A student completing transfer-program requirements receives an Associate in Arts degree (AA) and is certified as having completed General Education requirements. Some technical courses cannot be used in AA degree programs, and college developmental courses cannot be applied toward graduation. Each student should visit with a student success advisor for information regarding transfer-degree requirements and applicable courses. An Associate in Arts student must complete 60 credit hours within the AA degree program and meet the foreign language proficiency requirement at college-level II (or the equivalent) as defined below.
In addition, each First-Time-in-College (FTIC) AA degree seeking student initially entering Polk State College after Fall 2018 must demonstrate competency in civic literacy.
A student completing an occupational or technical degree program receives either an Associate in Science (AS) or Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree, depending upon the program selected. A student in a health-related program may be required to earn a grade of C or higher in all discipline-specific courses. College developmental courses do not apply toward either the AS or AAS degree requirements.
A certificate or advanced technology diploma (ATD) completer must meet the academic requirements of the program in order to graduate.
A student completing a four-year degree receives a baccalaureate degree. College developmental courses do not apply toward any baccalaureate 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 (e.g. some occupational and 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 an Applied Technology Diploma.
- Satisfy the foreign-language requirement for graduation, which is proficiency at college-level ll (or the 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 study to the second-year level, second semester (Students generally take two years but native Spanish speakers may less than two years and successfully complete the second-year level, second semester).
- Two college semesters of foreign-language classes in the same language.
- Successful completion of one semester of a college-level II foreign-language.
- Minimum required score on a CLEP foreign language exam (e.g., Spanish, French, or German) 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 through instruction offered at Polk State College.
An additional graduation requirement specific to the baccalaureate degree is that for each 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. A student 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 any Education program in at any Florida college or university, including either of Polk State's two Bachelor of Science programs in Education.
A student 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, the student is responsible for the purchase of his or her cap and gown, photos, invitations, and other related materials. The student must apply for graduation even if he or she does not participate in the graduation ceremony; however, Polk State automatically graduates any individual who has completed all graduation requirements. Polk State College maintains a Graduation page on its website with further details.
Each graduate is invited to participate in the formal graduation ceremony held at the end of the fall and spring terms. An individual who meets all graduation requirements during a summer term is invited to participate in the fall ceremony. A student may participate in graduation, regardless of whether he or she actually completes the requirements for the anticipated term of graduation.
The ceremony is held at the largest available venue in Polk County. Seating is limited therefore attendance to the ceremony requires a ticket. A limited number of tickets are distributed to each graduate who completes the graduation application indicating participation in the ceremony by the graduation application deadline as posted on the Academic Calendar.
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 the request of the student's immediate family (i.e. parent, sibling, spouse, or child) provided the family submits a written request to the Director of Student Enrollment Services in the Office of the Registrar. A notation of the posthumous degree is 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.