Skip to the main content

Graduation

All students, without regard to the degree or certificate to be granted, must meet general requirements for graduation from the College and fulfill all outstanding obligations to the College. Final responsibility for meeting the requirements for graduation rests with the student. If the student is in doubt about course, program or College requirements, the student should contact an academic advisor for clarification and guidance. Students also are encouraged to periodically check their academic progress located on Workday to verify the status of their degree requirements.

Excess Hours Advisory

A state provision affects tuition charges for some students who plan to eventually transfer to a state university for their bachelor’s degree.

Section 1009.286 Florida Statutes, establishes an “excess hour” surcharge for a student seeking a baccalaureate degree at a state university. It is critical that students, including those entering Florida colleges, are aware of the potential for additional course fees. “Excess hours" are defined as hours that go beyond 120% of the units required for a baccalaureate degree program. For example, if the length of the program is 120 units, the student may be subject to an excess hour surcharge for any units attempted beyond 144 credits (120% x 120).

All students whose academic progress may include earning a baccalaureate degree should make every effort to enroll in and successfully complete those courses that are required for the intended major on their first attempt. Florida college students intending to transfer to a state university should identify a major or “transfer program” early and be advised of admission requirements for that program, including the approved common prerequisites. Course withdrawals and/or repeats, as well as enrollment in courses nonessential to the intended major, may contribute to a potential excess hours surcharge.

Learning Outcomes for Degrees and Certificates

Creating a Culture of Evidence

Palm Beach State College values its central role as a teaching and learning institution, and its mission statement emphasizes the importance of having a responsive curriculum through learning outcomes. Learning outcomes can be thought of as the knowledge, skills and abilities students attain as a result of their involvement in an educational activity.

The learning outcomes approach reflects a conceptual shift towards making learning more meaningful and effective for both students and faculty. It requires that students gain an understanding of the fact that education can enable them to enrich their lives by learning. This is in contrast to the viewpoint that education is a task primarily done to satisfy the demands of others, such as faculty or the institution.

By developing educational experiences based on what students should be able to do with their knowledge, the learning outcomes approach helps faculty, staff and students understand the purpose of any educational activity, program or course.

The College has defined learning outcomes for each degree and certificate it offers. To view these learning outcomes, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/LearningOutcomes.

Catalog in Effect for Graduation Policy

Students who have maintained continuous enrollment have the option of graduating under the catalog in effect at the time they declare the program or any catalog in effect during the student’s continuous enrollment, as long as the catalog chosen is not more than five years old. Continuous enrollment may be maintained by enrollment in one credit or CCP course for a minimum of one academic period per academic year.

If students choose a new catalog, all requirements from the new catalog must be met for graduation. If continuous enrollment is maintained for a period of more than five years, the catalog five years previous will be chosen for them, unless students specify otherwise. If attendance is interrupted by 12 months, students must graduate under the catalog in effect when they are readmitted or any future catalog within five years of the date of graduation (as in above statement). The College does not guarantee that courses will always be available. Some courses or programs may be discontinued. The College reserves the right to change the curriculum as necessary.

Note: Students must graduate under the program requirements in effect the term they enter a Limited Access program.

Graduation Requirements for the Bachelor’s Degree

  • Ensure all required official and complete high school and postsecondary transcripts have been received by the College.
  • Complete at least 25 percent of the degree program at Palm Beach State, also known as “courses in residence” (no relationship to in-state resident tuition). Transfer coursework, credits-by-exam, and credits for prior learning cannot be used to satisfy the course residency requirement.
  • Complete all course requirements as specified in the program of study published in the effective catalog.
  • Successfully complete all courses in the 120 unit program.
  • Successfully complete the Capstone course requirement at Palm Beach State College.
  • Complete all General Education courses AND upper division courses with a grade of C or higher.
  • Earn a program of study grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher.
  • Foreign Language Requirement:
    • High School transcript showing two credits earned in the same foreign language.
    • Present an evaluated transcript indicating a high school education has been earned from an institution where the primary language of instruction is something other than English.
    • Present an evaluated transcript showing transferred credits earned at an institution of higher education where the primary language of instruction is something other than English.
    • Submit proof of a score sufficient to earn foreign language level 2 units via CLEP, SAT II, AP, AICE, IB, or other appropriate exam accepted for credit or placement at Palm Beach State College. 
  • Civic Literacy Competency Requirement

    In accordance with Florida State Board of Education Administrative Rule 6A-10.02413, Civic Literacy Competency, first-time-in-college AA and baccalaureate students entering a Florida College System institution in the 2018-2019 academic year, and thereafter must demonstrate competency in civic literacy prior to graduation. Students can meet this requirement through one of the following options: successfully pass POS1041 Introduction to American Government or AMH2020 United States History from 1865 to Present; or achieve a standard score on one of three assessments:

    1. AP Government and Politics: United States (standard score = 3)
    2. AP United States History (standard score = 4)
    3. CLEP: American Government (standard score = 50)

      • Satisfy all outstanding obligations, financial or otherwise, to the College.

Graduation Requirements for the Associate in Arts (A.A.) Degree

  • Ensure all required official and complete high school and postsecondary transcripts have been received by the College.
  • Complete at least 25 percent of the degree program at Palm Beach State, also known as “courses in residence” (no relationship to in-state resident tuition). Transfer coursework, credits-by-exam, and credits for prior learning cannot be used to satisfy the course residency requirement.
  • Complete all course requirements as specified in the program of study published in the effective catalog.
  • Complete a minimum of 36 units of General Education courses and 24 units of elective courses with a grade of C or higher.
  • Earn a program of study grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher.
  • Foreign Language Requirement:
    • High School transcript showing two credits earned in the same foreign language. Home school acceptable with detailed high school transcript.
    • Present an evaluated transcript indicating a high school education has been earned from an institution where the primary language of instruction is something other than English.
    • Present an evaluated transcript showing transferred credits earned at an institution of higher education where the primary language of instruction is something other than English.
    • Submit proof of a score sufficient to earn foreign language level 2 credit via CLEP, SAT II, AP, AICE, IB, or other appropriate exam accepted for credit or placement at Palm Beach State College.
  • Civic Literacy Competency Requirement

    In accordance with Florida State Board of Education Administrative Rule 6A-10.02413, Civic Literacy Competency, first-time-in-college AA and baccalaureate students entering a Florida College System institution in the 2018-2019 academic year, and thereafter must demonstrate competency in civic literacy prior to graduation. Students can meet this requirement through one of the following options: successfully pass POS1041 Introduction to American Government or AMH2020 United States History from 1865 to Present; or achieve a standard score on one of three assessments:

    • AP Government and Politics: United States (standard score = 3)
    • AP United States History (standard score = 4)
    • CLEP: American Government (standard score = 50)

      • Satisfy all outstanding obligations, financial or otherwise, to the College.

    Graduation Requirements for the Associate in Science (A.S.) Degree

    • Ensure all required official and complete high school and postsecondary transcripts have been received by the College.
    • Complete all course requirements as specified in the program of study published in the effective catalog.
    • Complete the number of program-specific General Education courses with a grade of C or higher.
    • Complete at least 25 percent of the degree program at Palm Beach State, also known as “courses in residence” (no relationship to in-state resident tuition). Transfer coursework, credits-by-exam, and credits for prior learning cannot be used to satisfy the course residency requirement.
    • Earn program of study grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher.
    • Satisfy all outstanding obligations, financial or otherwise, to the College.

    Graduation Requirements for the Advanced Technical Certificate (ATC), Applied Technology Diploma (ATD), or College Credit Certificate (CCC)

    • Ensure all required official and complete high school and postsecondary transcripts have been received by the College.
    • Complete all course requirements as specified in the program of study published in the effective catalog.
    • Complete at least 25 percent of the degree program at Palm Beach State, also known as “courses in residence” (no relationship to in-state resident tuition). Transfer coursework, credits-by-exam, and credits for prior learning cannot be used to satisfy the course residency requirement.
    • Earn a program of study grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher for all required certificate or diploma program courses.
    • Satisfy all outstanding obligations, financial or otherwise, to the College.

    Graduation Requirements for the Career Certificate Program (CCP)

    • Ensure all required official high school and postsecondary transcripts have been received by the College.
    • Complete all course requirements as specified in the program of study published in the effective catalog.
    • If CCP program requires the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE), the student must qualify for TABE exemption or take the test and achieve the appropriate minimum skill level scores. For required TABE scores, please refer to the Degrees and Certificates section of this catalog for the particular CCP program.
    • Satisfy all outstanding obligations, financial or otherwise, to the College.

    Graduation Requirements for the Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) Certificate

    • Ensure all required official and complete high school and postsecondary transcripts have been received by the College.
    • Complete all course requirements as specified in the program of study published in the effective catalog.
    • Complete at least 25 percent of the program at Palm Beach State, also known as “courses in residence” (no relationship to in-state resident tuition). Transfer coursework, credits-by-exam, and credits for prior learning cannot be used to satisfy the course residency requirement.
    • Earn a program of study grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher for all required program courses.
    • Satisfy all outstanding obligations, financial or otherwise, to the College.

    Graduation Requirements for the Certificate of Professional Preparation (CPP) Certificate

    • Ensure all required official and complete high school and postsecondary transcripts have been received by the College.
    • Complete all course requirements as specified in the program of study published in the effective catalog.
    • Complete at least 25 percent of the program at Palm Beach State, also known as “courses in residence” (no relationship to in-state resident tuition). Transfer coursework, credits-by-exam, and credits for prior learning cannot be used to satisfy the course residency requirement.
    • Earn a program of study grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher for all required program courses.
    • Satisfy all outstanding obligations, financial or otherwise, to the College.

    Graduation with Multiple Degrees

    No more than one A.A. degree may be granted. Students who have an A.A. degree or higher are eligible for any A.S. degree upon completion of those degree requirements. Students who have an A.S. or A.A.S. degree are eligible for an A.A. degree upon completion of those requirements. Students with an A.A.S. degree may receive an A.S. degree in the same area upon completion of the additional coursework.

    Students seeking an additional bachelor’s degree should contact the Bachelor’s Degree Programs Office for more information.

    Graduation Distinctions

    The College gives special recognition to students in a degree program (bachelor's and associate) who demonstrate outstanding academic performance while working toward a degree. The program for the Commencement Ceremony is printed prior to the recording of final grades for the fall or spring term. As a result, the commencement program will be based on the program of study GPA achieved at the end of the term prior to the ceremony.

    Students who graduate in a degree program with a program of study GPA of 3.2 or higher will be noted in the Commencement program and transcript as graduating with the following distinctions:

    3.2 - 3.49 Cum Laude (with Honors)
    3.5 - 3.79 Magna Cum Laude (with High Honors)
    3.8 - 4.0 Summa Cum Laude (with Highest Honors)

    Graduation Ceremony - Commencement

    A commencement ceremony is held twice a year, in December (Fall) and May (Spring). During each academic period, the College will conduct a preliminary review of each currently enrolled student’s academic progress. Students who will be 100% program complete or a potential academic period graduate at the end of the academic period will be eligible for graduation. A graduation status notification will be sent to eligible students’ PBSC email account inviting them to participate in the Fall or Spring term commencement ceremony.

    Students who wish to participate in the commencement exercise must submit a response to the invitation by the established RSVP deadline. For more detailed information, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/Graduation.

    Note: Summer graduates who are in enrolled in the spring academic period with six units or less remaining for the completion of their degree program may participate in the spring ceremony. Students wishing to participate should send an email request to the Graduation Office at graduation@palmbeachstate.edu.

    Degree Verifications

    Palm Beach State College has authorized National Student Clearinghouse to provide verification of degrees and certificates for its students through its online Student Self-Service program. This service, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, will allow students the ability to print, save, or email official verification certificates free of charge. For more information, on this and other free services provided by the National Student Clearinghouse Self-Service program, visit Admissions-Enrollment Verification.