Jun 19, 2024  
Catalog/Handbook 2021-2022 
Catalog/Handbook 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduation Requirements

A student completing requisites for a transfer program 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 Education courses cannot be applied toward graduation. Each student should create an Education Plan with a student success advisor that includes 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 better in all discipline-specific courses. Developmental Education courses do not apply toward either AS or AAS degree requirements.

A student who earns a certificate or Advanced Technology Diploma (ATD) must meet the academic requirements of the program in order to graduate.

A student completing a four-year degree receives a baccalaureate diploma. Developmental Education courses do not apply toward any baccalaureate degree requirements.

To qualify for graduation at Polk State College, the student must:

  1. Complete all degree-seeking admission requirements, including the submission of all necessary transcripts and other required documents.
  2. Complete the required credit hours in a prescribed program of study.
  3. Complete any other applicable requirements (e.g., some occupational and technical programs require a grade of C or better in all program courses).
  4. 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.
  5. Satisfy the foreign-language requirement for graduation, which is proficiency at college-level II (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 high school foreign-language study to the second-year level, second semester. (Note: Students generally take two years of foreign language instruction, but native Spanish speakers may take less than two years and successfully complete the second-year level, second-semester requirement.)
    • 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 approved American Council on Education (ACE) foreign-language exam, such as the Language Testing International Proficiency Exam.
  6. Complete at least 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree or certificate through instruction offered at Polk State College.


An additional graduation requirement specific to Polk State’s baccalaureate degree programs is that 25 percent 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 Florida’s Teacher Certification Exam to be admitted to any Education program at any Florida college or university, including either of Polk State’s 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 at the ceremony requires a ticket.  A limited number of tickets are distributed to each graduate who completes the graduation application and indicates participation in the ceremony by the graduation application deadline posted on the Academic Calendar.


Posthumous Degrees

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 is provided to the requesting family member. The posthumous degree is not included in any state or federal reporting.