language.
- Minimum scores on a CLEP (e.g., Spanish, French, or German) foreign-language exam as outlined in this catalog.
- An equivalent high school diploma from a foreign country where the student studied in a language other than English.
- A satisfactory score on an American Council on Education (ACE) approved foreign-language exam, such as the Language Testing International Proficiency exam.
- Complete at least 25% of the credit hours required for the degree or certificate earned through instruction offered at Polk State College.
An additional graduation requirement specific to the baccalaureate degrees is that in any baccalaureate program at Polk State College, 25% of the upper-division course work, including the degree's capstone course, must be taken at Polk State College. Also of note, students interested in a baccalaureate degree in Education must pass the General Knowledge (GK) portion of the Florida Teacher's Certification Exam to be admitted to Education programs in Florida colleges and universities, including Polk State's two Bachelor of Science degrees in Education.
Students must apply for graduation online through the student portal, PASSPORT. It is the student's responsibility to anticipate his or her graduation term. There is no fee for graduation application; however, students are responsible for the purchase of cap and gown, photos, invitations, and related materials. Students must apply for graduation even if they do not participate in the graduation ceremony; however, Polk State will automatically graduate students who have completed all requirements. Polk State College maintains a Graduation page on its website with further details.
All graduates are invited to participate in the formal graduation ceremony held at the end of the fall and spring terms. Summer graduates are invited to participate in the fall ceremony. Students may participate in graduation, regardless of whether they actually complete requirements for the anticipated term of graduation.
Polk State College may award a degree posthumously to a student who has passed away prior to completing all degree requirements. A posthumous degree may be awarded upon request of the student's immediate family (parent, sibling, spouse, child) provided the family submits a written request to the Director of Student Enrollment Services, Registrar. A notation of the posthumous degree shall be made in the student's record and a diploma will be provided to the requesting family member. The posthumous degree may not be included in any state or federal reporting.